Every Day is a Food Day

Margaritas: Sippin' on Satan's Playground

June 15, 2021 Van Valin Productions & YumDay Season 2 Episode 19
Every Day is a Food Day
Margaritas: Sippin' on Satan's Playground
Show Notes Transcript

Good news: we finally found that lost shaker of salt! Grab your tequila and slice up some limes because in this episode, Anna and Lia are talking (and drinking) margaritas! First, host Lia Ballentine introduces us to a scholarly puppet who teaches us about National Margarita Day, then she spills the controversial origin stories of this classic cocktail. She’ll also tell us about the genius behind one of America’s most prized inventions: the Frozen Margarita Machine. In the Deep Dish, host Anna Van Valin serves up the story of how Prohibition led to tequila being smuggled from Mexico to the American Southwest, and how the rich and famous would flock down to the border town of Tijuana — a.k.a. “Satan’s Playground” — to sip margs and other forbidden boozy bevs. She also tells us about a hatchet-carrying, saloon-smashing activist named Carry A. Nation (actual name),  a radical member of the temperance movement. Plus, find out how you, too, can waste away with Anna and Lia in Margaritaville! #mashiesandmargs

Explore from the show:

  • Listen to the full interview with Professor Paul Vanderwood on the history of "Satan's Playground."
  • Don't believe us that you should celebrate National Margarita Day? Let Professor Puppet convince you!
  • Have a smashing good time learning more about prohibitionist Carry A. Nation.
  • You can do your college internship at Margaritaville. Seriously.

Connect with us:

(c) Van Valin LLC, Yumday Co

0:00 LIA: If you want to permanently reside in Margaritaville, you can actually own a luxury condo, a little home in select margaritaville locations that he has a 55 and over community, that you can join.

0:36:07 ANNA: Wait a minute, wait a minute, Lia. Are you saying that you can literally waste away at Margaritaville?

0:36:16 LIA: Yes, you can. 


0:00:00 LIA: Hi Listeners! From Van Valin Productions and YumDay, welcome to Every Day is a Food Day! ……...I’m your host, Lia Ballentine. 

0:00:07 ANNA: And I’m your other host, Anna Van Valin. Slice some limes and grab some tequila. Today we’re finally going to find that lost shaker of salt.

0:00:16 LIA: Because this episode is all about Margaritas!!

0:00:37 LIA: We’ll learn about national Margarita Day from...a puppet. I’ll tell you all about the spicy controversy behind the cocktail’s competing origin stories, the history of that feat of American ingenuity: the Frozen Margarita Machine, and how you, too, can waste away in Margaritaville. 

0:00:54 ANNA: But how did tequila make its way across the border and into our hearts? In the Deep Dish, we’re going to sip on the story of how Prohibition led to an agave wave in the Southwest, with Mexican tequileros smuggling tequila up through Texas and the rich and famous flocking down to the border town of Tijuana which earned it the nickname “Satan’s Playground.” 

0:01:17 LIA: Oh, and we’ll be drinking margaritas the whole time. 

0:01:22 ANNA: The whole time! And you should grab one too! Please help us out by leaving us a rating and quick review on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to subscribe or follow wherever you listen. If you want to support this women- and BIPOC-created independent podcast, head over to our website and click the link that says “Buy us a coffee!” and help us cover the cost of production. 

0:01:45 LIA: For more great content about the foods and stories we talk about on the show, and to get a peek behind the scenes, connect with us on social media by following @FoodDayPod. Visit our website yumday.co/podcast where you can join our mailing list and enter our monthly giveaway for the chance to win a delicious prize.  All these links are in the show notes!

0:02:07 ANNA: Hi Lia.

0:02:10 LIA: Hello, Anna.

0:02:12 ANNA: Whatcha got there?

0:02:13 LIA: A Margarita.

0:02:15 ANNA: Oh yeah?

0:02:17 LIA: Yeah, what about you?

0:02:19 ANNA: I also got a Margarita.

0:02:20 LIA: Wait. That's crazy.

0:02:20 ANNA: Hang on, should we talk about Margaritas today?

0:02:21 LIA: Well, I think if I have a margarita and you have a margarita, we should probably talk about Margaritas.

0:02:24 ANNA: Oh My God, it's all coming together. Okay, look at you. Lia is wearing an adorable top covered in Jalapenos.

0:02:32 LIA: Jalapenos. I was feeling spicy. My Margarita is spicy. I made a spicy marg.

0:02:36 ANNA: Tell me about your spicy marg.

0:02:38 LIA: So I actually kind of veered a little off from the traditional Margarita recipe. I have a ton of satol here, which is not tequila, it's a yucca-based alcohol.

0:02:47 ANNA: Not agave based.

