Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Curious History Of The Margarita

I love the way the waiter at La Palma says Margarita. The r’s roll off his tongue with all the opulent musicality that is the Spanish tongue.

I would love to order one, but I no longer drink. The waiter seems disappointed when I order a root beer instead.

According to Wikipedia, the most plausible of all stories concerning the birth of the Margarita relates that the Margarita was invented in October, 1941, by bartender Don Carlos Orozco at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico. Don Carlos was eager to impress the daughter of a German ambassador who lived with her husband Roy Parodi near Ensenada in Rancho Hamilton. I assume this lady was fond of tequila. Don Carlos concocted a mixture of equal parts tequila, orange liqueur, and lime, and served it over ice in a glass rimmed with salt. She liked it. Don Carlos paid tribute by naming his new elixir after her.

Rimming the glass with salt was a touch of genius.

Though I must say Margarita does not sound German. So although it is a plausible story, with tenable details and an entirely credible romantic gesture at its core, one must entertain a little doubt as to its authenticity.

Margarita means daisy in Spanish.

Another story has it that a bartender at the Rancho La Gloria Hotel near Tijuana named Carlos Herrera, who went by the nickname Danny, concocted the drink for a Ziegfeld dancer named Marjorie King.

So the history of the Margarita is forever doomed to speculation.

Speculation, as a mental activity, mental beverage let us say, has a salty taste, the clarity of tequila, and the limitless range of the Mexican sky.

The Margarita is a welcome addition to our green and living world. It is cool to the touch, reckless in its effects, and brilliant in a patch of sunlight.

One might sit by oneself in a dark, cool cocktail lounge, drifting into reverie, into the disparate worlds of existence that surround us in vinyl and silk. Here comes the man with a thousand hearts, and there goes a woman into the outside world, where the blue begins, and the skin of the sky brushes the tops of the mountains, hemorrhaging stars as it crawls to the western horizon.

Every day there is a new way to be satisfied. The wind is a vague emotion. But a delight to the senses. Particular in the way it means what it means. I love anything built of wood and stone. But the wind is a Margarita of invisible caprice. Visible only the salt of its voice. Sudden as skin. It is what is pushing in the poem. Words cupped in the imaginary space of a glass. Slice of lemon on the brim of a liquid.

The kind of weird liquid you have to sip to believe.


Satellite Dishes said...

Like so much popular that more than one person claims to have invented the Margarita. One of the most common stories is that Carlos "Danny" Herrera drink developed in his restaurant in Tijuana area

Anonymous said...

I can verify that there was a Margarita Henkel that was married to my father-in-law Roy Parodi in 1941 and they lived on their ranch "Rancho Hamilton" in Baja California during that time. Roy always told us that the Margarita was named after his first wife, Margarita Henkel.