The creation story of the margarita is tough to pin down. In 1974, Texas Monthly profiled a former El Paso bartender who claimed to invent the drink around 1942, though it's curious his wife (whom he married in the 1950s) had the very same name. Cocktail historian David Wondrich goes back to the 1930s, saying the drink was a Prohibition-era tequila variation of the brandy daisy. There are a bunch of other tales that can easily be disputed, many of them set in the 1930s and '40s.
However it was created, just know that the margarita is our chosen cocktail—the perfect beverage for the discerning Houstonian.
That brings us to Friday, which is National Margarita Day. It's a bit of a holiday here, with plenty of restaurants and bars doing special things to mark the occasion. Here's what's happening:
- Chef Hugo Ortega is offering The Greatest Margarita Ever Sold (25-year-aged Grand Marnier, anejo tequila) for a special $15 price (usually $29) at Xochi, Hugo's, and Caracol. Also, order a margarita-paired tasting menu for $60 per person at either of the three restaurants on Friday.
- The Original Ninfa's on Navigation will celebrate with $10 jalapeño piñaritas (jalapeño-infused tequila, mezcal, pineapple, Navigation mix, combier, and a salted mole rim).
- At Arnaldo Richards' Picos, get classic margaritas with Don Julio Silver for $10, Altos Resposado frozen tamarind margaritas for $10, El Jimador Silver and Reposado shots for $5 during happy hour, and picorita frozens made with Cazadores Silver for $6 during lunch and happy hour.
- The Union Kitchen's special is half-off (or $6) the Love Bug margarita, which includes Volcan Blanco tequila, cranberry liquor, sweet and sour mix, ginger ale, and a chocolate rim.
- Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen will sell house margaritas for $6.50, skinny margaritas for $9, Ambhar mango habanero margaritas for $10, and illegal mezcal margaritas for $10. Come between 4 and 7 p.m. and pay $4 for the house 'rita.
- Alicia's Mexican Grille is bringing back its Millonario Margarita, its 12-year anniversary cocktail, from Friday to Sunday. It's available for $12 (previously $40) at all locations.
- BCK is offering $5 classic, blood orange, and watermelon margaritas from 11 a.m. to close.
- State Fare is selling the Texans Rita (tequila, orange juice, lime, agave, curacao, sweet-and-sour mix, egg whites, and a Tajín rim) for $10.
- The Classic and Benjy's are both selling margaritas for happy hour prices.
- BuffBurger's Margarita in the Buff is available for $4 all day.
- Get $4 margaritas (with $12 Gulf oysters by the dozen) at Field & Tides.
- The Rustic will have the Don Julio DJ truck while pouring drinks from a five-foot-tall margarita glass. Party from 5 to 11 p.m., and live music starts at 9:30 p.m.
- Eight Row Flint is hosting a Margarita Day/Go Texan Day celebration. It's launching its Real Ale Single Barrel Whiskey, plus pouring Real Ale specials. Also, there'll be four featured margaritas available at $7 during happy hour (2-6 p.m.) and $11 afterward.
- The General Public is unveiling its Sweet Diablo Frozen Margarita, selling it for just $1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Jax Grill will have $4.50 margaritas during an 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. happy hour.
- Axis Lounge at Royal Sonesta is celebrating with a margarita and taco combo for $18.
- At Casa Ole, get a $1 margarita of tequila, triple sec, lime juice (regular price $2).
- Abuelo's is offering its premium margaritas for $6.95.
- Fajita Pete's is offering $0.99 'ritas. Get a half-gallon to-go for $9.99, or a gallon for $19.99 (delivery available).
- Pistolero's will have a parking lot party with a DJ starting at 4 p.m. $5 Hornitos margaritas and $6 Kimo Sabe mezcal margaritas.
- El Patio will have happy hour from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Margaritas are on offer from $6-13.