Best Margaritas in Scottsdale and Some Knowledge
Who invented the Margarita? It is a question as old as time. Or at least about 80 or so years. There are many conflicting reports, and if you have learned anything about us at ScottsdaleRestaurants.com we like to give it to you straight and drop knowledge. So we are going to deep dive into who we think invented it and then tell you some of our favorite places to enjoy a Margarita in Scottsdale. Ready… Break!
One of the earliest accounts is from Carlos “Danny” Herrera. He claims to have invented the Margarita in 1938 at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria, which was located halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito, Mexico. He allegedly created it for a customer who was allergic to many spirits, but not tequila. I am skeptical of this account for two reasons:
A. I don’t trust a man that’s name is Carlos, but he goes by Danny. If my name is Carlos, I am not going by Danny. I am rocking Carlos, all day.
2. I’m not buying that a customer was allergic to everything but tequila. Just not buying it. Maybe they didn’t like other spirits besides tequila. But highly doubt they were allergic. I don’t like onions. So that would be like me saying I am allergic to onions rings, so I invented jalapeno poppers. It is just not realistic to have that as the baseline of your story? Highly sketchy.
Another account is that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames invented it at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. It was reported that Tommy Hilton attended one of Margarita’s parties and then brought the drink back to his Hilton chain of hotels. This account cannot be trusted for two reasons:
1. It involves a Hilton and well, Hilton’s should not be trusted.
B. Jose Cuervo was allegedly already running ad campaigns for the margarita three years earlier, in 1945, with the slogan, “Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.”
Leading us to the last account we are going to talk about today – Which is that the Margarita was invented in 1941, at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, by bartender Don Carlos Orozco. Yes, another Carlos. I am sensing a trend here. However, he went by Don Carlos, which I am totally on board with. Great, strong name.
Anyways, so the story goes that one day ol’ Don Carlos is kicking it behind the bar chatting with the regulars and experimenting with different types of cocktails. Just a normal afternoon, when in walks freaking Margarita Henkel, the daughter of the then German ambassador herself. Flowing sundress, the grace, accent… striking. So Margarita, huge drinker, by the way, bellied up to the bar and asked Don Carlos for a drink recommendation. Don Carlos just so happened to be making a little concoction that consisted of equal parts of tequila, Mexican orange liqueur and lime, shaken and served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass at the time. So he told her about that. Margarita was sold and promptly ordered one. She loved it and asked what it was called. Since he had just created it, and it didn’t have a name yet. Don Carlos decided to name it after Margarita and at that moment the Margarita as we know it was invented. She was flattered and had a couple of her more namesakes that day. Then started to head out and stiff Don Carlos on the bill. So Don Carlos says hey, Margarita, how about a little something, you know, for the effort? She tells him that there won’t be any money, since he used her name for the drink. But she will happily spread the word about his invention. So Don Carlos had that going for him. Which was nice.
I don’t know about you, but that is the most believable story of the three and that last part about her stiffing him was not at all made up.
Now that we think we might know who invented the Margarita. Here are some of our favorite Scottsdale restaurants to belly up to the bar and enjoy a Margarita or two:
Location: Old Town Scottsdale (Inside the Saguaro Hotel)
Marg Recommendation: Jefe Margarita – Don Julio Reposado, Combier, Lime
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
Location: The Borgata (Scottsdale Road north of McDonald)
Marg Recommendation: Blood Orange – Jose Cuervo Silver, Blood Orange, Grand Marnier Float
Pro-Tip – Combo the Blood Orange with the Mango Jalapeno and then put your socks back on.
Location: Old Town Scottsdale (Brown and 2nd Street)
Marg Recommendation: Primarita – El Mayor reposado , organic agave nectar & 3 pressed limes – no sugar, 1/2 the calories, all organic
Location: Old Town Scottsdale (1st Street and Scottsdale Road)
Marg Recommendation: The Local – (AZ’s local ultra-premium tequila), fresh squeezed lime juice, and triple sec
Salt & Lime Modern Mexican Grill
Location: Shea and 94th Street
Marg Recommendation: Shop Special – Sauza Reposadp, triple sec, lime juice, simple syrup + orange juice on the rocks
Sol Mexican Cocina
Location: Greenway-Hayden Loop and Scottsdale Road
Marg Recommendation: Blackberry Ginger Margarita – fresh blackberries and ginger muddled with Partida Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar
Location: Osborn Road and Hayden Road
Marg Recommendation: Patron Prickly Pear Marg – Patron Silver, Cahill Prickly Pear Syrup, house-made sweet-n-sour and lime
If you see any spots or recommendations that we missed or want to share why a Scottsdale restaurant Margarita we listed is your favorite, please let us know in the comments. Until then, head out and enjoy a marg for yourself. Just be sure to pay your bartender.