Spirit Guide: Possible Stories of the Origins of the Margarita (Compiled by Raul Yrastorza of Las Perlas)

January 15th, 2014 — 3:34pm

Spiced Daisy

Barman “Willie” from Mexico City, 1934 in the employ of the Melguizo Family

Marguerite Hemery lived in the Rio Grande Valley since the 1930s and went to a restaurant in Matamoros called Los Dos Republicas. She was friends with the owner and, as the story goes, his bartender composed a special drink for her.

W.J Tarling 1936

In 1937 the “Café Royal Cocktail Book” was published

(The Picador is one of the 15 Tequila based drinks in the Café Royal Cocktail Book, published in 1937.

If the ingredients to this drink look familiar, that’s because the ingredients are the same as the drink we commonly call the Margarita. Same ingredients, but different name leaves numerous questions begging to be answered.

Or, bearing in mind that that the Café Royal Cocktail Book was published in 1937, is it possible that the Margarita was actually created in London under the name Picador in the early 1930′s and changed name after reaching the U.S.A?

The original drink which would become the Margarita – THE PICADOR- was invented in England. The PICADOR calls for ¼ fresh lime (or lemon juice, ¼ Cointreau, ½ oz tequila Shaken (basic margarita recipe)

Danny Negrete, 1936

According to Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the family story goes that Daniel opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David. The day before David’s marriage, Daniel presented the margarita as a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law.
It was a combination of one-third Triple Sec, one-third tequila and one-third squeezed Mexican lime juice. The drink was not blended and was served with hand-crushed ice.
Ratios: 1:1:1 (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, And 33% fresh lime juice).

Danny Herrera, 1938

In Ensenada, Mexico, Danny Herrera, a renowned Mexican bartender who worked at the Riviera del Pacifico Hotel and Casino was completely in love with Marjorie King, an American actress who hated taking tequila pure. Tequila was also the only liquor that her body could tolerate. Thus, with the intention of wooing her, Herrera used his ingenuity to bring together flavors to meet Marjorie’s tastes, until he finally found one of the world’s most famous drinks.

Rita De La Rosa, 1938

According to Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix, a beautiful showgirl in 1938 named Rita De La Rosa was a bartender and improvised the cocktail.

Don Carlos Orozco, October 1941

He concocted the perfect mixture of equal parts tequila, Damiana (Cointreau is used now) and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass for Margarita Henkel, daughter of the German Ambassador to Mexico at Hussong’s Cantina

Enrique Bastate Gutierrez, early 1940s

Gutierrez, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico, boasted to have created the Margarita as a homage to actress Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino.  Other versions of the story claim the Margarita was indeed named after the actress, but in the 1930s, before she adopted her screen name. As a teenager, Margarita Cansino worked as a dancer at the Foreign Club, in Tijuana, where she supposedly inspired a bartender.

Francisco “Pancho” Morales, 4 July 1942

A bartender, Pancho Morales invented the margarita on July 4, 1942, at a Ciudad Juárez bar named Tommy’s Place. Supposedly, a woman requested a Magnolia (brandy, Cointreau, and an egg yolk topped with Champagne). Morales was a little fuzzy on the recipe; he improvised and his ersatz creation was a big hit.

Santos Cruz, 1948

According to the promotional flyer for the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas, head bartender Santos Cruz created the Margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee in 1948. The Balinese Room was opened in 1941 and was Texas’s finest nightclub with A/C, casino gambling, superb food and drinks, and stellar entertainment until the Texas Rangers finally shut it down in 1957.

Margaret Sames, December 1948

Sames, who created the drink at her Acapulco bar, gave the reason of being “close with a lot of famous hotel and restaurant people” in introducing the margarita.  Sames used one part Cointreau, two parts tequila and one part lime juice for her margarita. Knowing that most people drank tequila preceded by a lick of salt, she chose to garnish her cocktail with a rim of coarse salt.  Sames moved to El Paso, Texas in 1958 where she was well known for her lavish parties.
Ratios: 2:1:1 = 4:2:2 (50% tequila, 25% Cointreau, 25% fresh lime juice).

Mentor Monday (on Tuesday!) Featuring Brett Winfield of Seven Grand San Diego – The Old Fashioned

January 14th, 2014 — 11:59am

In this episode Brett Winfield of Seven Grand San Diego teaches us how to craft the perfect old fashioned cocktail.

