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National Margarita Day

I’m not one for Hallmark holidays. I observe only the time-honored classics; those steeped in tradition and significance. Today is one such occasion: it’s National Margarita Day! Here’s what I’ll be putting in my cocktail shaker momentarily:

The Original

Whether this is true or not, I have no idea, but the most prevalent explanation of this heavenly drink’s origin revolves around a Dallas socialite named Margarita Sames. As the story goes, Margarita frequently invited guests to Acapulco for ragers at her vacation home. On a few of these nights in the late ’40s, she served up her own cocktail made from the locally available Tequila; her favorite liqueur, Cointreau; and fresh lime juice. Obviously it was delicious, and an attendee named John Wayne spread the word.

2 oz. Tequila Blanco (or 1 ¾ oz Reposado or Añejo for a more robust cocktail)

1 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Shake over plenty of ice and serve on the rocks in a salt-rimmed glass.

The Original con Sage

No reason to spin your wheels over new and creative Margs. This is one of those cocktails where the simple addition of a couple leaves makes it a whole new animal – if animals found a way to taste as good as liquor. Don’t stop with sage – though it’s my favorite – and try mint or cilantro.

2 oz. Blanco Tequila

1 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

2-4 Sage Leaves

Muddle the sage in the lime juice then add the other ingredients, shake with plenty of ice, serve up and garnish with another sage leaf.

Chris’s Own Happy-Lady Maker

I came up with this modified Margarita for a Greek restaurant’s cocktail list many years ago, and they named it something über-cheesy like a Santorini Sea. I’ve never called it by that name again, but I have always kept this recipe in my back pocket because, well, women dig it. It also works equally well with tequila skeptics that have “had a bad experience.” There’s some mango and a little agave nectar, but with this added sweetness comes some bitter balance in the way of Cynar, an Amaro made with artichokes.

1 ½ oz. Añejo Tequila

1 oz. Combier (in lieu of Cointreau)

¾ oz. Lime juice

½ oz. Cynar

½ of a ripe mango, diced

A tiny drizzle of Agave nectar

Muddle the mango in the Cynar, then add the other ingredients, shake with plenty of ice, strain over rocks and garnish with a lime wheel.

Fine Print

For best results use fresh lime juice. Lord help you if you don’t use fresh lime juice. The quantities of lime juice in these recipes are based on Persian limes (the thick-skinned variety most prevalent in the U.S.), so if you’re using a Key lime, use ¾ of the suggested quantity. Only use 100 percent Agave-based Tequila. Advil help you if you don’t use 100 percent Agave-based Tequila.

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisHallowell.