Despite the common belief that the margarita is a Mexican cocktail, there is no solid proof who “invented” this wildly popular drink.
The most likely (and least know) explanation, however, is that the Margarita is merely a popular American drink, the Daisy, remade with tequila instead of brandy, which became popular during Prohibition as people drifted over the border for alcohol.
There is an account from 1936 of Iowa newspaper editor James Graham finding such a cocktail in Tijuana, years before any of the other Margarita “creation myths”.
Given this historical reference (and the fact that “Margarita” is Spanish for Daisy), it seems likely that the modern-day drink is merely a perfected Tequila Daisy”
While I’m not usually a fan of sweet drinks, this is one that I love, and here’s my favorite version of it!
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 lime wedge
1 cup watermelon puree (*see note)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup premium 100 percent agave tequila
1 cup ice
In a medium saucepan, combine the lime zest, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature and strain out the zest. (Can be made in advance; keep in a covered container in the refrigerator.)
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Chill a margarita glass in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place the coarse salt in a shallow dish or saucer. Wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge and dip the glass into the salt, coating the top edge.
In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 tablespoons of the cooled lime syrup with the watermelon puree, lime juice, tequila, and ice. Shake until frothy and well chilled, at least 1 minute. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge.
*Note: To make the watermelon puree, remove seeds from fresh watermelon and cut into large chunks. Place in your Ninja blender and process until smooth.