February 22nd is National Margarita Day. As per tradition, friends will gather to celebrate and enjoy this iconic drink on the day specifically dedicated to its existence. With a live DJ and complimentary Olmeca Altos, there’s no place better to celebrate this holiday then The Refuge! But, how did the margarita get its start? They are usually served in Mexican restaurants, but did the drink originate in Mexico? Why is the Margarita worth celebrating and does it deserve its very own holiday? Let’s find out.
A Little Margarita Background
The origin of the Margarita cocktail is somewhat of a mystery. There are many stories about the drink’s beginnings with each one of them involving a beautiful woman. No one is exactly sure, however, who actually invented it. According to National Geographic, Actress Rita Hayworth (whose real name was Margarita Cansino), singer Peggy Lee (Peggy is a nickname for Margaret), a Ziegfeld showgirl called Marjorie King, and a Texas socialite named Margaret (a.k.a. Margarita) Sames have all been injected into the legend at varying times.
Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish. In his book Imbibe!, cocktail historian David Wondrich tells us that the margarita we know and love today probably evolved from a drink that was popular in the 1930s and 40s called the Daisy. That particular drink was a mixture of alcohol, citrus juice, and grenadine served over shaved ice. There were gin daisies and whiskey daisies. Eventually, the tequila daisy, made by mixing tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice with a splash of soda made its appearance in bars and restaurants. This Mexican-influenced daisy began to be called by its Spanish name and as early as 1945, margaritas were being advertised by Jose Cuervo tequila. The word margarita and its definition, a cocktail made with tequila and citrus juice, first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1965.
Why National Margarita Day Matters
Today, the margarita is one of the most commonly ordered drinks in the United States. Accounting for roughly 18 percent of all mixed drink sales, it comes in right ahead of the martini. The basic recipe calls for tequila, triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice. The drink’s popularity warranted the invention of the frozen-margarita-making machine of which the prototype is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Modern History in Washington, DC. There have been songs written about the margarita and resorts named after it.
Studies have shown that the margarita’s main alcoholic ingredient, tequila, is actually a healthy drink. Drinking it may help to lower blood sugar, aid in weight loss, fight cholesterol, numb pain, and treat a cold. It can help you sleep and even cleans out your colon. That could be good news for those who suffer from Crohn’s disease, IBS, and colitis.
Variations on the margarita include flavors like mango, strawberry, pomegranate, coconut, green tea, and chocolate, just to name a few. They are served in glasses rimmed with salt, sugar, or nothing, served either straight-up, on-the-rocks, or frozen.
A drink this good and versatile is worth serious celebration!
Celebrate Margaritas at The Refuge
The best place to celebrate National Margarita Day is The Refuge on Route 110 in Melville, New York. Our extensive Margarita menu features some of the tastiest creations on all of Long Island.
Our Signature Margaritas
- The Classico is the house favorite. It is made with tequila, fresh lime, and orange juice. Flavors include mango, strawberry, and white peach.
- Our Over the Top margarita is a blend of Avion Anejo tequila, fresh lime, agave nectar, orange juice, and Grand Marnier. Wow!
- The Coco Loco is a refreshing take on the margarita. It includes 1800 Coconut tequila, coconut purée, and fresh lime.
- Our Pomegranate margarita is made with Hornitos Reposado tequila, Pama liqueur, agave nectar, and citrus juices.
- The Skinny Girl combines Casa Noble Blanco tequila with agave nectar, muddled limes, and orange juice.
- The Burning Man is tanteo infused tequila with fresh lime. Ouch!
Try some of our delicious Latin-inspired appetizers to go along with your margarita. Our Empanadas are hand-rolled and baked. You get three per order in your choice of chicken & vegetable, beef & potato, or chorizo, bean & cheese. The Flaming Cheese is a four-cheese lava flambéed tableside with rum and served with vegetable confetti, spicy diablo garlic knots, and crispy corn tortilla chips. The Wood Charred Wings are seasoned with a spicy Latin rub and served with sliced apples and an avocado ranch for dipping. Guacamole is a natural partner of margaritas. Ours is a fresh mixture of avocado, jalapeño, tomato, cilantro, onion, and lime served with corn tortilla chips. Get it prepared traditionally or take it up a notch with the extra spicy diablo version.
Latin Dinner Options
Come for the margaritas and stay for dinner. The Angry Shrimp Tacos, Chicken Mojo Bowl, Grilled Churrasco, and Grilled Swordfish all reflect our unique take on Latin food.
Hours of Operation
Offering a modern twist on Latin and Italian cuisine, The Refuge was voted the Best restaurant, bar, and lounge on Route 110. Located at 515 Broadhollow Road in Melville, Long Island, New York, we are open for dinner 3 to 10 pm Monday through Wednesday, 3 to 11 pm Thursday and Friday, 4 to 11 pm on Saturday and 3 to 9 pm on Sunday. Lunch is served from 11:30 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Enjoy specials on margaritas, beer, wine, and our other enticing cocktails during happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7pm; the lounge is open late Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Please join us for the most popular brunch on Long Island from 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays. Inquire with our catering director about private dining in the Bodega.
Call us to make your National Margarita Day dinner reservation. Remember that our lounge will be open until 1 AM on the evening of Saturday, February 22, so you’ll have more time to get your margarita on.