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Where did the Mexican Margarita Originate?

The margarita is the cocktail most synonymous with Mexico by far… but have you ever asked where it actually came from? Combining ingredients including triple sec, tequila, and fresh lime juice; the classic margarita is a refreshing drink which can be served on the rocks or frozen and blended.

Often served with a salted rim, especially in the classic lime flavor, these cocktails have evolved over the years; there have been countless versions and flavors of margaritas dreamed up. Fresh fruit concoctions are particularly popular; the actual history of Mexican margaritas is a bit unclear, however, although there are several different stories which claim to explain their advent (most contain beautiful women!).

Political Connections

One story claims that the cocktail was originally dreamed up by a bartender at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada. Don Carlos Orozco had reportedly been tinkering with new drinks when Margarita Henkel, daughter of a German ambassador, stopped in for a drink. He offered her one of his concoctions and since she was the first to try it, he named it after her!

Showgirl Status

One of the biggest names in the production of tequila, Jose Cuervo, states that the cocktail was originally created by a bartender in 1938 who named it after a Mexican showgirl called Rita de la Rosa, though some say it was named after Rita Hayworth (real name Margarita Cansino). Hayworth was supposedly offered the drink, which was later named after her, while working at a theater in Tijuana in the 1940s.

Ties to Texas

Some people claim that it was indeed Margarita Sames, Dallas socialite, who invented this drink; she was said to serve margaritas to her guests at her vacation home in Acapulco; one guest was Tommy Hilton who, of Hilton Hotels, who loved the drink so much that he introduced it to his family’s chain of hotels. This quickly spread the popularity of the drink.

Formerly the “Daisy”?

One story which has a certain historical plausibility to it, is that margaritas began to be consumed during prohibition when North Americans would cross the border to partake in an alcoholic beverage or two; tequila was used as a substitute for liquors like gin, whiskey, and brandy. Some people claim that the margarita is a twist on the “daisy” cocktail as the word margarita means daisy in Spanish!


No matter which version of history you subscribe to, it can easily be agreed that the margarita is one of the most delicious and popular cocktails in the world these days. Ask your waiter at any of the resorts offered by your membership for alternatives to a lime flavored margarita and you will be surprised at the options.