I was certain there was formaldehyde in those frozen Margarita mix cans, but I’m pleased to say I was wrong. In fact, the worst thing in them is high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener of choice these days. So what if it might contain a little mercury, a horrible neurotoxin? And if it leads to obesity? What the hell! Live big; that’s my motto. For others.
Still, a good Margarita is so easy to make without the “benefit” of a frozen mixer that I won’t use the frozen stuff. Call me a snob. It won’t be the first time, nor will it be the last. But as for you—do what you want! If you’re intimidated by inviting guests over to your place for drinks and dinner, and you’d rather concentrate your efforts on the cheese enchiladas and refried beans, go ahead—use the frozen stuff, what the hell. Whatever makes it easier for you, that’s what you should do. Nobody will care, and if they do, fuck ‘em. (Keep in mind, however: you stand a much better chance of actually fucking them if you wow them with fresh lime juice.)
The “Ed” character in the accompanying story actually makes “Craig” cry over the issue. This is because “Ed” is an asshole. Yeah, he’s based on me, but I usually stop short of making people cry, especially over such insignificant matters as whether or not to use frozen margarita mix. Not that I’d ever drink the results, mind you; I just say no thanks and pull my Svedka off the freezer door and have my own cocktail, thank you very much.
The history of the Margarita is, of course, in dispute. It began to be made some time around 1940; this we know. The inventor could be any one of three or four bartenders whose bars were just south of the border near San Diego, except for the ringer that places it in Galveston, Texas. Me, I go with the one from Ensenada, but only because I like the name Ensenada. This unfortunately means that I must dispense the story that credits the name to Peggy Lee, whose middle name was Margaret. (“Is that all there is?”)
Then again, it might be just a variation of the American drink called the Daisy: Daisy in Spanish is margarita.
Point is, who cares? The Margarita goes very well with Mexican food all year long, but it’s especially refreshing in the summer. There are those who favor the frozen margarita; I am not one of them. They remind me too much of Sno-Cones, and I grew out of Sno-Cones at around the age of 10. But hey, if you like ‘em, order ‘em. Just remember: tequila is a druggy drink, so don’t come cryin’ to me if you start going through a Carlos Castaneda trip at 3 a.m. You get what you deserve, even if it means your boyfriend’s head turning into that of a Gila monster.