With an abundance of great Mexican restaurants in Long Beach, National Margarita Day is the unofficial holiday to which we can all raise a glass.

The tequila-laced cocktail is one of the most popular in the U.S., but its origins are somewhat of a mystery. As one story goes, the drink was invented by Mexican restaurant owner Carlos Herrera in 1938 who mixed a cocktail for Ziegfeld showgirl Marjorie King, who was supposedly allergic to all hard alcohol except tequila. Another legend claims Texas socialite Margaret Sames concocted the drink during a party at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948.

Regardless of where it came from, it’s a drink that deserves to the honored. And drank. In observance of National Margarita Day on Feb. 22, here are some local spots offering deals.

Margaritas at Fuego in Hotel Maya. Photo by Mona Shadia.

At Fuego in Hotel Maya, you can enjoy your cocktail with a view of the Queen Mary and downtown cityscape. In honor of the holiday, all margaritas and guacamole are half-price today, with complimentary chips and salsa. On other days, the classic house margarita with El Jimador Reposado, fresh lime juice and agave nectar runs just $7 during happy hour, Monday through Friday, from 4-6 p.m. Fuego bartender Mike Gutierreo says a great margarita is all about balance. “The perfect balance is not too sweet and not too sour, and the juice has to be fresh.”

The Pepino Margarita from Padre. Photo by Brian Addison.
The Pepino Margarita from Padre. Photo by Brian Addison.

Padre at 525 E. Broadway is celebrating one of its favorite days with craft margaritas, free gifts and swag. Margaritas are $7 and pitchers are $25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. This popular spot offers not one but six house margaritas ranging from the classic lime juice and agave to more exotic flavors with hibiscus, cactus juice, cucumber and kiwi. For $11, the Mandarin Tamarind is a tangy sweet refresher with Maestro Dobel tequila, Mandarine Napoleon orange liqueur and tamarind.

House margaritas at Lola’s on Fourth Street. Photo by Mona Shadia.

The ever-popular Lola’s on Fourth Street is offering $8 specialty margaritas all day. The frosty house margarita features Milagro Silver tequila, orange liqueur, agave, fresh limeade and sea salt. For something spicier, try the cilantro-jalapeño margarita with fresh muddle jalapeño or the mango chili, garnished with a slice of dried mango doused in chili power. If you’re feeling fruity, try the agua fresca with pineapple spinach puree.

House margaritas at Playa Amor. Photo by Craig Lowden.

Playa Amor’s house margarita goes for more sweet than sour with fresh orange and lime muddle, pineapple juice, limeade and orange liqueur. This spot on the eastside is known for its great happy hour, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and  Thursday and all day for Taco Tuesday. The Playa Margarita is $7 for happy hour.