10 refreshing facts about Margaritas

In honor of National Margarita Day, Mental Floss has compiled this list of little-known facts about the popular drink:

  • Its origins are murky. The most widely spread rumor is that an American socialite named Margarita Sames created the drink for her friends in 1948. The very first print mention we can find of the drink (but not the name), however, comes from the 1937 book Café Royal Cocktail Book by William Tarling.
  • Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish. Many people believe that the margarita is just a spin on the “tequila daisy”--an old prohibition drink that has a base spirit, sugar, and a sour. The cocktail later inspired the sidecar, which is basically a margarita with cognac and lemon.
  • The first frozen margarita machine was invented in 1971. After seeing a Slurpee machine in a 7-Eleven, 26-year-old Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez transformed a soft-serve ice cream machine into one that pumped out frosty margaritas.
  • The salt is important. Just a pinch will help subdue the bitterness and enhance the important flavors.
  • There are tons of variations. Fruits like peaches, mangos, and pineapple can be added to give the drink a more tropical feel.
  • The world’s largest margarita was made in Las Vegas. The Flamingo Hotel’s Margaritaville Casino in Las Vegas holds the honor of making the largest margarita in the world. The “Lucky Rita” was 8,500 gallons (32,176 liters) in a 17-foot-tall tank and took 60 people 300 hours to create. 
  • The world’s most expensive margarita cost $1200. In 2013, 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar & Penthouse Lounge in Manhattan baited partiers with a frozen margarita that used some incredibly high-end ingredients—the tequila alone cost $1800 a bottle.
  • You can buy one with earrings for $30,000 in Texas. For Valentine’s Day in 2015, the Iron Cactus in Austin, Texas, offered an extremely expensive margarita that came with a pair of diamond earrings.
  • There’s a World Margarita Championship. Hosted by the Tucson Originals and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the competition features bartenders from Tucson duking it out for the honor of best margarita in Arizona. 
  • A fried variation of the drink exists. This strange food is served at the Texas State Fair.




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