NBC News — The ubiquitous margarita is like a party in your mouth, and today we raise a glass to this cocktail. A traditional margarita features tequila, orange liqueur like Cointreau or triple sec, lime juice, and the optional salt rim, served either frozen or on the rocks.
There are many stories surrounding the origin of the margarita. Some say that it was created in the 1940s for the jazz singer Peggy Lee at the famous Balinese Room, a casino-club in Galveston, Texas. Others give credit to Mexican bartender Don Carlos Orozco, who, as legend has it, played around with some ingredients, liked it, and named the drink after Margarita Henkel, the first person to taste it.
No matter how the margarita first came to be, it’s now glorified in every Mexican restaurant, with one sip sending our palates on a virtual beach vacation (“Margaritaville, anyone?). Although there are cheap and easy versions (many bars substitute sour mix for fresh lime juice), bartenders have created haute recipes for the cocktail using innovative ingredients like prickly pear, pomegranate, ginger, hibiscus and chili peppers.