Collected Margarita Information
Feb 26, 2003 10:50 PST
By George Sinclair
This a copy of my collected notes!
1) Danny Negrete ( invented 1936),
"Garci Crespo hotel", Peubla, Mexico (South-East of Mexico City)
Negrete apparently has an official Mexican government document
recognising him as the creator of the Margarita.
Danny Negrete's Margarita
1 part silver Tequila
1 part triple sec (Cointreau)
1 part fresh lime juice
Shake with ice, then strain over crushed ice, in a whisky glass. The
glass should be given a salt rim.
The most circulated origin story of Negrete’s Margarita is a), though b)
is the official Negrete Family version of events.
a) Invented the Margarita in honour of his girlfriend, who liked salt in
all her drinks.
b) Invented the Margarita for his sister-in-law, Margarita, as a wedding
Danny Negrete went on to work at various other places in Mexico, one of
which is Agua Caliente, where there is a race track that claims to be
the birthplace of the Margarita.
2) Francisco 'Pancho' Morales (Invented: 4th of July, 1942),
Died January 3rd 1997, aged 78. (ministry of tequila)
'Tommy's Place', Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (on the North border with US,
near El Paso)
'Pancho' is credited as the creator of the Margarita, by the Official
Mexican News agency 'Notimex' (notimex.com.mx).
“Pancho was a teacher in the Juarez bartenders’ school, the drink was
soon well-known all over the state of Chihuahua.” (“The Book of Tequila-
A Complete Guide, by Bob Emmons).
A customer asked for a Magnolia, which 'Pancho' didn't know, except that
it had Cointreau.
Francisco ”Pancho” Morales’ Margarita
2 parts silver Tequila
1 part Triple Sec
1 parts fresh lime juice
Shake with crushed ice, then strain into a cocktail glass, which has
been given a Salt rim.
3) Carlos ”Danny” Herrera (invented: 1947– 48),
died, May 14th 1992, aged 90 (The Houston Chronicle)
Invented the Margarita in honour of Marjorie 'Margarita' King, a show
Marjorie King died, January 3rd 1998, aged 91 (LA Times)
"Rancho La Gloria", Rosarito Beach, Mexico (North west coast of Mexico)
“Rancho La Gloria”, located on the road between Tijuana and Rosarito
Beach, close to the Caliente Racetrack. (“The Book of Tequila- A
Complete Guide, by Bob Emmons).
Note:The Caliente Racetrack claims that it is the birthplace of the
Margarita, Danny Negrete also started working there in 1944.
Carlos "Danny" Herrera's Margarita
3 parts silver Tequila
2 parts Cointreau
1 part fresh lime juice
Shake with crushed ice, then strain into a cocktail glass, that is
rimmed with salt.
4) Enrique Bastante Gutierez (Invented: 1940’s)
Former World Cocktail Champion (?)
Invented the Margarita for Rita Hayworth
Hayworth’s Real name: Margarita Carmen Cansino,
born: 17th October 1918, Died: 14th May 1987.
no specific cocktail recipe found.
Margarita Cansino had, at one point, worked at the Agua Caliente
Racetrack (early 1930’s)
5) Margaret Sames (Invented: December 1948),
Acapulco, Mexico (south west coast)
3 parts silver Tequila
1 part Cointreau
1 part fresh lime juice
Shake with cubed ice, then strain into salt-rimmed champagne saucer.
GS: The Sames story is a little strange, some of the versions of the
story lead me to believe she was copying a drink she had seen somewhere
else. But she, herself, claimed she invented it.
2:1:1=6:3:3 (50% tequila, 25% cointreau, 25% fresh lime juice).
3:2:1=6:4:2 (50% tequila, double as much cointreau than fresh lime
3:1:1=6:2:2 (60% tequila, 20% cointreau, 20% fresh lime juice).
1:1:1=6:6:6 (33% tequila, 33% cointreau, 33% fresh lime juice).
2:1:2=6:3:6 (40% tequila, 20% cointreau, 40% fresh lime juice
GS: there is little difference between the 6:4:2 & 6:3:3, a mere shift
of 1 (from lime juice to cointreau)
GS: I feel it is safe to assume that it was invented in Mexico, using
mexican limes, cointreau and tequila.
GS: I find it curious that each inventor of the Margarita, appears to
have invented a different drink proportionally.
