Happy Hour Re-defined
Just to clarify from the beginning, this blog is written by Tara, not Jeff, and in my world 2017 was the Year of the Margarita!

The quest for a good Margarita actually started in 2016 when we became location independent and I no longer had the comfortability or predictability of visiting a favourite happy hour spot with a favourite bartender. A Margarita was also not always my first choice for that end of day ‘Ahh’ moment but it is a fairly standard drink on all bar menus and an easy choice, or so I thought. But it has become very clear that all Margaritas are not created equally and there are some I love and some I really, really do not. Jeff thinks I have become a bit of a Margarita snob.

Searching for Margarita
So what makes a good Margarita in my opinion?

~ Firstly it is all about the lime juice. It must be fresh, as in from an actual lime. It must be squeezed, ideally as they make the drink, or at minimum squeezed each day in large amounts as the bartenders daily set up. Absolutely no bottled Margarita mixture can substitute for fresh lime juice.

~ Secondly it is about the tequila. A lot of people would put this first but for me the lime juice flavour trumps the tequila. Either way it should be a silver or blanco tequila. Some variations use reposado or anejo but silver has the cleanest, most neutral flavor so lets the lime and the triple sec flavours have their own space. 

~ Thirdly, yes I would like a salted rim. Preferably equally covered, not lumped up on one side and with a course not super fine salt.

Margaritaville Wins
Yes, as the name suggests they should be good at making Margaritas..and they are. But order wisely as there are two choices on the menu – The Top Shelf and The Perfect. The names are a bit misleading as The Top Shelf is made with a house margarita blend and The Perfect is made with real lime juice. The Perfect also has a mixture of gold and silver tequila but a flavour difference is not noticeable (as I have ordered with silver only to test). The Perfect all the way!

Margaritaville Margaritas are consistent. They are always made the same regardless of location. And the glassware is good. Always a proper Margarita glass and good course salt. Just to make sure I have ‘tested’ them out in these locations…

  • Mall of America, Minnesota
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Nashville, Tennessee – great live music at this location
  • Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Destin, Florida
  • Universal City, California and Florida
  • San Antonio, Texas 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada

I am looking forward to trying one on our Cruise Line of choice in the near future as NCL is adding Maragitaville to its four newest ships. 

Food Note: We have eaten at a few locations. The food is OK, but really nothing to write about. The chips and salsa at the bar go great with a Margarita and the atmosphere is always entertaining. Sometimes there is live music (Nashville, City Walk) and others have their own show – aka Volcano. So go for a cocktail, but don’t necessarily stay for dinner.

Fun Fact
As for the creation of the Margarita itself, several bars and bartenders have staked a claim. The Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana and also Bertita’s Bar in Tasca, Mexico boasts of its origin around 1930. The Garci Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Mexico, where the bartender says he named the drink for his girlfriend (named Margarita of course) in 1936 also stakes claim. But the most documented story comes from Danny Herrera, who owned Rancho La Gloria near Tijuana. In the late 1940’s, a showgirl named Marjorie King stopped there often, and she was allergic to every form of booze except tequila, which she needed mixed. Among the many tequila experiments that Danny Herrera tried was a concoction consisting of 3 parts white tequila, 2 parts Cointreau, and 1 part fresh lemon juice. These he shook together in a container of shaved ice, then served up in a short stemmed glass rimmed with lemon juice and salt. This she liked, and so he gave the drink the Spanish name for Marjorie: Margarita.

We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf  for 10 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business have been ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.