Celebrate National Margarita Day

Toast the history of one of America’s favorite cocktails on February 22.

Today, in honor of National Margarita Day, W.E. asks you to raise a glass filled with your favorite version of the margarita to celebrate the cocktail’s heritage.

The sugary libation dates back to the early 1930s and (by most accounts) hails from Mexico, Tequila’s homeland. However, as with most classic cocktails, legends abound as to who actually invented the drink. The same is true for the identity of the mysterious Margarita, the woman for whom the drink is named.

A basic margarita recipe consists of Tequila (usually blanco, but reposado is another popular variation) mixed with lime juice and triple sec, and often served in a glass with a salted rim. The frozen margarita was added to the canon in 1971, thanks to Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez (41 years later, his original frozen margarita machine now resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History).

Celebrate the margarita by mixing this sunny riff, courtesy of Zolo Grill in Boulder, Colorado, in your home, or make your own favorite varation.

Lemon-Sage Margarita

Courtesy Brian Selbitschka, bar manager, Zolo Grill

Zolo specializes in Southwestern cuisine and cocktails created in an eco-friendly environment. In this recipe, the bright flavors of blanco Tequila and lemon are balanced by earthy sage, which is grown in garden boxes at the restaurant.

5 fresh sage leaves, divided
1½ ounces blanco Tequila (Selbitschka recommends El Tesoro; citrusy El Jimador  would work well too)
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce cocktail-ready agave mix (equal parts agave nectar & hot water, mix until dissolved then chill)
1 piece lemon peel, for garnish

Tear four of the sage leaves in half, and drop into a mixing glass. Add Tequila, lemon juice, agave mix and ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish with a lemon peel rolled up around the remaining sage leaf and skewered with a cocktail pick. Serves 1.

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