The sad thing is, the original margarita likely wasn’t sweet at all. According to an abridged history on National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate, many claim the title of margarita inventor. One legend gives credit to a Tijuana restaurant owner who mixed a shot of tequila with lime juice and salt for a beautiful showgirl in 1938. Another tips the hat to a Texas socialite who whipped up a tequila-lime concoction in Acapulco in 1948. The most likely version for my money, is that the margarita (which is the Spanish word for daisy) evolved from a cocktail known as – say it with me _ the “daisy,” which was popular in the 1930s and 40s. It was a mix of alcohol, citrus juice and grenadine over ice. The tequila daisy was made with tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and a splash of soda.
See? No sugar or simple syrup in sight! That decades-old recipe is how I like to make my own margaritas, something I’ve taken to doing since it can be a sugar crap shoot ordering one at a restaurant. But in honor of National Margarita Day (today, February 22), we’ve rounded up a list of Valley joints offering some major deals on margaritas that are worth rolling the dice on.*
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
$6 classic margaritas featuring Jose Cuervo Silver and Patron Citronge
Location: 2502 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 122, Phoenix
6166 N. Scottsdale Rd. #601, Scottsdale
$2 for your first marg, $4 for your second
Location: 2950 E. Germann Rd., Chandler
$7 Premier Cru Margarita: Exotico Blanco tequila, house agave syrup, lime and expressed orange peel shaken, on the rocks
Location: 3961 E Camelback Rd., Phoenix
$5 1893 Margarita has reposado tequila, triple sec, elderflower liqueur and sweet-and-sour mix
Location: 546 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix
$5 all frozen margaritas from 4 p.m. to close, including the signature huckleberry margarita
Location: 4800 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
$5 brandy margarita, sangria margarita or frozen margaritas (strawberry, mango and raspberry). Plus, there’s bowling.
Location: 13525 N. Litchfield Rd., Surprise
The best for last? It may be a casual burrito joint but you can’t beat $1 margs. Get a frozen traditional or strawberry margarita for just $1 through Friday.
Location: 6 around the Valley
*To cut the sweetness, here’s a pro-tip: Ask your server beforehand whether the bar uses a sweet and sour mix in its margarita. If they do, ask for a tiny splash of it along with a spritz of soda or seltzer to mellow it all out. And extra lime never hurt anyone.