0:02:50 LIA: Yeah, 

ANNA: Interesting.

0:02:59 LIA: Yeah, I'm basically drinking an asparagus and then I mixed it with instead of an orange l iqueur, I actually have this really cool mixer, jalapeno and blood orange from a cool bev brand called Avec, and this is a female black-owned company, is really awesome, and they use just all natural juices and botanicals to make their mixers, so I was feeling very spicy, thus my blouse 

ANNA: I love it.

LIA: In a cactus margarita glass.

0:03:26 ANNA: Oh my Gosh, I have a cactus margarita glass too.

0:03:30 LIA: Well would you look at that?

0:03:32 ANNA: It's almost like we went on Amazon and ordered the same classes, so we would have matching glasses.


0:03:37 LIA: I love that we got matching glasses.

0:03:40 ANNA: If we can't be drinking these together... Is the next best thing. I don't know.

0:03:44 LIA: Yeah, what do you have? What's your margarita recipe?

0:03:48 ANNA: I decided I wanted to go extra tropical, and I went with a pineapple margarita.

0:03:55 LIA: I love it.

0:03:58 ANNA: Yes, so it's got triple sec, tequila. Triquila? I haven't even started drinking, so pineapple juice, triple SEC lime juice and tequila, and I used this beautiful tequila called Casa Dragones.

0:04:14 LIA: That is a good Tequila.

0:04:16 ANNA: It's  so good. I wanted a fancy, tequila, and I wanted something that was from a women-owned business, so this was the top of the list, and also it's called Casa Dragones and has a dragon on it, so...Sold

0:04:29 LIA: Yeah.  you're looking very tropical too.

0:04:34 ANNA: Thank you.  This is a resort dress that I got in Columbia.  I'm feeling a little bit daunted by all of the clothes in my closet that I absolutely do not fit me, but then what I was thinking about margaritas tropical-ness., I was like, Let me try this on, and it is so flowy that I actually fit in it.

0:04:53 LIA: Well, it's a pretty dress... It's beautiful.


0:04:55 ANNA: Yeah, thank you. It's fun to wear. Alright, she would try our margs.

0:04:57 LIA: Yeah, let's try it.

0:04:59 ANNA: Okay.

0:05:00 LIA: Cheers.

0:05:01 ANNA: Cheers. Damnit, that's good.

0:05:05 LIA: This is really good.

0:05:07 ANNA: Really good.

0:05:10 LIA: I have a nice salty rim.

0:05:11 ANNA: I've got this pineapple kick. Don't worry, everyone. No queens were harmed in the making of this. Pineapple Margarita.

FX: “That’s a Callback!”

0:0519 LIA: We love, Queen Lili.

0:05:20 ANNA: Queen Lili. Should I just call this the Queen Lili Marg?

0:05:23 LIA: I think you should.

0:05:25 ANNA: Alright, it's the Queen Lili marg. You heard it first. So margaritas.

0:05:29 LIA: Yes.

0:05:31 ANNA: Do you have a favorite Margarita memory?

0:05:34 LIA: Can I talk about it on the podcast?

0:05:36 ANNA: Let's  hear it and then we will decide later.

0:05:37 LIA: Oh my goodness. Back in my hometown, I had a group of friends and there was a place that we used to go to, a great little Mexican restaurant, and there was just one night we got rowdy. Friends ended up with sombreros, somebody had a machete, I don't know where it came from. 

0:05:56 ANNA: What?

  0:05:57 LIA There was a friend who had a birthday, and so we brought in a birthday cake for her, but somehow someone had like a machete, the thing, and we chopped the birthday cake up with the machete. And we were having so much fun. At one point, there was one person that had a margarita on the other end of the table, and I was empty, and I came up with this genius idea to grab all the straws and I built a straw and I was like, I'm gonna just keep attaching the straw ends until it can make it all the way to the other side of the table, and I need you to put the end the straw in her margarita so I can sip it.

0:06:27 ANNA: Did it work?

0:06:28 LIA: It didn't really work, but I felt like I had just undertaken this feat of engineering.

0:06:44 ANNA: I can just see the margarita, you could suck it a little bit and then it's just gonna come out between each of the straws... It's just gonna be more like a sprinkler...

0:06:53 LIA: Yeah, it just... Yeah, that was such a fun night. The parts that I remember.

0:07:36 LIA So that was my Margarita story. Now what about you? Do you have a margarita story? 

0:07:46 ANNA No. 

0:07:47 LIA Wait. How do you not have a margarita story? 

0:07:49 ANNA I know! I have a story for literally everything. 

0:07:51 LIA Come on, Anna. 

0:07:53 ANNA I don't. I really thought hard and there were some things that I could embellish enough to be interesting stories, but I just didn't feel right. So I have an alternative I would like to propose. 

