Cinco de Mayo may be a Mexican holiday but that doesn't stop Americans from enjoying the festivities. Cinco de Mayo was established to commemorate the Mexican army's victory at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. Most Americans don't know this, probably because the holiday itself has evolved into a Latino culture and heritage celebration for all Americans. And there's no better way to celebrate than with the brainchild of Mexican and American culture combined – the margarita.

Where did margaritas come from?

The origin of the margarita is rumored to trace back to 1938 at a restaurant near Tijuana called Ranco La Gloria. Bartender Carlos "Danny" Herrera supposedly invented the drink for Ziegfeld dancer Marjorie King after she disclosed she was allergic to every liquor but tequila. While that could have become an exclusive event, the drink was delicious, so the news of the margarita spread. The drink made its way to the La Plaza restaurant in San Diego where bartender Albert Hernandez increased its popularity by 1947, eventually making the drink a Mexican-American staple.

Although the margarita was an import of Mexico, its claim to fame was the result of an American bar, making it a great method of celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a contemporary spin. This year, make it the old fashioned way by making your own sour mix and using fresh ingredients instead of the store-bought sour mix that's chock-full of preservatives. Your taste buds and Mother Nature will thank you.

Party batch of sour mix:

You will need:

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • ¾- 1 cup of sugar (to taste)
  • 1 cup of water

To make the sour mix:

  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
  2. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Let sugar mixture cool to room temperature.
  4. Add lemon juice and stir.
  5. Add lime juice and stir.

For a salt or sugar rim

The classic margarita is on the rocks and may have a salt or sugar rim. Salt or sugar rims are not required for this recipe but they are a flavorful complement to the drink itself and a lovely garnish.

You will need:

  • Lime juice
  • Salt or sugar
  • Two small plates
  • One washcloth

Steps:

  1. Cover one small plate with your washcloth and add 1 tsp of lime juice.
  2. Add 1 tsp of salt or sugar to the remaining plate.
  3. Take your serving glass and rub the rim on the washcloth until the rim is moist.
  4. Once the glass rim is moist, use the same method with the salt or sugar. The moisture from the lime juice will allow the salt or sugar to stick to the glass and create a rim.

Making the Margarita

You will need:

  • Serving glasses
  • One standard shaker
  • 1-2 ounces of tequila per margarita
  • ½ to 1 ounce of triple sec or another flavored cordial
  • Fresh made sour mix
  • Orange juice

Steps:

  1. Add salt or sugar to the rim of your serving glass.
  2. Fill your shaker with ice to the brim. Room temperature tequila will melt the ice and you don’t want to end up with a warm margarita!
  3. Add 1-2 ounces of tequila and ½ to 1 ounce of your cordial
  4. Fill the shaker with your fresh made sour mix, leaving 1 ½ inches of room at the top.
  5. Splash the mixture with orange juice.
  6. Cap the shaker and shake hard for at least 10 seconds.
  7. Pour the mixture in your rimmed serving glass.
  8. Enjoy responsibly – don't get too loco!

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