Newport Beach Restaurants Participate in OC Margarita Crawl April 23-29

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The Margarita is the most popular cocktail in the world.

What’s the most popular cocktail in the world?

According to and other websites, the Margarita comes out on top when it comes to cocktails.

The classic tequila and lime mix is followed in popularity by the rum-based Mojito and Piña Colada in second and third places respectively, with the Old Fashioned in fourth place.

The research is based on Google search data for 115 countries, using the name of the cocktail, plus the search term “recipe” to filter out any unrelated searches.

Margaritas topped the search list in 30 countries, including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, as well as France, Spain and Germany, Japan and Vietnam. There are around 546,280 online searches for Margarita recipes worldwide per month.

According to the Last Call Trivia website, the exact origin of the Margarita is up for debate. One of the most popular theories is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera created the drink at his Tijuana-area restaurant, Rancho La Gloria, around 1938. According to the story, Herrera developed the recipe for one of his customers, an aspiring actress named Marjorie King. King was allergic to all hard alcohol other than tequila, so Herrera combined the elements of a tequila shot into a refreshing cocktail that would meet her picky preferences.

Another person who has claimed to have invented the drink is Margarita Sames, a wealthy Dallas socialite. Sames said she first concocted the drink for her friends at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. However, the timeline of her story does raise doubts. According to The Complete Book of Spirits, the first importer of Jose Cuervo in the U.S. advertised with the tagline, “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name,” in 1945. Since this was three years before Sames claimed to have invented the drink, it’s questionable whether she was the first to have coined the cocktail.

But despite the complicated history of the drink itself, there is one important element of the cocktail that can be pinpointed. The first frozen Margarita machine was invented in 1971 by Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez. Martinez was having trouble perfecting the drink as bartenders complained they took too long to make and customers thought the finished product melted too quickly. After being inspired by a 7-Eleven Slurpee machine, Martinez transformed a soft-serve ice cream machine into a Margarita machine. It was a huge success, and Martinez’s original machine now resides in the Smithsonian Museum.

As a tribute to the cocktail’s popularity, SoCal’s favorite cocktail event, Margarita Crawl, will return Sunday, April 23 through Saturday, April 29.

Presented by Tequila Herradura, the weeklong event will take place at more than 50 participating restaurants throughout Orange County, including a handful in Newport Beach.

“The Margarita is a noble cocktail that balances tangy, salty and sweet to create something special, and during this week, restaurants will utilize Herradura and their own flair to create unique, noteworthy libations,” commented Pamela Waitt, president of the Orange County Restaurant Association, which produces Margarita Crawl. “This is the perfect opportunity for diners throughout the southland to explore restaurants, sip margaritas and enjoy life while supporting local eateries.”

Diners have the opportunity to search the list of participating restaurants by name and city on the Margarita Crawl website:

Newport Beach participating restaurants: Chihuahua Cerveza Taproom, Malarky’s, Muldoon’s Irish Pub, OEB Breakfast Co., Olea, Red O Restaurant, Stag Bar + Kitchen, and Super Panga.

Chihuahua Cerveza Taproom has two margaritas available: Herradura Paloma ($12) with grapefruit juice, herradura blanco, agave and lime, and a Pineapple Eclipse ($14) with el silencio mezcal, herradura blanco, pineapple, lime and agave. They are pairing those with their fresh made guac and full salsa bar ($10), and the Al pastor tacos cut from the Trompo and grilled with fresh pineapple ($5.50 ea.).

Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Fashion Island is offering a Cilantro Lime margarita ($12) with Herradura Silver, muddled fresh jalapeño and cilantro, lime & agave; and Fresa Fresca ($12) with Herradura Silver, strawberry syrup, Banana Giffard, lemon. They are pairing those with Tinga Tacos ($15) with shredded chicken with caramelized onions and adobo sauce, lettuce, cotija cheese, served with tortilla chips and fresh salsa; and Irish Nachos ($15) with homemade potato chips, tortilla chips, corned beef, tomato, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, avocado crema and sour cream.

Olea’s margarita

Olea has a fun margarita twist: “Coco Fresca Margarita” with Herradura Silver tequila, Liquid Alchemist strawberry syrup, Reàl Creme of coconut, lime juice, with a garnish of black lava salt rim, lime wheel and strawberry slice.

Stag Bar + Kitchen is offering two margaritas: a Pama Margarita ($12) with Herradura Tequila, Pama Liqueur, lime juice, Cointreau, lime wedge; and a Plum Margarita ($12) with Herradura Tequila, plum juice, lime juice, Cointreau, lime wedge. Suggested pairing: Stag Nachos, with corn tortilla chips, choice of melted cheddar or spicy cheese sauce, pico, jalapeño, sriracha aioli, avocado crema, cotija cheese. Add chicken or short rib for an additional fee.

Margarita Crawl is produced by the Orange County Restaurant Association as part of its ongoing mission to support restaurants in the region and beyond. For general information, participation information, sponsorship opportunities, or membership in the Orange County Restaurant Association, please visit

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