Margarita: Whoopsie-Daisies or Golden Mishaps of Mixology

Today, one of those super-positive people (I love them!) demonstrated this incredible craft project and used the quote: when God closes a window, a door is opened. A couple of Margarita’s creation myths include this very concept. One, two or three bartenders’ mishaps might have lead to the queen of cocktails.


Cocktail historian David Wondrich tells the story of the tequila Daisy in his book Imbibe! His research points to an early version of the Margarita made in Mexico in the fashion of a “Daisy”.  A Daisy is simply a type of drink which was popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s which consisted of your liquor of choice, orange liqueur, lemon (or lime) juice and a splash of soda. Wondrich found several reports states-side of a delicious drink from Mexico: the Tequila Daisy. What’s “daisy” translate to in Spanish, enquiring minds might ask? Yep, Margarita.


A bit later in the time line, a story of improvisation captures my heart.  Thirsty Jane is all about improv behind the bar. So many drinks, not enough money for all the different types of liquor!  Anyway, one story tells of bartender Pancho Morales who slung shots at Tommy’s Bar in Juarez, Mexico. A woman walked into his bar and asked for a Magnolia. Stumped (and long before the day of instant internet recipes), Morales did what any O’Hanlon would do – faked it. He put together tequila, ice, Cointreau, and fruit juice. Bam! Too bad he didn’t market his product well.  Instead, it’s reported that he moved to the U.S. and became a milkman.  Moral of the story: embrace your mistakes!


Tomorrow, we’ll hit all of the various and sordid other stories before culminating with my personal favorites.


Your recipe of the day:


Cilantro-Jalapeno Margarita

Muddle aggressively a good tablespoon of cilantro in a shaker

Add 3 oz. of silver 100% agave tequila

Add 2 oz. triple sec

Add 1 oz. fresh lime juice

Add 3/4 oz. “Aunt Nikki’s Kitchen’s Jalapeno Syrup”*

Shake and strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.  Makes either 2 modest servings or 1 honking big serving.

*Aunt Nikki’s Kitchen is a brand for home canned goods available during the holiday season in the Kansas City area at local bazaars.  Thirsty Jane actually fought over a can of Aunt Nikki’s pickled beets, and won, of course. I consulted the actual Aunt Nikki who said the Jalapeno Syrup is simply the leftover juices from when she makes candied jalapenos. So, you can use the juice from any candied jalapenos you find at a specialty store or you can try making your own.  I would  try boiling 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and about 5 cut up jalapenos.  After the syrup thickens, let sit overnight and strain out the jalapenos.

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