No one knows how the margarita came into being. Did Texas socialite Margarita Sames discover the magic of mixing tequila, lime juice and Cointreau? Or was the bartenders in Juarez, Tijuana or Rosarita Beach, Mexico?
Really, who cares? It’s here now and is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the country.
You can celebrate this tasty, refreshing beverage anytime, but if you need an excuse, why not knock one back on National Margarita Day?
“We got slammed on National Margarita Day last year,” says Downtown Matador’s bar manager Ty Hollister. (Want to mark another faux holiday on your calendar? National Tequila Day is Monday, July 24.)
Voted Best Margarita in the Statesman’s 2016 Best of Treasure Valley, Matador is celebrating National Margarita Day with a $9 Red Hot Chili Margarita. It’s made with a syrup of seven hot peppers, including habañero and sorano, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and salt, and then mixed with your favorite tequila.
Hollister recommends the Avion Silver, although you can order your favorite from Matador’s nearly 100 tequilas.
Matador serves between 500 and 600 margaritas on a regular Friday night. Hollister and crew only make their margaritas on the rocks. The Meridian Matador has a frozen margarita machine that dispenses fruit-flavored margaritas like a slushy.
You can find two-for-one margaritas from 4 p.m. to close today at Cafe Olé, the spot Statesman readers picked for the Best Margarita multiple years. Cafe Ole and Barbacoa both earned runners-up honors last year.
Bartenders at Cafe Olé mix up a fresh batch of the restaurant’s secret recipe, says Parish Gibbons, who’s been mixing margs up for the past year at Cafe Olé at Boise Towne Square.
“It’s keeping all the ingredients in balance that’s the secret to a good margarita,” Gibbons says.
Frozen or on the rocks? Gibbons says he serves about 50/50 at his bar.
Make it at home
Can’t get out this evening? Learn how to make the ultimate margarita from Kevin Hopper, who writes a regular cocktail column for the Statesman. Here’s his recipe, plus you can watch him make it in this video. Hopper is the bar manager at Capitol Bar, 6100 W. State St., in Boise.
Capitol Bar’s margarita
1 1/2 ounces premium tequila
3/4 ounces Cointreau
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
Method: Fill mixing glass with first four ingredients. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chile-salt-rimmed, old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Squeeze fresh orange juice over top. Garnish with orange peel.
About National Margarita Day
A guy named Todd McCalla founded National Margarita Day to spread his love for margaritas around the world. Learn more at nationalmargaritaday.com. McCalla also started National Drink Wine Day, which is Feb. 18. If you missed it, don’t worry. You can still drink wine!