Debating It (Texas Monthly, August 1995):
Who created the margarita, and when? It would be easier to identify the
missing link between man and ape. So many margarita candidates have been
put forward and so little hard evidence has been offered that the origin
of the now-ubiquitous drink will probably never be known.
The most frequently told version is that the margarita was first made in
the forties by an unnamed bartender in Palm Springs, California, to
mimic—but soften—the classic combination of a shot of tequila
accompanied by a lick of salt and a bite of lime.
A favorite story among Texans is that a bartender named Pancho Morales
invented the margarita on July 4, 1942, at a Juárez bar named Tommy's
Place ("The Man Who Invented the Margarita," TM, October 1974).
Supposedly, it all began when a woman requested a Magnolia (brandy,
Cointreau, and an egg yolk topped with champagne). Morales was a little
fuzzy on the recipe, so he improvised—and his ersatz creation was a big
Another popular theory cites society hostess Margarita Sames (formerly
of Dallas, now of San Antonio), who claims to have concocted the drink
for Christmas houseguests at her Acapulco hacienda in 1948 ("Barroom
Brawl," TM, July 1991).
But of all the people said to be associated with the margarita, the one
who deserves the most credit is Vern Underwood, who first imported Jose
Cuervo tequila into the U.S. in 1945 and promulgated a great advertising
slogan: "Margarita: It's more than a girl's name."
GS: Other sources quoted the 1950’s as the time of the advertising
slogan ”Margarita: it’s…”, if it is proved to be 1945, then it
completely discredits Sames claim to the Margarita.
SAN DIEGO Carlos "Danny" Herrera was always a little vague about the
exact date he mixed a jigger of white tequila with lemon juice and
triple sec, creating a smooth and salty concoction he named "margarita."
It would have been October or November of 1947 or 1948, he told friends.
And then he would add: "Three things happen to you when you get old. You
lose your memory, and I can't recall the other two."
Mr. Herrera died here in San Diego of natural causes at the age of 90.
He had moved here five years ago to be with his daughter, Gloria
He was born in Mexico City in 1901 and worked his way across Mexico as a
young man, finally settling in Tijuana in 1929. He built a home seven
miles south of Tijuana in what was then wide open land he and his wife
called "La Gloria," after his daughter.
The couple added a bar in the home, the only one for miles, to entertain
the many friends who dropped in. Traffic was so heavy that the couple
decided to operate the bar as a business.
Their home became a restaurant in 1935, offering Mexican cuisine, mixed
drinks, beer and wine. Within a few years, the couple decided to add 10
motel rooms next to the restaurant. Then came a swimming pool. Then came
a booming clientele from across the border including Hollywood stars.
Called Rancho La Gloria, it was midway on the old road that connected
Tijuana with Rosarito Beach.
Among the bar's clientele was a showgirl and sometime actress who called
herself Marjorie King. She was allergic to hard liquor, except for
tequila, but she didn't like to drink it straight or even with a lemon
Mr. Herrera started experimenting and came up with a concoction that was
three parts white tequila, two parts Cointreau and one part fresh lemon
juice. He added shaved ice and blended the mixture with a hand shaker.
He called the drink "margarita," after the actress. He dipped a small,
short-stemmed glass in lemon juice, twirled the rim in a bowl of rock
salt and poured in the liquid.
He later bragged that she loved the drink from the first moment it
touched her lips. So did a lot of other people.
The drink made its way to a small restaurant in San Diego. Bartender Al
Hernandez mixed the concoction for the first time in the United States.
He did some more experimenting with different blends of juices and
By the mid-1950s, margaritas were served in almost every San Diego bar,
and their popularity eventually spread across the country.
Mr. Herrera and his first wife were divorced in 1940. He married a
Coronado socialite, the late LaVenda Van Ness, in 1950, and the couple
built a large home in La Gloria.
During the next 30 years the couple entertained many Hollywood
personalities, including Walt Disney, Mickey Rooney and Vincent Price.
His wife died in 1989.
Besides his daughter, Mr. Herrera is survived by four grandchildren and
THE TEQUILA MARGARITA, IT'S HISTORY AND AN ORIGINAL RECIPE
The origin of the Margarita is problematical. It has been attributed to
the Garcia Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Bertita’s Bar in Taxco, a San Antonio
party girl in Alcapulco, the Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, and even
places in Los Angeles and San Diego. Wherever it was invented, it had
gained popularity by the 1930’s in both Mexico and the United States. My
parents spoke of enjoying Margaritas in the ‘30s in Guaymas. The Hussong
family, who have owned Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Baja California,
since the 1860’s, did not claim to have invented the Margarita, but they
have served them since the 30’s and claimed their recipe to be as
original as exists. Hussong’s was a favorite watering hole of the
fishing and hunting crowd out of Southern California in the 40’s and
50’s, and I had my first taste of a Margarita there around 1948 or 49.
