Origin: Toro, South End
Take On: Margarita
Believe it or not, the margarita wasn’t invented at a Tex-Mex restaurant. It was recorded as early as 1938 by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant Rancho la Gloria, halfway between Tiujana and Rosarito. 77 years later I’m inside Toro, a well-beloved tapas spot on Washington Street in the South End, looking to write about a classic cocktail with an elegant, authentic Spanish twist. Then I noticed on the menu a margarita they pour a can of beer into. They speak Spanish in Mexico, right?
The Mamacita is Toro’s most popular cocktail. It’s a classic margarita—just tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice, plus a little agave nectar—served in a highball glass and topped with Tecate, like a Tom Collins on Cinco de Mayo.
The result is sweet, fizzy and totally refreshing, the kind of drink someone would deliver to your poolchair. When you’re sitting in the sun on Toro’s European-style patio, shaded by pretty pink flowers in little hanging pots, how could you say no?
“It’s been on the menu for forever,” says bartender Christopher Ratay. “For people who don’t drink cocktails, it feels like they’re drinking alcoholic soda. The beer just makes it super crushable.”
Crushable. I’ve been hearing that word a lot lately. Maybe it’s time we all slowed down a little, I thought to myself, sitting alone, two drinks deep, staring at the bull’s head that hangs on the wall at Toro. Then I had my first sip of a Mamacita. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Puerto Vallarta at eighteen, but the Mamacita tastes like all seven days dumped into a glass over ice. Somehow, incredibly, this is a good thing. A very good thing.
And is it crushable, you’re wondering? You betcha.
. . .
adapted from Toro
1 oz Zapata white tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz agave nectar
3/4 oz Luxardo triple sec
1 can of Tecate
Shake all ingredients (except beer) with ice, strain into highball glass over fresh ice, top with Tecate. Crushing is optional, but recommended.