Margaritas at Colorado’s Rio Grande Restaurants

February 22 National Margarita Day, and the Rio’s are famous.

RioGrande-logoMy favorite mixed drink from the standard repertory is the margarita, either frozen or on the rocks. I order a marg every time I visit a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant. National Margarita Day, designated for February 22. It seems an arbitrary date, because the origins of the margarita are as fuzzy as the brain of anyone who has one too many. All that is known about the invention of the classic margarita was this it dates back to the 1930s or ’40s.  In the 1970s, an inventive bartender converted a soft serve ice cream unit into a frozen margarita machine.

The Rio Grande's pretty margarita is also pretty tasty and pretty strong.
The Rio Grande’s pretty margarita is also pretty tasty and pretty strong.

Every day is Margarita Day at the Rio Grande, Jose Cuervo’s largest on-premise account in the US. More than 300,000 margaritas are mixed annually at the Rio’s six locations every year (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Park Meadows, Greeley and Steamboat Springs), . They are so potent that the Rio awaited Skinny Margarita, the Coin Margarita and the Ricky, a frozen Rio Marg and Corinita—a mini Corona beer turned upside down in a margarita.

In honor of National Margarita Day, and the marg-fueled meals I’ve enjoyed at the Boulder Rio (in walking distance of my house, I hasten to add), here are some fun facts provided by the restaurant chain:

  • 3 hippos + 1 mouse = weight of limes used in 1 year (average mature male hippo weight = 7,000 pounds).
  • 3 goats = cost of 2-ounce shot of Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario Tequila (average goat cost – $85).
  • 6000+ = cases of Jose Cuervo gold used each year.
  • Longs Peak  (elevation 14,259 feet) = 1 month of marg glasses stacked.
  • More than 300,000 margaritas are mixed Rio-wide every year.
  • Value of tequila vault in Denver: $8,820+.
  • The Rio’s annual kosher salt use equals the salt content of 16,000 gallons of seawater.
  • The Rio chops enough limes each year to put five in each seat at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
  • 26,810 pounds of strawberries are used annually in Strawberry and Strawberry Lites.