Everything You Need to Know About The Classic Tequila Cocktail in National Margarita Month

Discover more about the salty-sour cocktail — then learn how to make one at home.
Jordan Kretchmer
Published on February 17, 2020

in partnership with

Salty, sour, just sweet enough and refreshing; the classic margarita ticks multiple flavour boxes and it's synonymous with fun bars, holidays and sunshine. And now is the perfect time to head to your favourite tequila watering hole to order a salty-rim marg in celebration of National Margarita Month, running throughout February. The key to a moreish margarita is to use high-quality ingredients, like 100-percent agave tequila. We've partnered with Herradura, one of the longest running tequila makers in Mexico, to dive into the detailed history of the humble drink, to bring you fun facts to impress your mates with, and to give you an easy recipe for a Horseshoe Margarita to make at home.


Woman and man holding margarita cocktails


Though simple and short on its ingredients, the margarita's origin story is not so simple or short. There are many varying stories of its conception, such as the tale that it was invented especially for a showgirl in Tijuana, who was allergic to all alcohol except tequila. She didn't like the agave-based spirit straight, so restaurant owner Carlos 'Dann' Herrera whipped her up a lime and tequila-based cocktail and the rest is history. Or perhaps not. Some say the cocktail could have evolved from a now-forgotten 1930s gin or bourbon and citrus cocktail dubbed the Daisy, which eventually morphed into the margarita as we know it (the word 'margarita' is Spanish for 'daisy' so it's convincing). There are also tales of a Texas socialite Margaret 'Margarita' Sames popularising the drink (though recipes for the cocktail were around before she was), and in the 1937 book Café Royal Cocktail Book there's a tequila, Cointreau and lime juice concoction called a Picador, which is also cited as an early margarita. Origins aside, the drink has continued to develop through the decades, from slushie versions, mango, coconut or passionfruit takes, and hundreds of other permutations. We like it traditional — no matter where that original recipe came from.


El Jimador and his work in the fields of blue agave

Abel S García


  • Ever heard of a jimador? They're Mexican farmers who harvest agave plants and are skilled at identifying ripe agave.
  • Agave plants (the core of which is the base for tequila) are a type of succulent.
  • Frozen margaritas were popularised after the creation of a custom machine invented by Mariano Martinez in the 70s. The drink became so in-demand that staff (especially the blenders) couldn't keep up with demand, and so Martinez took an old soft serve machine and tinkered with the frozen recipe until it was the perfect consistency for the machine. The original machine is now part of the collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, in Washington.
  • Casa Herradura (where Herradura tequila is made) is the last tequila-producing Hacienda on the planet.



This classic margarita recipe showcases the smooth, distinctly sweet taste of agave and the subtle oak notes of Herradura tequila. Produced in the small town of Amatitàn in the heart of Mexico's tequila region, Herradura grows millions of blue agave — and has done for 150 years. These are harvested by jimadors, and the piñas (the plant's heart) are cut out and then slowly steamed to convert the starch into sugars. This is then milled in order to extract the sweet agave nectar, before being distilled to make the final premium tequila. But leave this complex and traditional process to the professionals and get ready to enjoy the fruits of Herradura's labour of love with this simple and elegant Horseshoe Margarita recipe.


60ml Herradura
30ml fresh lime juice
15ml agave syrup
Sea salt
Lime slice to garnish


Pour Herradura tequila, lime juice and agave syrup into ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously.
Run a lime wedge around the rim of a glass, and dip the glass in sea salt (optional).
Pour your mix into an ice-filled tumbler. Easy!

Celebrate Margarita Month in Sydney at Assembly, Barrio Cellar, Bella Vista, Bondi Beach Hardware, Cherry Bar, Chin Chin, Chula, Fonda Mexican, Frank & Blanco, Jade Rabbit, JB & Sons, Mejico, New Brighton Hotel, Parkhouse, Steyne Hotel, Taylor's Rooftop, The Unicorn Hotel, Tio's Cerbeceria, Two Wolves, Websters Bar. 
Published on February 17, 2020 by Jordan Kretchmer
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