Two women called Margarita, two historic bars, two different styles. Stagecoach canteen or elegant casino. In any case, a trip filled with nostalgia. You decide: who makes the best margarita?
The margarita is Mexico’s most international cocktail. From the Baja California frontier to bars all over the world. Two landmark bars in Ensenada dispute the credit of inventing the margarita: Cantina Hussong’s, a former stagecoach cantina, and the Bar Andaluz, a beautiful bar with the feeling of yesteryear, at the old Casino. Two travels in time for nostalgia lovers. We suggest you try both and decide which one you like best.
The margarita at Hussong’s, the most famous cantina in Ensenada
Legend goes Margarita Henkel, daughter of the German ambassador, came into the Hussong’s cantina just as the barman was trying out a new mix tequila, lime juice and Damiana liquor. Admittedly the new cocktail was received with enthusiasm, for that same day it was christened and soon it would conquer bars around the world. Few things have changed at Hussong’s since that day.
Hussong’s is the oldest canteen in Ensenada. Open in 1892, it was first an inn for stagecoaches and keeps that frontier flavor. Go during the day to take your time and enjoy your margarita. The light filters through the glasses at the entrance but the room insists on staying in the warm semi-darkness. Green and red on the walls, barely seen behind photos, paintings, memories and menus. The barman’s image reflects on the tired mirror behind the bar, flanked by a century of memorabilia. Stories of the border. At night, partying and music take over this classic of Ensenada.
The margarita at Bar Andaluz: the most classical bar in Ensenada
If you’d rather go to a more quiet place, sip your margarita at another landmark bar of the city: Bar Andaluz. The Bar Andaluz is located inside the former Hotel Playa y Casino (today Centro Social Cívico Cultural Riviera de Ensenada), which opened its doors in 1930 with the most famous people of the times. That night the opening ball orquestra was none other than Xavier Cugat’s. Glamour from the golden age of Ensenada.
The Bar Andaluz also claims to be the original birthplace of margarita, this time after Margarita King, owner of the hotel during the late 1940s. Coming into the Bar Andaluz is a trip in time as well. A classic bar with hardwoods, fresco paintings decorating the bar, ceramic floors and marble tables. A magnificent atmosphere to chill over Mexico’s most international cocktail.
While your lips touch the salt and the palate receives the acid, refreshing and at the same time soft touch of lime, you may wonder how that Margarita must have been to provoke a barman to name a cocktail after her. By the way, did you decide which margarita you liked best?