Margarita: The Whodunit of Mixology

Grandma’s house was a treasure trove for my sister and me growing up. The cabinet in the dining room housed art supplies which Grandma and Mom hauled out for us in between marathon sessions of Yatzee.  The long skinny yard provided the perfect field for races, all of which I probably lost being the slow-mo runner of the clan. But, it was the basement that both attracted and terrified us.

Beyond the area where the washing machine, hot water heater and furnace sat, a tiled area lined with home made one by four wooden plank shelves awaited our explorations.  It was a mini library.  Right there in Grandma’s basement! Louis L’Amour paperbacks filled most of the space. Westerns – Yuck!  Then, there was that “secret” section of Uncle Joe’s that we weren’t supposed to visit, and never did! I can only imagine! But the rest of the books were pure gold to me — Agatha Christie mysteries.

Since discovering those books many years ago, a good mystery has always gripped me. I love how at first, there are no suspects.  Then, everyone could have done it.  Finally, all of the pieces fall into place and the “whodunit” is revealed. Sadly, after researching the origins of the Margarita Cocktail for my all-out Margarita month,  I feel like I’ve read an Agatha Christie mystery, but someone has ripped out the last chapter! I have no idea “whodunit” with regard to the invention of the Margarita.

So there.

I’m stuck. Stymied. Baffled. Flummoxed. Stumped. And, yes, at my wit’s end. But, so is everyone else out there writing about my beloved Margarita.

You might be tempted to tune out at this point. What’s the point of reading about the invention of a drink when there is no definitive story?! The point is love, murder, Hollywood starlets, rich Texans, horse racing, and outright messed up mixology comprise the fabric of Margarita’s mysterious past.

Tune in tomorrow for Messed Up Mixology or Don’t Be Afraid To Go Off-Recipe.

Your recipe of the day is a classic Margarita, the Thirsty Jane way (in other words, using my taste testers’ preferred proportions of tequila to triple sec to lime juice).

Juanita’s Rita

1 ½ ounces tequila (silver 100% blue agave preferred)

1 ounce triple sec (Cointreau is my favorite)

¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass (with optional salted rim – Thirsty Jane ALWAYS salts!).

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