Celebrated by musician Jimmy Buffett in his ode to the "lost shaker of salt," the Margarita is one of America's most popular cocktails. It first gained popularity in the 1940s during World War II. The war made imported whiskey hard to come by so Americans turned to Mexico to fill their cocktail needs. One of the earliest recipes called for tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. But the basic recipe has evolved through the years to include other ingredients such as Grand Marnier.
Moisten the rim of the glass with lime juice. Then turn the glass upside down and dip it in salt to coat the rim. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Cut limes into small wedges or slices, and set aside.
Pour the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and a few ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Shake well, and strain the mixture over ice into the salted glass.
To create a rainbow effect, slowly pour the Grand Marnier over the top of the drink. It should float on top of the concoction rather than dissolving into the drink.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the drink, then place the wedge on the rim of the glass or in the cocktail.
If you don't care for the rainbow effect, mix the Grand Marnier with the other ingredients in the shaker before pouring the drink.