Originating in the late 1940s, the margarita was invented by American socialite Margarete “Margarita” Sames, who wanted to create a refreshing drink for her guests that could be enjoyed by the pool before lunch. While tequila was Margarita’s favourite spirit, at the time, there were no cocktails that incorporated it (shocking, we know); with tequila traditionally served in classic style in a shot glass, accompanied by salt and a slice of lime.
Having previously enjoyed the unique flavour and complexity of Cointreau, an orange liqueur produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, France, Margarita decided to combine this with tequila and its classic accompaniments of lime and salt, serving to add a touch of European flair and sophistication to classically Mexican flavours.
The end result? A classic cocktail that has remained unchanged to this day. Here’s how to make a traditional marg, à la Margarita Sames.
The Original Margarita
30ml Cointreau 30ml Sierra Tequila Silver 30ml fresh lime juice Salt for the rim of the glass Lime wheel, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled, salt rimmed glass. To finish, garnish with a lime wheel.
If you’re feeling adventurous, get creative with your cocktails by trying it with a strawberry and basil twist, or a piña colada-inspired take.
Strawberry Basil Margarita
Sweet and tart, this strawberry basil iteration is a refreshing take on the classic marg.
20ml Cointreau 45ml Sierra Silver Tequila Silver 20ml fresh lime juice 2 strawberries, plus half to serve. Basil leaves
Muddle strawberries and basil in a cocktail shaker. Add Cointreau, tequila, lime juice, and ice before shaking vigorously. Strain into a salt rimmed rocks glass with ice. Garnish with half a strawberry and a basil leaf.
Nothing says summertime like a fresh Cointreau Piña Margarita. The pineapple juice and added cinnamon sugar rim provide an indulgent, slightly sweeter take on a classic margarita.
20mL Cointreau 45mL Sierra Tequila Silver 20mL fresh lime juice 15mL fresh pineapple juice Cinnamon Sugar
Add Cointreau, tequila, lime juice, and pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled, cinnamon sugar rimmed glass.