As with most world famous drinks, the details of conception are about as hazy as you feel the morning after a few too many—but all signs seem to point to Tijuana, as the birthplace of the margarita. Most margarita lore points to a Carlos “Danny” Herrera and his bar the Rancho La Gloria on the outskirts of Tijuana circa 1938. In an effort to appease a very fussy client, he concocted one of the most commonly consumed cocktails in the world. Pay homage at the birthplace of this famous drink with a trip to Tijuana. Before you raise your eyebrows, Tijuana is not as seedy as it used to be—and is still made out to be. The upside to this is that those who venture across the border will find a unique, local and cheap place to get away for the weekend with some much-deserved margaritas.
The next stop is further down the peninsula, where most trace the roots of the margarita to the very tip at beautiful Cabo san Lucas. Here you can sip margaritas with some of the best views in Mexico. The spirit of invention is not dead in Baja; they are still creating new takes on the classic and the current favorite in town is the Waborita. Made with the wildly popular Cabo Wabo tequila and a traditional Baja herbal liquor (which might offset some of the damage you’ll do to yourself in Mexico).
No seriously, there’s a town in Mexico called Tequila—and as you might have guessed, it’s where tequila was born. Located about 150 miles east of popular Puerto Vallarta is the home of the key ingredient of the world famous margarita. Without the fermented and distilled bits of the agave plant, the margarita would just be salty lime juice. The main things to do in town all revolve around the prized agave and the art of tequila making. Tourism is far from overwhelming in this small rural town, but those who make the journey will be rewarded with a uniquely Mexican experience.
You’ll have no trouble finding some top notch tequila in the closest resort town to the birthplace of Mexico’s national drink. The only other decision you’ll have to make is whether you want yours on the rocks or blended. The classic way to take your margarita is served over ice, but Mexican resort towns like Puerto Vallarta have mastered the art of blending a great drink. This westward facing town is perfectly positioned to watch the sun set into the sea while sipping margaritas.
The country’s vibrant and chaotic capital is a top place to get a classic margarita. Over the past few decades, Mexico’s emerging middle class has been transforming sprawling Mexico City into a much more modern and sophisticated city than it previously was. Many parts of the city have a very cosmopolitan feel with refined dining options and of course places to get a quality margarita.
We couldn’t talk about margaritas without mentioning super tourist mecca Cancun. It’s estimated that Cancun dispenses more margaritas than any other city in the world. While there isn’t much history tying the city to the drink, that doesn’t stop thirsty visitors from drinking them by the liter.
Far across the country from where the margarita was invented and where tequila was born, is the quiet beach town of Tulum. Here you can get some white sand along with your salted rim. The crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea are nearly as intoxicating as the tequila and make for the perfect setting to sip margaritas. Tulum has a certain rustic chic vibe that only adds to the natural appeal of this beautiful spot. Try out some trendy twists on the margarita here, made with local fruits, while you’ve got your toes in the sand.