La Joya // (c) 2011 Fiesta Americana
With salt or without, on the rocks or blended, the Mexican margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world, and it has become a symbol of the country as much as mariachis, enchiladas and cliff divers. While the origin of the margarita’s main ingredient, tequila, remains a mystery, there are many tales of how and when it was first created. Perhaps the most glamorous involves a Tijuana bartender, Bastante Gutierrez, who invented the drink for Margaret Cansino, otherwise known as film star Rita Hayworth, who was also from Tijuana. Whether it was created for Hayworth or someone else, what matters is that clients can learn to make their own margaritas at the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun Resort and Spa.
Jose Cuervo, one of Mexico’s main tequila producers, lists its basic margarita cocktail recipe as a concoction of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur and fresh lime juice. The drink, whose name means “daisy” in English, is traditionally served on the rocks in a glass lined with rock salt.
Each Tuesday at 3 p.m., guests at the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach can partake in the resort’s “Make Your Own Margarita” class in the resort’s Latin American-inspired restaurant, La Joya. Classes are complimentary and limited to a select number of guests per class, so classes are available on a first-reserved, first-confirmed basis. The class begins with a demonstration from a La Joya bartender on how to create the perfect Mexican-style margarita. Naturally, participants have to try the libations before heading over to specially set margarita-making stations. The stations are stocked with fresh lime juice, rock salt, top-shelf tequila, Grand Marnier liqueur, ice and shakers, along with enough margarita glasses for each participant.
Guests create mini margaritas so that all of the participants can sample one another’s creations while nibbling on Mexican bocaditos (snacks.) Our group ended up having a competition — we all tried each other’s to decide whose version was the best. Needless to say, this was a contest without any real losers. Upon completion of the class, participants receive a Margarita Making diploma.