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National Margarita Day: Long Island restaurants where you can celebrate

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The "Spicy Margarita" made with Espolon silver tequila infused with greenhouse grown poblano, habanero, serrano and jalapeño peppers along with lime juice, agave nectar and orange liquor at Verde Kitchen and Cocktails in Bay Shore. Credit: Daniel Brennan

In the calendar of food and beverage holidays, National Margarita Day is Feb. 22.

Yes, as winter’s end is within sight, this popular cocktail in all its fruity, slushy, frozen and poolside permutations has its out-of-season moment. It definitely makes you think of warmer days, livelier nights, and maybe a beach in-between.

There are four ingredients in the purist’s Margarita, a drink the origins of which remain murky. But sometime in the 1930s or 1940s, a fan of tequila decided to mix the distilled beverage from the blue agave plant with triple sec and lime juice, and rim the glass with salt.

Cocktail expert Salvatore Calabrese says the tales around the beginnings of the drink are said to have included either a 1948 socialite’s party in Acapulco and the publicity that followed or its invention to honor silent film star Marjorie King in California.

But history is a cloudy affair. Just enjoy one.

The Mr. Boston Platinum Edition cocktail guide suggests the following recipe:

Take one-and-one-half ounces tequila, one-half ounce triple sec, and 1 ounce either lime or lemon juice, shake the ingredients with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

The choice of tequila will vary. Blanco is typically used, but there are drinkers who know to open a Reposado for the festivities. Instead of triple sec, imbibers periodically use Cointreau. But while lemon is nice, lime is better.

You’ll taste fine Margaritas at the two branches of Besito, besitomexican.com, 402 New York Ave., Huntington, 631-549-0100; and 1516 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-484-3001. And at Verde Kitchen & Cocktails, verdekitchen.com, 70 E. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-665-6300.

Cheers!

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