How to recognize a high quality Margarita: ingredients, history and variants

How to recognize a high quality Margarita: ingredients, history and variants

The iconic Margarita cocktail is a must during the hot months with its ultra-refreshing and slightly spicy flavour. How to recognize the top quality Margarita? Let’s discover its origin and ingredients together.


It has a special place in  sour cocktails cocktails family and is one of the most popular classics: Margarita is always a must in the world of high mixology with all its (many) variants born over the years. With a day of its own (February 22) to celebrate it, the original Margarita earned a place in the hall of fame of historical cocktails and has a very intriguing background. Let’s discover how to recognise a quality Margarita and learn how to taste it at its best. 

Tommy's Margarita NIO Cocktails 

History of Margarita cocktail

Lovers of mystery, keep strong: the origins of the cocktail Margarita are still an unknown, so much so that in the mixology industry there are several urban legends about its creation. None of these have been confirmed, but some are much more loved and shared by industry experts, starting with the first in order of popularity: it seems that the cocktail Margarita was created in 1938 by a man named Carlos Herrera, a Mexican restaurant owner. The cocktail was named after a wonderful showgirl named Marjorie King. According to this theory, Marjorie was allergic to all alcohol except tequila, which however did not like to drink smooth, and Herrera studied a way to make it as pleasant as possible: he added the Cointreau, a touch of lime and has gently: he added Cointreau, a touch of lime and gently decorated the edge of the glass with salt. The result of this burst of creativity was called Margarita, a word that comes closest to Marjorie in Spanish.


Another popular theory tells that the Margarita was officially invented exactly 10 years later - in 1948 - by a Texan socialite named Margaret Sames (alias: Margarita) during one of her legendary house parties. The goal was to welcome guests with a new and fresh cocktail, so thought to mix his two favourite spirits - Cointreau and tequila - with lime juice and...success was assured, so much so that Tommy Hilton put the cocktail on the menu at the Hilton hotel chain bar. Although Margaret Sames is still convinced that she is the true creator of the cocktail, her story is widely contested: only three years before that famous party, the famous tequila brand Jose Cuervo had already made advertising campaigns based on Margarita cocktails. 

In short, despite the disputed origins of Margarita, one thing is certain: it is a delicious cocktail, refreshing, fresh and tasty characterised by the perfect balance between sweet and sour with a salty final touch. A must for aperitifs and parties that wink at spring and summer.



Tommy's Margarita NIO Cocktails


Margarita cocktail ingredients

The ingredients of Margarita cocktail are little and simple:
  • Quality Tequila
  • Cointreau (or Triple Sec or other orange liqueur to taste, provided it's good quality)
  • lime juice in a shaker full of ice cubes
  • a little salt (or sugar, for those who prefer) on the edge of the glass.
E les jeux sont faits! 


How to recognise quality Margarita cocktail

The flavour is unmistakable and recognising a quality Margarita is simple:
  • it is important to feel the right balance of flavours,
  • tequila should not overdo orange liquor (and vice versa),
  • the ice must be in good relation to the cocktail, without exaggerating so as not to lengthen it excessively,
  • the pinch of salt is the essential touch to enhance the overall flavour, so it must feel.  


Tommy's Margarita NIO Cocktails 

Margarita cocktail

One of the most interesting features of Margarita is that it goes wonderfully with almost all the fruit - and not only that, so the variations to the original recipe can be many, as many as the creativity of those who want to experiment. The result will always be fresh, stimulating, enveloping. These are the most popular Margarita variants - as well as our favourites:


Tommy's Margarita

Let’s start immediately with a variant that NIO Cocktails has made its own. Bright and citrus Tommy's Margarita is modern and has such a well-thought-out flavour balance that it puts the spotlight on high-quality tequila. Created by mixing tequila, agave syrup and organic citric acid for an intense and enveloping flavour, it is one of the most loved variations on the theme.

Frozen Margarita 

This summer cocktail is perfect for hot days, pool parties and barbecues, it is wonderfully fruity, fresh and refreshing. It comes from the mix of tequila, Cointreau (or Triple Sec) and lime juice put in a blender with ice, smoothed until you get a creamy consistency, and then poured into glasses and served with a slice of lime.

Blue Margarita

Captivating and spectacular, with an undeniable 90's touch. Easy to prepare, this variant of the cocktail replaces the orange liqueur with blue curaçao. It is essential to have salt along the edge of the glass. 

Chocolate Margarita

A small treat for the greedy who love indulgent and satisfying flavours. To create this cocktail you mix traditional ingredients with a chocolate liqueur for a rich, creamy and sweet delight. Less summery, but not necessarily relegated to winter alone.

Spiced Cranberry Margarita

A much more winter alternative that combines tequila, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice and a cinnamon infusion syrup. It should be garnished with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick for an immediate heat effect that envelops the palate and warms the heart.

Discover our Tommy's Margarita and choose it for your NIO Cocktails box to taste in your relaxing moments.