Salud to the Margarita, Texas’s Unofficial State Drink

National Margarita Day was on February 22, but Texans don’t need a holiday to celebrate our favorite cocktail. With just three ingredients — triple sec, tequila, and lime juice — a margarita is a simple, balanced, and nuanced concoction to be admired and enjoyed.
For many Texans, the salty-sweet lime libation is the quintessential happy hour drink. Dallas is, after all, the birthplace of the frozen margarita machine. And it goes without saying margaritas pair perfectly with Tex-Mex and tacos.
This historic National Margarita Day is Texas’ first when we can’t gather this year in typical fashion. Many margarita sellers are providing the drinks “to go,” in some cases by the gallon! Though this innovation was sparked out of pandemic desperation, perhaps this should soon become a permanent offering.
My favorite margarita memory is from the Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas.  Last fall, my husband and I were on a North Texas pandemic-timed road trip, visiting three cities within a couple of hours’ drive from our home in Dallas. We were lucky enough to spend an incredible night at Rough Creek Lodge, a perfect stop for social distancing since they have 10,000 acres to spread out on.
The highlight of our visit? That would have to be the fabulous fine dining experience in the Lodge’s superlative restaurant, starting with a memorable signature margarita.
Since opening in 1998, Rough Creek Lodge has enjoyed praise from national food critics and guests alike for its gourmet fare. Known for blending unmatched service with Chef Gerard Thompson’s modern interpretation of rustic American cuisine, no detail is spared down to the last bite. That extends to the handcrafted cocktails expertly prepared by talented bartenders.    
I started the evenings’ five-course tasting menu with the Chalk Mountain Margarita.  The original Rough Creek Lodge signature cocktail is made with Patron Anejo, Grand Mariner, Blue Agave Nectar, and freshly squeezed lime juice, garnished with a salt rim, a lime wheel, and a half-wheel of orange. It is perfection in a glass.
Thankfully, margaritas come in a ton of different varieties. So it’s not surprising 76% of Americans enjoy the enticing elixir. How do you prefer your margarita?  
No matter if the answer to that question is shaken, stirred, or frozen, neat or “on the rocks,” you can’t go wrong with Texas’s favorite libation. Salud!

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