National Margarita Day

Celebrate National Margarita Day by learning about the history of the most popular cocktail in the U.S., plus get access to interesting margarita stats from the Overproof database.

If you are looking for some respite from the winter blues, you’ll be happy to learn it’s almost time to celebrate National Margarita Day 2023. This popular national holiday lands on February 22nd and provides an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the long history and cultural impact of the margarita cocktail. 

The History of the Margarita on National Margarita Day

The exact origin of the margarita is shrouded in some mystery. Most of the mainstream media claim that the cocktail first appeared in Jose Cuervo ads around 1945 with the slogan, “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name.” The term margarita was first listed in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1965 with the definition, “a cocktail made with tequila and citrus fruit.” However, aficionados make the case that the margarita was probably invented in the 1930s.

Where was the margarita invented?

Legend has it that the margarita was created in 1938 in Tijuana, Mexico, by a bartender and restaurateur named Carlos “Denny” Herrera. Apparently, he was trying to find a cocktail that his girlfriend, Majorie King, could enjoy since she was allergic to every other type of liquor besides tequila. The real problem was that while tequila didn’t make her sick, she simply didn’t like the taste of it. To make the spirit more palatable, Denny added lime and salt and created the first margarita.

Who else is thought to have invented the margarita?

While some accept this story, others give credit to Margarita Sames. Apparently, Sames would mix tequila and Cointreau and serve the drink to her friends while they all hung out at her villa in Acapulco. “Margarita’s drink” became popular among her socialite friends, including Conrad Hilton Jr., of the Hilton hotel family, and Joseph Drown, owner of the Hotel Bel Air. Both men began serving the drink at their hotel bars and brought the margarita to the masses. 

Yet another, perhaps simpler, explanation for the creation of the margarita is that it was made as a tequila version of the Brandy Daisy cocktail, which was a popular drink in the 1800s. The Daisy mixes brandy with citrus and a sweetener, along with some soda water.

While we may never get to the bottom of who exactly invented the margarita, it has certainly become a part of our culture and spiraled into thousands of other iterations. Now, you can enjoy a blackberry sage margarita, jalapeño margarita, bacon-infused margarita, and the list goes on and on.  

What is in a Margarita?

The variations of margaritas number well into the thousands and some people have some very strong opinions about whether it should be served blended or frozen, with or without salt. Another great debate is whether the margarita should be made with triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier. However, the heart of the margarita comes down to blanco tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice and orange liqueur. The combination of the tangy lime and sweet orange liqueur along with the distinctive flavor of tequila has helped to make the margarita one of the most popular cocktails in North America.  

Margarita Stats and Facts from the Overproof Database

National Margarita Day is the perfect day to get all the statistics on the margarita cocktail. Below you will find some of the key highlights and you can download Overproof’s complete margarita report for free.

What is the most popular cocktail in the United States?

The margarita is the most popular cocktail taking up 12.4% of the cocktail market share, followed by the martini at 10.3%, and the Old Fashioned with 5.0%. Other top cocktails include:

Mule – 4.4%

Manhattan – 3.8%

Mojito – 3.1%

Irish Coffee – 2.3%

Cosmopolitan – 1.7%

Spritz – 1.6%

What is the top supplier for margarita cocktails?

As of January 2023, in the U.S., Campari is the top supplier overall for margarita cocktails with 57,000 total margarita mentions, or 15% share of the margarita market. Proximo Spirits sits at the number two spot with 48,700 mentions, which makes up 12.9% market share, and Bacardi follows closely behind with 43,300 mentions, or 11.7% market share. 

Top Tequila Suppliers for Margaritas

When it comes to which tequila supplier is most used in margaritas, Proximo Spirits is at the top, taking up a whopping 21.8% of the market, followed by Bacardi at 14.2%, and Diageo at 10.1%.

Top Liqueur Suppliers for Margaritas

As for the top liqueur suppliers, Campari takes the number one spot with 39.65% of the market, followed closely by Remy Cointreau at 37.8%. From there, the market share numbers drop to the single digits for other suppliers. For example, the third largest supplier, Sazerac Company, Inc., only claims 4.6% of the margarita liqueur market. 

What are the top tequila brands used in margarita cocktails?

