With the arrival of summer, many of us start planning summer parties, cook outs, or even lazy days relaxing by the pool, at the beach, or lounging in a shady back yard hammock.  Scenes such as these aren’t complete without a colorful cocktail, and nothing fits the bill like a margarita.

The origin of the classic margarita remains something of a mystery.  Some sources claim it was created by a bartender in Mexico in 1941, while others say the first margarita hails from Galveston, Texas.  Another possibility is that Americans crossing the border for alcohol during Prohibition simply adapted a brandy-based drink called the Daisy by substituting tequila for the brandy.  It probably isn’t coincidence that margarita is the Spanish word for daisy.

Whatever its origins, the classic margarita’s combination of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice served up in a cocktail glass rimmed with salt has been an enduring favorite for more than just its flavor.  Perhaps more than any other drink, the margarita symbolizes everything we love about a hot summer day, whether you prefer them frozen, over ice, or straight up.

The classic margarita, instantly recognizable.

If you’re a margarita purist, sticking with the classic lime version might be your ideal.  But, creative bartenders and margarita lovers have adapted on the original to create all kinds of tempting flavors and colors.  I’m not talking about your typical frozen strawberry margarita!  Why not surprise your guests — or treat yourself — with one of these more unexpected margarita varieties?

Pink Grapefruit Margarita

Ginger Margarita

Strawberry Basil Margarita

Jalapeno Cucumber Margarita

Prickly Pear Margarita

Pomegranate Mint Margarita

Clicking on any of the delicious images above will take to you recipes for each margarita.  You can get creative with glassware and avoid using traditional margarita glasses for serving or lime slices for garnishing.  Take inspiration from the flavors and colors of each margarita and experiment with different salts and sugars for rimming the glasses.  Whether you make a single drink for yourself or a pitcher for guests, your efforts will certainly be appreciated!