Once upon a time, six-some decades ago, a socialite created a beverage that would one day become the most popular alcoholic drink in the North American continent. This woman, 35-year-old Margarita Sames, is said to have been partying at a cliffside hacienda in Acapulco in 1948 over the Christmas holidays when she concocted the drink using Tequila Herradura, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.

“After all, a person can only drink so many beers or so many Bloody Marys, or screwdrivers or whatever,” recalled Sames to the San Antonio News-Express in 1994. “I wanted to make up a new drink. I was pushed into the swimming pool quite a few times because some of those first drinks were so bad.”

The drink, which would be called "margarita" there on out in her honor, is consumed by Americans at an alarming rate of 185,000 margaritas per hour. While Sames is given credit for inventing the drink -- the first appearance of a cocktail named "margarita" was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine crediting Sames -- The Wall Street Journal cocktail columnist Eric Felten believed otherwise. 

According to Felten, the original "margarita" was popular during World War II, when it was known as the "Tequila Daisy." This beverage, derived from the Gin Daisy and the Whiskey Daisy, was a made up of tequila, citrus juice and grenadine served over shaved ice. Felten's research cites a 1937 recipe for a beverage called the "Picador" published in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book in London that is made of tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. 

While the true origin of the beverage may be disputable, one thing is for sure: The world loves margaritas. The popularity of the beverage soared after Esquire magazine's publication of the secret recipe and finally, in 1971, the first frozen margarita machine was invented, inspired by the soft-serve ice cream machine.

Since then, many variations of the recipe have been created from frozen margaritas to "on the rocks" in a variety of different flavors. Check out our slide show above for recipes of six delicious margaritas: Grilled Pineapple Margarita from blogger Pati Jinich of Pati's Mexican Table. Rosa Mexicano's famous pomegranate margarita, Hibiscus Flower Margarita de Jamaica from blogger Leslie Limon of La Cocina de Leslie, Chef James Tahhan's mango margarita, Pineapple Cilantro Margarita from blogger Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles and Feasts and Patron's classic margarita.