Margarita | Oldest Known Recipe – 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book

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This is the tequila variation of the Sidecar, swapping out the brandy for tequila and the lemon juice for lime juice. Practically every old bar in Mexico that dates back to the 1930s claimed to have invented the Margarita and has some amazing story of how it was thought up. I’m going to go with something a bit more controversial and say the margarita was invented by William J. Tarling in London. He called it the Picador, but it is the exact same recipe. To his credit he did publish one of the oldest recordings of it in his 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, and he was know for being one of the earliest Bartenders to mix with tequila. He’s the creator of the Matador, the Picador (the margarita), and several others. Perhaps the name margarita was applied to it in Mexico, who knows. It’s hard to pin down old information about a cocktail as ubiquitous as the margarita that is also trust worthy. Thats why I personally feel this was actually an English Cocktail originally. The region make sense with it being a variation of the French sidecar. It’s the oldest printed record of it. The bartender was know for experimenting with tequila.


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Margarita | Oldest known Recipe – 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Mexican






Total time



Learn how to make a classic Margarita.


  • 2/3 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 2 oz Silver Tequila


  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.



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