The History of the Margarita – A Favorite Frozen Drink

Each of us has our own favorite frozen bar beverage to beat the heat. But everyone will agree that margarita is the most popular cocktail.

There’s no denying that margarita is the perfect thirst-quencher on a sweltering day with its sweet, fruity flavor with a subtle tang from the lime juice, cut by the taste of the salt on the glass’ rim.

A short history of the margarita

Margarita is a popular Mexican cocktail that consists of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. It is usually served in its distinctive glass, whose rim is usually decorated with a wedge of lime and dusted with salt.

Despite its chief reputation as a “touristy” drink, margarita retains its humble Mexican roots. It’s hard to say conclusively about who invented the drink due to its numerous origin stories. But the most popular “version” of margarita’s origins claims that it was invented in 1938 when a restaurant owner named Carlos (Danny) Herrera concocted it for a pretty Ziegfeld showgirl named Marjorie King. Apparently, tequila was the only alcoholic drink that King could tolerate, so Herrera jazzed up things a little by adding lime and salt.

Cocktail expert and historian David Wondrich offers his own version of where and how margarita came into being.  Margarita is related to a popular drink in Mexico, the “Daisy” (no coincidence here – “margarita” is Spanish for “daisy”), which was recreated with tequila instead of brandy. The margarita became popular during the Prohibition era when American residents traveled to Mexico just to be able to enjoy alcoholic drinks.

strawberry frozen margarita surrounded by lime, a cup of salt, and a bottle of strawberry cocktail mix

Frozen margarita

It can be noted that the history of the margarita can be tied to the history of the blender and other similar kitchen contraptions. The prototype of the blender was invented in the 1920s. By the 1950s, blenders became widely used in laboratories and hospitals. With their increased versatility, blenders also began to appear in bars.

a frozen margarita machine

The frozen margarita came into being in 1971 when Dallas, Texas-based restaurateur Mariano Martinez developed the world’s first margarita machine. It is somewhat like a blender but produces a frozen version of margaritas of a slushy and Slurpee-like consistency.

Soon, word about frozen margaritas spread, and Martinez’s restaurant became the destination for frozen margaritas in Dallas. In a way, the frozen margaritas also triggered people’s interest in tequila – which was largely unheard-of before – and Tex-Mex cuisine in the United States and globally.

How to make a frozen margarita in a blender?

a woman in white button up long sleeve shirt pouring fresh drink in a glass

You don’t have to purchase a bulky margarita machine to make frozen margaritas. As long as you have a blender, making frozen margaritas is as easy as 1-2-3. It’s a great way to entertain your friends when you’re hosting a private soiree in the comfort of your own home.


  • 1 cup tequila
  • ½ cup triple sec
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (or any other sweetener)
  • 6 cups of ice


  • Cover the rim of the glass with salt.
  • Put all the ingredients in a large blender.
  • Blend until slushy and pour into a glass
  • Serve immediately 
  • Optional: garnish the frozen margarita with a wedge of lime
  • Optional: you can add other flavorings to your frozen margarita

This recipe makes four glasses of frozen margarita.