The top tequila brand for margaritas is Cuervo Tradicional from the Proximo portfolio at 12.6%. Patron, a Bacardi brand, claims 8.9% of the market while Don Julio from the Diageo portfolio takes 5.5% of the market.  

The rest of the top tequila brands used in margaritas include:

4. Cazadores – 4.8%

5. El Jimador – 4.7%

6. Cuervo 1800 – 4.4%

7. Casamigos – 4.4%

8. Milagro – 4.3%

9. Herradura – 4.1%

10. Hornitos – 4%

While the aforementioned statistics are based on menu data collected on a national level, the leading suppliers and brands vary by state. For example, in California, Grand Marnier is the top margarita liqueur brand claiming 40% of the market, while in New York, Cointreau is dominating and accounts for 51.6% of the market. 

Margarita Market Share: Top 5 Markets

Here is the breakdown of the national share of margarita menu mentions and how many total products were mentioned in margaritas for the top 5 margarita markets in the United States.

Colorado

National share of margarita mentions: 16%

Total products mentioned in margaritas: 17.2K

Texas

National share of margarita mentions: 15.1%

Total products mentioned in margaritas: 32.7K

California

National share of margarita mentions: 12.1%

Total products mentioned in margaritas: 46.1K

Florida

National share of margarita mentions: 11.5%

Total products mentioned in margaritas: 22K

New York

National share of margarita mentions: 9.0%

Total products mentioned in margaritas: 19.3K

How to Make a Margarita

Classic Margarita Recipe

To make a classic margarita, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Coarse salt that is used to rim the glass
  • A lime wedge
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1-ounce orange liqueur
  • 1-ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice

Start by rimming the edge of the glass with a lime wedge and then roll the rim in a dish of salt. Next, add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well before straining into the salted glass over fresh ice. 

Spicy Margarita Recipe

If you want to add a little heat, you can make a spicy margarita. The ingredients you will need include:

  • 2 jalapeño rounds with some seeds removed
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave syrup
  • Garnish with a salt rim and jalapeño round

Again, the first step is to prepare the glass by rimming the edge with the lime wedge and then rolling the rim in a dish of salt. Next, put the jalapeño rounds in a shaker and muddle them before adding the other ingredients and ice. Shake until the drink is thoroughly chilled and strain into the glass over fresh ice. Add the last jalapeño round as a garnish and enjoy.

About Overproof Menu Analysis: 

This report was built by Overproof, the most powerful business intelligence platform for alcohol brands. 

As the leading business intelligence platform for global alcohol brands, Overproof uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze and understand beverage menus from restaurants and bars at scale. Our technology can quickly identify the different brands, products, suppliers, cocktails and cocktail styles, promotional and sponsorship indicators listed on a menu, as well as which venues are selling them. This enables our customers to create target account sets based on various factors, such as venue type, product category, market, competitor presence and price point.

As of January 2023, our database includes information from 4.5 million menus, 705,000 venues, 902 suppliers, 2,302 brands, 12 million menu items and 6 million cocktails. This report only includes data from venues with branded products listed on their menus and includes all menus for a particular venue. Overall, our leading menu analysis technology allows us to provide alcohol brands with powerful data to inform their business decisions.

FAQs on National Margarita Day

When is National Margarita Day? 

February 22nd.

Why do we celebrate National Margarita Day? 

We celebrate in order to pay tribute to the history of the margarita and the cultural impact this cocktail has made.

What is a Margarita? 

A margarita is one of the most popular cocktails. It is tequila based and combines tangy and sweet flavors for a delicious drink. 

What’s in a Margarita? 

Over the decades, thousands of different variations of the margarita. A classic margarita includes blanco tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Interesting Statistics About Margaritas 

Campari is the top margarita supplier with 15% of the market. Cuervo Tradicional is the top margarita tequila brand. Proximo Spirits is the leading margarita tequila supplier with 21.8% of the market, 

How do you make Margaritas? 

To make a classic margarita, start by wetting the rim of a glass with a lime wedge and rolling it in a dish of salt. Next, combine 2 ounces of blanco tequila, 1 ounce of orange liqueur, and 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Once the cocktail is chilled, strain into the glass over fresh ice. 

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