Margaritas, “that frozen concoction that helps you hang on,” per Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” has more fans than you might realize. According to a Nielson CGA study released this year, a staggering 60 percent named the margarita as the U.S. population’s favorite cocktail.

Margarita Perfection – Plain or Fruity

A classic margarita combines tequila, lime juice and an orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Manier. Its garnish appears consistently simple, with a lime wedge and a salted rim. You can serve it shaken, stirred, poured on the rocks or frozen – all popular options.

Through the years, creative bartenders, mixologists and backyard barbecue chefs introduced more margarita variations, from a simple lemon-for-lime substitution to more exotic blends, typically appearing as seasonal fruits mixed into frozen cocktails. Thanks to its close association to the daiquiri, frozen margaritas often include strawberries, peaches, raspberries or melons. A margarita may also boast a dash of liquor, or a ‘floater,” on top, using sangria, fruit liqueur or an extra tequila shot.

The origin of the margarita creates quite a controversy depending on where you are. Stories claim various towns in Mexico, as well as the Texas cities of Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, all poured the first of these lime libations. The U.S. origin most cocktail historians fall back on places that first pour in the border town of El Paso, Texas in July of 1942. However, a 1937 recipe for the Picador – a non-salted version of the margarita – was published in the “Café Royal Cocktail Book” in London, England. Yes, that’s right. Your favorite Cinco de Mayo beverage may be British.

Margaritas – on the rocks, frozen, traditional, with or without fruit – always please a crowd. One whirl of the blender by a bowl of chips and salsa turns your normal evening to an absolute fiesta. Salud!