Before he died in the early 1960’s, Dick Hussong gave me their origional
Margarita recipe, seldom used by then for tourists, and I have preserved
it. Hussong’s has changed over the years, and is now one hell of a
fall-down-on-your-face tourist and surfer bar, but sadly, with
tourist-surfer Margaritas. Here, though, is Dick Hussong’s recipe as he
gave it to me:
2 oz. Cuervo Gold Tequila
1 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice
7/8 oz. Mexican Controy Liqueur
Salt a cold champagne glass by wiping a cut lime around the rim and
dipping into coarse salt to the depth of 1/8th inch. Put the ingredients
into a shaker with an abundance of cold, fresh ice. Cap the shaker and
shake the Margarita well. Strain into the prepared glass. French
Contreau or even Triple Sec may be substituted for the Controy and any
good Anejo Tequila will do.
Ave. Ruiz #13n
Old Town Ensenada
Agua Caliente Race Track:
Hipodromo Caliente (Race track)
Blvd. Agua Caliente y Tapachula
Tel: (66) 86 – 39 – 58 or (619) 231- 1910
”I interviewed Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the
purported inventor of the Margarita. Salvador says there are many
fallacious stories about the origin of the Margarita, such as the one
above, but that " this is the true story." The family story goes that
Danny opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David.
The day before his brother's marriage, Daniel presented the Margarita as
a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law. Danny combined
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. In perusing the internet, Danny's Negrete is the earliest name
credited with creating the worlds most popular cocktail. Salvador
describes his father as a quiet "Caballero" who was only angered by one
thing. His ire was stirred by the abortions created by blending
strawberries, bananas, pinas and other fruits into his beautiful
Margarita. He asks that they call these concoctions by some other
women's name and let his sister-in-law have her unblemished prize. Danny
was born in Mexico City in 1911. In Mexico City, he started what may
have been the first bar in Mexico for respectable women. In 1944 he
moved to Tijuana and worked as a bartender at Agua Caliente and
continued to internationalize his cocktail. He came to Ensenada in 1950
and worked at the Riviera and the San Nicolas Hotel. Salvador learned
from his father that the qualities of a good bartender are intelligence,
good shoes and dress, clean fingernails and being bilingual. Danny
Negrete is world famous and articles about him have appeared in the New
York Times and Los Angeles Times. He was invited by many mayors to their
cities and was invited to Europe and Hawaii. Today, we pay tribute to
the many contributions Mr. Negrete has added to the history, allure, and
charm of Mexico. Though there are many contenders, Danny Negrete is most
likely to be dubbed "The Father of the First Margarita." Danny was a
homeboy until his death five years ago. I think the dude deserves a
statue on Mateos.”
Vague Address: Grand Chaparral, Avenida Reforma, Ensenada
by Robert Plotkin ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
The margarita has enjoyed far more than the standard 15 minutes of fame.
In fact, after climbing to the forefront of mainstream popularity 20
years ago, the drink continues to rank among America's favorite
cocktails. Tequila shortage notwithstanding, the rage continues.
Did you ever stop and ask yourself how a drink became a worldwide
phenomenon? We wondered that about the margarita, and, after some
interesting detective work, we discovered a good story.
San Antonio native Margarita Sames was a self-described socialite who,
along with her husband Bill, owned a villa near the Flamingo Hotel in
Acapulco, Mexico. The year was 1948 and times were good. The war had
ended three years before and the country was experiencing a prolonged
period of prosperity. For the rich and famous, Acapulco was an
GS: Some stories say that Margarita Sames experimented with cocktails at
the Flamingo’s bar?
The Sames lived in Acapulco for part of the year. There they developed a
close circle of friends, affectionately dubbed the "team." The cadre
consisted of Fred MacMurray, Lana Turner, Nick Hilton, next-door
neighbor John Wayne, Joseph Drown, owner of the Hotel Bel-Air, and
restaurateur Shelton McHenrie, owner of the Tail o' the Cock restaurant
in Los Angeles.
