Nothing says a party like a pitcher of margaritas and some chips and salsa. So, it only makes sense that one of the most popular cocktails in the US and Mexico should have its own day of celebration! National Margarita Day is celebrated every year on February 22nd.
This article will give you a look at the best ways to celebrate National Margarita Day. I will cover upcoming celebrations, as well as offer some of my favorite margarita drinks to enjoy on National Margarita Day.
History of Margaritas and National Margarita Day
Unlike some popular cocktails, the Margarita seems to have a fairly well-known start. The problem, however, is that there are four well-known accounts of how this tequila-based cocktail came to be. Giving a bit of controversy behind the beginning of the margarita.
The first known account of a margarita-type drink comes in 1938, from a bar in Baja California. This version of the margarita was made by the person who is most often referred to as the “father of the margarita”. Carlos “Danny” Herrera mixed this tequila-based drink for famous patron Marjorie King, a dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies. The account tells us that she struggled with other spirits, but tequila did not bother her. So, Herrera mixed a drink of lime, tequila, and orange to satisfy this local celebrity.
The story of Carlos Herrera sounds legit, however, he is not the only bartender to claim to be the original margarita inventor. The next person to lay claim to the cocktail is Francisco “Pancho” Morales. Morales was a bartender in Juarez, Mexico and he claims to have invented the margarita in 1942. Morales’ story seems to be even more legitimate as his account is backed by the Mexican newspaper, Notimex.
If you aren’t on board with the Carlos Herrera or the Francisco Morales version of the story, then perhaps the most thrilling account of the invention of the margarita will convince you. This story comes from Acapulco, Mexico in 1948. Margarita Sames, an American, claims to have invented the original margarita in her vacation home. The drink was served to Tommy Hilton, the hotel magnate, who loved it so much that he demanded that it be added to the drink menu for his chain of hotels.
To shake up the Margarita Sames story, after Hilton started serving the “original ” margarita in his hotels, we introduce Jose Cuervo. Jose Cuervo, the owner of the now-famous tequila brand, disputed Hitlon’s claim to the original margarita. Cuervo insisted that in 1945 he started advertising the margarita as a great drink to make with his tequila.
Whichever story you think is the most convincing, there is one common theme among the four stories; everyone was having fun and enjoying a delicious cocktail.
Today, the margarita is not just lime, orange, and tequila. The drink has become as varied as the brands of tequila you can buy. Perhaps this is why on February 22nd of every year margarita lovers celebrate this simple yet versatile cocktail with a pitcher of their favorite flavor and a side of chips and salsa.
Celebrating National Margarita Day in 2024
National Margarita Day should not be confused with National Tequila Day. Though tequila is the base liquor in margaritas, the best time to celebrate the margarita is on February 22nd of each year.
On National Margarita Day, look to your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants for special flavors, discounted beverages, and even freebies like bottomless chips, salsa, and guacamole.
Some of my favorite margarita specials for National Margarita Day come from some well-known restaurant chains.
- Bahama Breeze – Bahama Breeze restaurant offers classic margaritas for $2.22 for the entire day.
- Chuy’s – This quickly expanding Tex-Mex restaurant chain is gaining popularity for its huge portions and amazing margaritas (which are also huge). Chuy’s celebrates National Margarita Day with specials on all of their regular house margaritas. For an additional $2 on National Margarita Day, you can up-size your Chuy’s margarita to a grande size and take home a commemorative cup.
- Chili’s – On National Margarita Day, Chili’s helps you celebrate by offering all of the “premium” margaritas on their menu for just $5. This is a pretty great deal if you want to enjoy a margarita made with top-shelf liquor. They also offer some specialty margaritas that when ordered come in a take-home glass. All of these margaritas; the Tequila Trifecta, Straw-Eddy Rita, and the Grand Romance Rita, are available only on National Margarita Day and are just $5.
What to Drink on National Margarita Day
Clearly, on National Margarita Day you will be enjoying a margarita. The big question is what kind? With so many varieties and different types of tequila, there is no longer just the basic margarita option to land on.
Sure, you can stick with the basics, but why not try something new on February 22nd when you celebrate National Margarita Day. Today the margarita comes in tons of different flavors including strawberry, mango, pomegranate, raspberry, and many others.
In my recent exploration of new margarita flavors, I stumbled upon two that I think are awesome options for National Margarita Day. They are both a spin on the classic margarita, and you can find them in plenty of restaurants and bars across the country.
I like this option because it is a spin on the highly popular strawberry margarita. Next to the original, the strawberry margarita is the second most popular margarita in the United States.
Many people think this margarita option is too sweet, so to add some flare and cut the sweetness, jalapenos are added to the mix along with fresh strawberries.
If you like your strawberry margarita frozen, add tequila, triple sec, frozen strawberries, and fresh jalapeno to your blender.
This sounds like a strange margarita option, but it is one that is popping up on menus more and more. It is also one of the lighter-flavored margarita options out there.
A prickly pear margarita uses juice from this common cactus to flavor and sweeten the traditional margarita. The result is a light and refreshing margarita. Add a bit of blueberry syrup, and fresh blueberries to your prickly pear margarita for an even tastier treat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is National Margarita Day?
National Margarita Day is the one day of the year when lovers of this tequila-based cocktail pay tribute to their favorite libation. Occurring on February 22nd of each year, National Margarita Day celebrates the simple mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice.
Why Do You Put Salt on the Rim of a Margarita?
Have you ever sat and wondered why your margarita comes with a salted rim? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Salt is used to bring out the flavors of the sweet triple sec and the tart lime juice.
Salt makes the citrus flavors brighter and adds balance to the sweetness of the triple sec. Many people like their margaritas without the salt rim, but if you want the most from your margarita experience, try a bit of salt on your glass.
National Margarita Day is a great time to try a margarita or experiment with a new margarita flavor. Many of your local Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants offer celebratory specials and once-a-year flavors just for National Margarita Day.
So, on February 22nd, head out and find yourself the perfect margarita celebration!