0:08:04 LIA Oh, okay let's hear it. 

0:08:09 ANNA  Since it’s a tropical drink and we’re talking about Prohibition and all the illegal activity and smugglers and Gangsters, I do have a Gangster story that takes place in the tropics.

0:08:24 LIA A gangster story? Oh this might be much better than a margarita story. 

0:08:28 ANNA Will this do? 

0:08:29 LIA Um, yeah, we will let this one slide. We will let you tell a gangster story. 


0:08:34 ANNA You will allow it? 

0:08:34 LIA Yeah.

0:08:37 ANNA: Well, so like I said, I'm wearing my tropical dress from Columbia. By the way, everyone, you should absolutely put Columbia on your list to travel to it, when we're allowed to travel and South America is back on its feet, which is hopefully soon. And we drank a lot of margaritas. So we were in a town called Guata Pay, it's a couple of hours outside Medellin. And there's all these lakes. Just a beautiful lakes. And so we were doing this boat ride with this tour guide, and one of the things we passed by on this boat ride was Pablo Escobar abandoned country estate.

0:09:10 LIA: Oh, Just... Over to your left.

0:09:13 ANNA: Literally.

0:09:13 LIA: What?

0:09:14ANNA: Literally, so there was Pablo Escabar’s abandoned country state, it's called afinka, which is also farm, and it was for his daughter to grow up but also hide out it... So it was called Finca La Manuela. And, have you ever heard of Pablo Escobar's Hippos?

0:09:31 LIA: What? No.

0:09:33 ANNA: Okay, first of all, his family never sold it, they still own it, but they don't do anything with it, they didn't tear it down, it's completely abandoned. It is creepy as fuck, it's like this mini Castle. In the middle of nowhere on the banks of these lakes. And there's just signs everywhere, that say broedidot. Peligro! 

0:09:56 LIA Peligro! 

0:09:57 ANNA Cuidado! No entrar! And completely abandoned. So there's a thing with Crazy, Rich, eccentric people and weird animals like William Randolph Hearst, Hursts castle, or even here in LA, the Barnsdall Art Park.

0:10:08 LIA: Oh the Barnsdall, art park. Mmhm.

0:10:10 ANNA: With Alene Barnsdall who had a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright, and she built a little zoo...

0:10:14 LIA: Yes.

0:10:15 ANNA: For her kid, right? So Pablo Escabar also being a crazy richperson, fill this afinka with animals, and then when he died, his family just let them loose.

0:10:24 LIA: Whoa. So they're like, the menagerie is just poof...

0:10:27 ANNA: So most of them didn't survive or find their way out to the jungle, but the hippos stayed in the area, and the hippo... She f****. They just kept reproducing. So the area is overrun with Pablo Escobar hippos. Their poop has destroyed the ecosystem.

0:10:50 LIA: They have, like tore up the ozone layer because of the poop gases.

0:10:56 ANNA: They killed all the fish. In the nearby lakes, they go into people's little farms, gardens, shit and eat their flowers.

0:11:06 LIA: They're like... They're super dangerous animals.

0:11:10 ANNA: And they are huge. But heres the thing, the hippos werent the thing that shocked us the most about this Pablo Escabar, fincta situation. 

0:11:25 LIA The rogue hippos weren’t that shocking? 

0:11:27 ANNA They were up there. But the moment where we had to like actively pretend not to be horrified, was so you know, we are going by, we are drinking our margaritas. She's telling us about rogue hippos. And we look at the finca and there is one small building that is like set off from the main house. And it's really pretty. It's got like a mediterranean vibe. 

0:11:59 LIA Okay. 

0:12:00 ANNA ANd then it's got a touret you can walk up, right? and I was like oh its a widow's walk or something. A little Emily Dickinson vibe. And then our tour guide goes, “and if you look, you see a beautiful white tile building And inside that building, is the sauna, the jacuzzi and the sniper tower.”  

0:12:28 LIA Oh my god. 

0:12:30 ANNA Okay, and then she just moves on. She just moves on. It's like, we aren't even going to talk about the sniper tower? 

0:12:34 LIA Yeah, you can't just stop at sniper tower! 

0:12:38 ANNA Okay really glad it is abandoned. 

0:12:46 LIA Don't look now! 

0:12:47 ANNA And it wasn't for the hippos guys, the sniper tower predated the rogue hippos. 

0:12:50 LIA Ohhh. 

0:12:54 ANNA Yeah, it was so, such a weird moment and its one of those moments where you are like, you know in another culture so you don't want to react. 

0:13:00 LIA Yeah. 

0:13:02 ANNA So you're just like, oh okay, um cool maybe thats a standard thing in Columbian country estates. 

