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Scarpetta at Gurney’s take on the Margarita has a hint of Italia. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Nobody really knows exactly when and where the Margarita—one of the world’s most popular cocktails — began. Its origins are as opaque as muddled fruit. There are stories tracing its starting spot everywhere from Mexico (where its base spirit comes from) to Los Angeles to New York to London, with some tales presenting a more plausible set of potential facts than others. But Italy? That trek across the Atlantic hasn’t factored in. Until now.

Here’s what we do know. The word ‘margarita’ in Spanish translates to ‘daisy,’ a pretty flower that is also the name of a style of drink invented in the late 19th century, riffing on the recipe for a sour and employing citrus, a liqueur and sparkling water—or, a Margarita cocktail without the tequila. Lo and behold, marguerita, the Italian spelling, is a daisy, too. 

Here, the talented folks at Gurney’s Scarpetta have turned it into their own Etruscan version of the classic because, well, for a drink with no home to wind up in Italy is not such a bad landing pad at all.

The classic blanco tequila remains as the anchor of the drink, but a generous ounce of the cherry-red aperitif amaro, Aperol, is added, giving the drink both a little bit of a gently sweet herbaceousness and northern Italian sophistication. 

Adding Aperol, a semi-sweet amaro aperitif, to the mix in a Margarita adds a little herbal kick to the drink’s traditional make-up. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Margherita Italiana

Prep Time 1 minute
Serves 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 oz Espolon blanco tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 barspoon agave nectar
  • 1 lime wheel

Directions

  • Gently wet the edges of a double-rocks glass, rim with sea salt and fill with ice. Set aside.
  • In a shaker with ice, combine all ingredients and shake well until very cold, about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Strain into the double-rocks glass and garnish with a lime wheel. Cin-cin! 
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