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La Margarita

The origin of the Margarita is problematical. Margaritas have been attributed to the Garcia Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Bertita�s Bar in Taxco, a San Antonio party girl in Alcapulco, the Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, and even places in Los Angeles and San Diego. Wherever Margaritas were invented, they had gained popularity by the 1930�s in both Mexico and the United States. My dad, Laurl Moffitt M. D., was the doctor in Benson, Arizona at the time, and spoke of enjoying Margaritas in the mid-1930s in the northern Mexican port of Guaymas, in Sonora, Mexico.

The Hussong family, who we knew well when I was a kid, has owned Hussong�s Cantina in Ensenada, Baja California, since the 1860�s. They did not claim to have invented the Margarita, but they have served Margaritas since the 1930�s and did claim their Margarita recipe to be the same as the original. Hussong�s was a favorite watering hole of the fishing and hunting crowd in the 40�s and 50�s, we hung out there, and I had my first taste of a Margarita there around nineteen forty six or forty seven. Sometime before he died in the early 1960�s, Dick Hussong gave me their family recipe for Margaritas, seldom used by then for tourists, and I have preserved it.

Hussong�s has changed even more over the last few decades, and is now a fall-down-on-your-face tourist and surfer bar with tourist-surfer Margaritas. Here, though, is the original Hussong�s recipe for Margaritas as Dick Hussong gave it to me.

Margarita de Hussong�s Cantina, Ensenada, BC, Mexico.

  • 2 oz. Cuervo Gold Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 7/8 oz. Mexican Controy Liqueur

Salt a cold champagne glass by wiping a cut lime around the rim and dipping into coarse salt to the depth of 1/8th inch. Shake the Margarita well with an abundance of cold, fresh ice and strain into the prepared glass. French Contreau or even Triple Sec may be substituted for the Controy and any good Anejo Tequila will do.

Bruce Moffitt, 1997

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