I Visited The Birthplace Of The Margarita & Here Are 5 Things People Get Wrong About The Drink
The bar has been around for over 100 years and was even visited by personalities like Marylin Monroe.
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
There are many myths and stories about where the margarita drink was invented. Some say it was in Rancho La Gloria in Los Angeles, CA, and others mention the cocktail was first created in the states of Baja California, Guerrero, or Chihuahua in Mexico.
I visited the world-famous club Kentucky Bar & Grill in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, a little night spot that has been around for over a hundred years and claims to be the birthplace of the margarita.
This bar is located just a few feet away from the Paso del Norte International Bridge, which is one of the many ports of entry between the Mexican city and El Paso, TX, and has seen celebrity personalities such as Marylin Monroe, Liz Taylor, Jim Morrison, among others.
The bar at the Kentucky Bar & Grill in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.Fernanda Leon | Narcity
When you go inside the small nightclub, the first thing you see is a huge bar on your right. On your left, there are several tables for bigger groups and couples.
I got there around 9 p.m. with some friends hoping that we could find the perfect seat at the bar, and the place was already crowded. However, the service was so impeccable that a waiter saw us standing and immediately looked for us to let us know that a group was leaving and the table could be given to us. Of course, we said yes.
Inside the Kentucky Bar & Grill in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.Fernanda Leon | Narcity
While I was waiting for a menu, I noticed that people of all ages enjoy spending some time at this classic spot, where you also see mariachis walking around, and there’s a jukebox so people can play their favorite songs.
The first thing I ordered was, of course, the margarita cocktail. The bar also serves some food, but I wanted to wait and taste the drink before indulging in some tacos.
Once I got my drink and tasted it, trust me, there are various aspects most people in the U.S. are getting wrong about this mixed drink.
The original margarita is lime-flavored (forget about strawberry, mango or watermelon).
Texas Editor Fernanda Leon holding a margarita from the Kentucky Bar & Grill in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Fernanda Leon | Narcity
If you order a margarita at the Kentucky Bar & Grill, the server or bartender will not think once to ask you about the flavor of your drink, they’ll just assume you’re asking for a tequila beverage mixed with lime and triple sec.
So you can forget about trying a mango, watermelon, peach, or strawberry margarita.
The margarita mix doesn't make a real margarita.
The first thing I noticed when sipping my cocktail was that the bar doesn’t use the typical margarita mix most restaurants in the U.S. — and other parts of the world — use to prepare the drink.
The flavor is fresh and natural and doesn’t leave you with an almost bitter taste at the end. You can also get a hold of the squeezed lime in the beverage.
The original margarita is not frozen.
Have you ever been to a bar and asked for a margarita, and they’ll give you a frozen drink that doesn’t taste like it has anything natural in it? It’s even worse when you get the frozen thing, and aside from not having a fresh taste, you can’t even tell if it has booze.
Well, this won’t happen at this well-known bar in Ciudad Juarez, as frozen margaritas are not even a thing. Believe me! You’ll taste the tequila on the first sip.
The original margarita is not as sweet.
Every time I order a margarita, I’m used to being served a sweet enough drink with a hint of tequila.
The fact that bartenders in the Kentucky Bar & Grill don’t use margarita mix and avoid the frozen texture makes the original beverage much less sweet and way fresher. You’ll feel like you’re actually drinking a cocktail and not just juice.
The original margarita is stronger.
The original drink is definitely stronger. This local night spot is no joke, and the bartenders make sure you can taste the tequila.
I had two margaritas and was already feeling like they were enough before getting tipsy. So, this beverage is something strong drinkers might want to try.
Overall, I really like this original recipe much more than all the frozen, flavored — and non-fresh — drinks you easily find elsewhere. This bar is certainly a must if you’re a local or are visiting the border cities of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico or El Paso, TX.