This group of influential, high-profile friends was practically
inseparable. They reveled in the festive, laid-back attitude of
Acapulco, spending their nights playing by the pool and downing a
considerable number of cocktails. Lunch was typically served somewhere
Cocktail On a Bet
Margarita Sames had an effervescent personality and a disarming smile.
She was a social magnet and the unofficial leader of the group. The
Sames house was the setting for many wild parties, raucous affairs that
sometimes lasted days on end.
Shortly before Christmas of '48, Margarita Sames was challenged by
several ranking members of the team to devise a new and exciting
cocktail, something to break up their regimen of beer and Bloody Marys.
Her initial attempts were loudly and unanimously rejected. After each
round of successively worse drinks, her friends - this band of movie
stars and distinguished businessmen - expressed their displeasure by
tossing her in the pool.
Undaunted, a soaking wet Margarita Sames went back to work. She mixed
together tequila and Cointreau with fresh lime juice. Having grown up in
France, Sames was familiar with Cointreau, and after spending years
vacationing in Mexico, she had developed an appreciation for Mexico's
native spirit, tequila.
She tried several different formulations; however, some came out too
sweet, some not sweet enough. Then she hit on what she thought was the
perfect blend: one part Cointreau, three parts tequila and one part lime
juice. Knowing that most people drank tequila preceded by a lick of
salt, she chose to garnish her cocktail with a rim of coarse salt.
She brought out a tray of Champagne glasses brimming with her new
creation. Her friends sipped heartily and the approval was overwhelming.
They proclaimed it a triumph. It quickly became the group's signature
cocktail, the main course and featured attraction during Christmas and
New Year's Eve.
Sames credits the proliferation of the drink to her friends, John Wayne,
Fred MacMurray and Lana Turner. Her esteemed emissaries would go to
restaurants and bars, tell the bartenders about the margarita and order
a few rounds. Soon it was a specialty at the Acapulco Airport. Nicky
Hilton began promoting the cocktail at the bars in the popular Acapulco
Hilton, as did Joe Drown at the Hotel Bel-Aire.
One account has the margarita originating at the fashionable Tail o' the
Cock restaurant near Los Angeles. Owned by team member and Acapulco
veteran Shelton McHenrie, the Tail o' the Cock restaurant may likely
have been where many Americans first sampled Margarita's drink.
In the years following, Margarita Sames remained a socialite in the
international set. She continued serving her cocktail to her growing
host of friends. She spent many afternoons sipping margaritas with
Eleanor Roosevelt, and the legendary baseball manager John McGraw was a
lifelong friend of the Sames and the Margarita.
Inventor of Margarita Cocktail Dies
7:11am EST, 1/3/97 EL PASO, Texas - The man widely credited with
inventing the margarita, a smooth tequila-based cocktail renowned for
its potent kick, was buried after dying of a stroke. He was 78.
Family members said Francisco "Pancho" Morales died on Monday in the
southwest Texas border city of El Paso and was buried on Thursday
It was just across the border in Ciudad Juarez where Morales reportedly
poured the world's first margarita on July 4, 1942.
Legend has it he was working in Tommy's Bar when a woman came in and
asked for a drink he had not heard of. Feigning expertise, he whipped up
a cocktail of tequila, cointreau and lime juice.
The woman loved it and asked Morales what the drink was called. The rest
Several people have proclaimed themselves the inventor of the margarita
over the years, although many experts and Mexico's official news agency
Notimex said Morales had the strongest claim to fame.
His son, Gabriel Morales, said on Thursday his father never patented the
drink and made no money from it. He later emigrated to the United States
and worked as a milkman for 25 years before retiring in 1981.
But the former barman never forgot how to make and shake a good
cocktail. "Once in a while, someone would come over to see how he would
make them and he'd do one for them," Gabriel Morales told Reuters.
Morales said his father never boasted about his invention, or even
particularly liked the drink. "He was always more proud of being a
milkman, and of being a good father, husband and grandfather."
The most common recipe for a margarita is to mix two ounces of tequila,
1/2 ounce of triple sec, and the juice of half a lime with salt. The
drink is then shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass rimmed
with lime and salt.