What We’re Reading: America’s Next Great City Is Inside L.A.; 90 Proof New York; The Three Most Important Southern California Craft Beers of 2013; Diageo, Yum Brands, And P&G — One Winning Strategy; Where To Make Your Own Craft Beer In Japan

January 10th, 2014 — 12:55pm

America’s Next Great City Is Inside L.A., Jan 2014 – GQ Magazine
For decades, Downtown has been the dark center of L.A.: a wasteland of half-empty office buildings and fully empty streets. But amid the glittering towers and crumbly Art Deco facades, a new generation of adventurous chefs, bartenders, loft dwellers, artists, and developers are creating a neighborhood as electrifying and gritty as New York in the ’70s. Brett Martin navigates his way through the coolest new downtown in America. Read the rest here! 

90 Proof New York, 12/27/2013 – New York Times
Steven DeAngelo was bored on Wall Street. Colin Spoelman never found a job he wanted to do. Brad Estabrooke was laid off from one he would never miss. Dave Kyrejko was a former art school student working with fish tanks and aquariums. The four men are now part of a boomlet in small distilleries in New York City, the first of their kind since Prohibition. On a recent morning in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Mr. Spoelman, 34, walked through what may be the world’s smallest corn field and offered a tour of the Kings County Distillery, which in 2010 became the city’s first legal whiskey distillery in more than 80 years. The air smelled of sweet fermenting corn; the shelves inside held bottles of bourbon and moonshine. Read the rest here!

Craft beer
The three most important Southern California craft beers of 2013, 1/2/2014 – Los Angeles Times
2013 was the best year for craft beer that Los Angeles has yet seen, and there were more brewery openings, more new beers, and more excitement among beer drinkers than ever before. Everyone has their favorite new brewed-in-L.A. beer, but these are three of the most important beers to be released in Los Angeles in 2013. Groundbreaking, hype-making, and prescient, you’re going to be hearing a lot more about these brews, and the people behind them, in 2014.
• Golden Road Brewing’s Heal the Bay IPA
• Noble Ale Works’ Naughty Sauce
• Smog City Brewing’s GrapeApe IPA
Read the rest here!

Diageo, Yum Brands, And P&G — One Winning Strategy, 12/27/2013 –  Forbes
Diageo (NYSE:DEO), Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), and P&G (NYSE:PG) are in different businesses but they have one thing in common: they have all been successful in expanding their overseas presence.  Beverage maker Diageo mixes global drinks with local drinks and liquors to create product offerings that cater to local markets. Diageo’s Gordon Edge, a mix of gin and lemon, caters to the UK market. Meanwhile Safari Luna, a mixed of fruit and liquor, caters to the Netherlands. Allied Domecq’s Presidente brandy and cola mix caters to the Mexican market, while TG — a mix of Scotch and guanana — caters to the Brazilian market. Campari’s Mixx, a mix of grapefruit and Campari, caters to the Italian and Swiss market. In some cases, Diageo has localized marketing to promote local brands, as is the case with its Bulliet brand, marketed to local bars. “By restricting ad spending and selling only to select bars, Diageo aimed to create an independent, hipster aura around Bulleit,” writes Wall Street’s Peter Evans. “The plan worked: Buoyed by the renaissance in bourbon and with a growing following in the cocktail trade, sales of Bulleit have increased fivefold in the past three years, largely through “on-trade” sales in bars.” This localized strategy is in sharp contrast to the globalized strategy for the company’s major brands, like Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness. Read the rest here!

Where to Make Your Own Craft Beer in Japan, 1/3/2014 – Wall Street Journal
At Kiuchi Brewery in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture, about two hours north of Tokyo by train, Shigeru Sakurai’s first experiment with fruit-flavored beer showed promise. The wort, which had been spiked with fresh grape juice, glowed a warm shade of purple in the December afternoon light. The liquid was slightly sweet, with a pronounced grapey flavor and sharp, pine-like aromas that came from the Nelson Sauvin hops Mr. Sakurai had added to the base of his white ale. “The grape juice didn’t contain added sugar, so it shouldn’t cause problems with fermentation,” observed brewery worker Haruna Katsuyama. Once chilled, the wort would be transferred to a fermentation tank, and the Kiuchi staff would complete the brewing process. In four weeks, Mr. Sakurai would receive the finished product in the mail. Read the rest here!


America’s Next Great City Is Inside L.A., January 2014 – GQ Magazine

January 7th, 2014 — 4:24pm

For decades, Downtown has been the dark center of L.A.: a wasteland of half-empty office buildings and fully empty streets. But amid the glittering towers and crumbly Art Deco facades, a new generation of adventurous chefs, bartenders, loft dwellers, artists, and developers are creating a neighborhood as electrifying and gritty as New York in the ’70s. Brett Martin navigates his way through the coolest new downtown in America

Read More