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Monday, February 22, 2010 03:03PM

Daily TWiP – National Margarita Day

Week in Preview

Welcome to Daily TWiP, your daily dose of all the holidays, historical observances, etc., we couldn’t cram into The Week in Preview.

The margarita is the perfect alcoholic complement to Mexican and American Southwestern cuisine, but the beverage’s appeal isn’t restricted to specialty restaurants – the margarita is actually the most popular tequila-based cocktail in the U.S. It’s no wonder, then, that today we lift our glasses in celebration of National Margarita Day.

According to the International Bartenders Association’s official recipe, a margarita consists of tequila, Triple Sec (an orange-flavored liqueur), and fresh lime or lemon juice mixed in a 7:4:3 ratio. This comes out to 50% tequila, 29% Triple Sec, and 21% fresh lime or lemon juice.

A margarita can be served shaken (not stirred) with ice, on the rocks (or poured over ice), or straight (no ice). You can also order a frozen margarita, which is blended with crushed ice. No matter how your margarita is poured, however, it will usually be served with salt or sugar on the rim of the glass and a wedge of lime or lemon.

There are numerous variations on the standard margarita recipe. Just about any fruit can be successfully mixed into a margarita, from watermelon to pomegranate to apple.

The origins of this sweetly sour beverage are, shall we say, disputed. Numerous individuals and establishments have claimed credit for mixing the first margarita, making it impossible to know for certain who created the drink.

One of our favorite “birth of the margarita” stories is from 1938 and gives the credit to Danny Herrera, a bartender at the Riviera del Pacifico Hotel and Casino in Ensenada, Mexico.

American actress Marjorie King supposedly frequented the hotel bar and Herrera fell head over heels in love with her. The only alcohol King could stomach was tequila and she wasn’t particularly fond of drinking it straight.

Herrera set about mixing tequila with other ingredients until he hit upon a combination that pleased King’s palate. Talk about a labor of love. The beverage she favored was named in her honor and continues to tantalize taste buds to this very day. That is, providing you subscribe to this particular version of the story.

As with National Drink Wine Day last week, we encourage you to celebrate safely and responsibly. We also ask that you celebrate fairly. If your friend was your designated driver for National Drink Wine Day, it’s only fair that you drive for them today. Next year, you can switch.

Daily TWiP appears Monday through Friday courtesy of The Week in Preview. Check out The Week in Preview online in our Columnists section or read it in print on Mondays in our Nashua and Region section.

Keep track of Daily TWiP, The Week in Preview, Tete-a-tete, and Teresa’s general ramblings at http://twitter.com/TeresaInPreview.

– Teresa Santoski