Response to E-mail, from Tom Cannon; PocoTequila.com:
“my wife and I were just in Juarez, Mexico last Saturday and we visited
Kentucky Club, a bar that has been in operation since 1920. The
bartender there is a man by the name Lorenzo, who has worked at
this club for nearly 50 years and was evidently trained by one
Francisco 'Pancho' Morales who claimed to have invented the
Margarita in 1942. Park Kerr the author "The El Paso Chile Company
- Margarita Cookbook" recommended that we stand at the bar and
order a Margarita from Lorenzo and have him relate his story to us.
I agree with a statement by Mr. Kerr, "If the Margarita wasn't invented
here it should have been." The debate I'm sure will continue as to
the exact origins of the Margarita but we watched Lorenzo make ours
by squeezing what looked like 2 fresh limons directly into a shaker,
with 2 shots blanco tequila, and 1 shot triple sec and crushed ice.
Shook it up well and served it "up" into salt rimmed glasses. It's hard
to imagine improving on the simple beauty of this concoction and I
couldn't help imagine just how many of these great cocktails Lorenzo
had made over his many years at the Kentucky Club.
Always fresh lime or lemon juice. ( the above mentioned author
Al Lucero is also the owner of "Maria's", a great Mexican restaurant in
Santa Fe, NM that has a huge selection of premium tequila and they
make all of their Margaritas with lemon juice because the limes we
normally get here in the States can be somewhat bitter.) Limons are
Mexican limes that are much like "Key Limes" and are great if you can
There are those that say the salt distracts from the flavors of
the tequila and lime. Personally, I feel a Margarita just wouldn't be a
Margarita without the salt.
I would also never make or order a frozen Margarita. They should
be shaken and served "on the rocks" or "up".
One of the many creation myths about the margarita is that it was
invented in Juárez in 1942 by bartender Francisco Morales. He has been
gone many years, but you can still have a perfect margarita there
courtesy of Lorenzo Hernandez, who has been making them at the Kentucky
Club, just across the international bridge on Avenida Juárez, for 53
years. As Hernandez will tell you, many different tequilas and orange
liqueurs make excellent margaritas. But the single most important
ingredient in a top-notch margarita is the juice of Mexican limes. True,
Mexican limes are small and they have a lot of annoying seeds. But
margaritas just don't taste right without them.
Response to E-mail, from Julio Bermejo:
I do not like putting salt on a margarita for several reasons. As you
know salt is a big flavor enhancer. At Tommy's we want one's
margaritas to taste of mainly 2 things, which in our case happen to be
components in our margaritas after ice: 100% agave tequila and fresh
hand squeezed lime juice. Our barmen actually taste our clients
margies before they are served and we never taste them with salt.; the
properly made margarita does not need it. However if a client loves
has never been to Tommy's I will usually salt only half the glass to
try to give that client the opportunity to try the drink the way we
made it. Furthermore if at another bar or restaurant and one receives
poor margarita well if you put enough salt on it will become more
palatable. If you ever have the chance to come to Tommy's and you
order an El Tesoro Reposado margarita , it will taste of El Tesoro Repo
fresh lime not of salt.
Tommy's is regarded as serving the best margaritas in the Bay Area by
City Search, Bay Guardian , SF Weekly, SF Chronicle. The wall Street
Journal calls us "the epicenter of tequila in the US." CNN calls us
"ground zero of tequila in the US." I have been featured in numerous
magazines, television shows and radio programs. I can be more speciic
if you like,. I can email you a bio with credits if you desire.
We only use fresh limes because the acid for the drink must be in the
freshest state possible. We buy our limes from a purveyor who does not
refrigerate his limes. As limes are very delicate we do not want them
being in an environment lower than 50 degrees F. Furthermore we use a
handpress and squeeze once. We want juice not pulp . Also we cut the
nibs or the ends of the limes which gives un more surface area on
which to apply pressure for the squeezer and minimizes the oil from the
of the lime.
At Tommy's we squeeze approximately 35-40 cases of limes of 175 count
Embarassingly I am not a margarita historian. There are far too many
people who claim to have invented the cocktail. I do believe the most
important information pertaining to this refer to the 2 principle
ingredients: 100% agave tequila and lime. One's choice of triple sec /
sweetener is relative and personal. Unfortunately too many times
ingredients are determined by price. The well or rail or house pouring
brand of tequila at tommy's is Herradura.
Dr. William K. Lombardo (pocolocolombardo.com),
Mark Cannon (pocotequila.com),
Julio Bermejo (tommystequila.com)
I personally believe that Danny Negrete is the inventor of the
Margarita, due to his excessive travelling/ evangelising of the