Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Mexico may be best-known for its avocados, but another of its famed exports is the margarita. The simple combination of tequila, lime juice and triple sec is the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of guacamole. While the flavors of a margarita are easily defined, its origins are muddled. According to one popular story, Carlos “Danny” Herrera created the drink in 1938 at his Tijuana-area restaurant, Rancho La Gloria. But he isn’t alone in his claim as the contender for the title of “margarita pioneer.” It’s also been said that Margarita Sames, a Dallas socialite, whipped up the drink in 1948 while she was vacationing in Acapulco. And as great as the original iteration may be, there are those who prefer to skip the alcohol and go for a “virgin margarita” or mocktail instead.

Margarita Mocktail

Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 4 minutes | Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • ⅓ cup simple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup coarse sugar
  • 1 lime or lemon, cut in half
  • 1 cup of ice
  • ½ lemon-lime seltzer

Directions

  1. Combine the orange juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a measuring cup. Pour into a 12-compartment ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  2. Pour the sugar into a small dish. Rub a cut lime or lemon around the rim of each glass. Dip the rims of two glasses in water; then dip the rims in the sugar to coat.
  3. Add the ice cubes, frozen juice cubes and seltzer in a blender and blend on high until desired consistency is reached. Pour the drink into prepared glasses and serve immediately.

Tip

You can substitute plain seltzer for lemon lime.

Non-Alcoholic Frozen Pineapple Margarita

Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 4 minutes | Serves: 2

Ingredients

  •  1/3 cup coarse sugar
  •  1 cup fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  •  1/4 cup pineapple juice
  •  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  •  2 tablespoons simple syrup or agave syrup
  •  1 cup crushed ice
  •  pineapple slices for garnish

Directions

  1. Add coarse sugar to a shallow bowl. Rub the glass rims with a lime wedge. Dip the rims of two glasses in water; then dip the rims in the sugar to coat.
  2. Place the chopped pineapples, orange juice, lime juice and syrup in a blender, and blend on high. Taste, and, if necessary, add syrup.
  3. Add crushed ice, and blend until desired consistency is reached. Pour the drink into prepared glasses and serve immediately.

You can substitute 1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped, instead of pineapple. Washed, peeled and chopped peaches, nectarines or mangoes also work well. When using strawberries or other fruit, orange juice works best.

Simple Syrup

Total Time: 8 minutes | Prep Time: 1 minute | Serves: 1 1/3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Add water and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower and simmer until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a sterile swing-top jar or bottle. Store in a refrigerator. Lasts for about a month.

Tip

You can flavor your simple syrup with vanilla or cinnamon sticks or flaked coconut.

About the Author

Cheryl S. Grant

Cheryl S. Grant has reported & written for Crain’s, Glamour, Reader's Digest, Cosmo, Brides, Latina, Yoga Journal, MSN, USA Today, Family Circle, Taste of Home, Spa Weekly, You Beauty, Spice Island, and Health Daily. She investigates trends and targets profiles subjects using a combination of deep background research (database, periodicals, preliminary interviews, social media), write and edit compelling stories in a variety of beats including beauty, health, travel, nutrition, diet, law, medicine, advocacy, and entertainment.