0:13:15 LIA You're like, you know have you not seen a sniper tower before when you are flipping through HGTV magazine? 

0:13:20 ANNA No I haven't   it wasnt in lonely planet. They didn't mention it in lonely planet. 

0:13:26 LIA Fodors had it. 

0:13:27 ANNA Im also wondering, like… but later we were like what a combo, right? the sauna, the jacuzzi, the sniper tower. Is it not like, you wanna be relaxed, you wanna get those toxins out when you go off to pick off your…

0:13:47 LIA To snipe? 

0:13:48 ANNA When you go up to snipe.

0:13:54 LIA You want to get into the right headspace for sniping. You cant just go up there all willy nilly. 

0:14:01 ANNA I know. It's like, it's my shift to go to the sniper tower, but I just, I gotta sweat it out. Just got to sweat this out first. We really wanted to ask the tour guide, excuse me, um can we please discuss the sniper tower. 

0:14:30 LIA Hold on. 

0:14:33 ANNA Slow the boat! And it was like not subtle. Like once she said what that was, I was like oh my god, thats what that is. It is not su btle. Anyway…

0:14:46 LIA Wow. 

0:14:48 ANNA We just, um,  looked at  each other intently and were like we are gunna talk about this back at the hotel for a solid hour and then silently sipped our margaritas out of our plastic cups. 

0:14:59 LIA Oh, that's a margarita you’ll never forget. 

0:15:05 ANNA This margarita I'm drinking right now is one I'll never forget. 

0:15:12 LIA Ohhh 

0:15:14 ANNA Should we get started talking about margaritas? 

0:15:15 LIA I guess so. That was a great margarita gangster story 

0:15:19 ANNA Thank you for allowing it this time. I will come more prepared next time. I promise. 



0:15:29 ANNA: Okay, Lia, we've got our margs in hand, they'd probably hit our blood stream by now.

0:15:37 LIA: I can feel it.

0:15:38 ANNA: I'm feeling relaxed.

0:15:43 LIA: I'm so chill right now.

0:15:146 ANNA: Let do some, uh, Holidays and celebrations. 'cause I've already started celebrating you know...

0:15:51 LIA: Well, there is one margarita celebration. And its national margarita day. 

0:15:57 ANNA: Classic.

0:15:58 LIA: And that day is on February 22, which is a little odd because that's a little more of a winter time thing, and you would think Margarita should be more of a summer celebration, but there is a bit of a reason behind why February 22nd is National Margarita day, and if you don't want to take my word for it, then maybe you'll take Professor Hans von puppets word as to why National Margarita is a very important celebration and why it's celebrated in February.

 0:16:29 FX: Clip, Professor Puppetsworth

0:16:32 LIA: That puppet is into some food holidays, so obviously he likes National Margarita Day. He also has a YouTube video for national cupcake day on December 15. And if you're on his YouTube page, you could actually find all kinds of videos from this crazy puppet, however, he kind of stopped making videos a little bit after the 2016 election because he was totally devastated by the results, I felt kind of bad for this puppet, he had a little video that he put out the day after the election to check in to make sure everyone was okay, and to let people know that he was going to try to do his best and not kill himself.

0:17:11 ANNA: I wish he checked in with me because I was not okay.

0:17:14 LIA: I know.

0:17:15 ANNA: I was not okay, the day after the election it was some dark, dark days.

0:17:18 LIA: It was very dark.

0:17:19 ANNA: And like all the thousand days that followed.

0:17:25 LIA: I... I kind of hope the professor puppet comes back though, he had some really cool things that he explained so.

0:17:31 ANNA: Should we do a wellness check or something. Is he okay?

0:17:34 LIA: Yeah, if you're out there. We're thinking of you. So.

0:17:38 ANNA: You got a friend in us, more. Hang in there.

0:17:43 LIA: But I love that he became this champion for national Margarita day, and it wasn't the puppet that started National Margarita day, guys. Just to be clear, this day was created back in 2000 by one of our favorite food holiday creators, Anna. This guy is Todd McCalla. Todd...

0:18:07 ANNA: A wine hero!

0:18:08 LIA: Yes, he created National Drink Wine Day, which is also celebrated in February, so Todd's giving us a few days to drink in the month of February.

0:18:18 ANNA: What happened in February.

0:18:20 LIA: I don't know. I don't know, but Todd was looking for ways to help us all feel good during that time.

0:18:126 ANNA: Todd got dumped on Valentine's Day or something, and I was just like, I am putting my misery on the calendar. Some of his friends were like, Todd, man, You've been drinking a lot. Are you okay? And he was like, Well, it's National Margarita, shut up.

0:18:52 LIA: Aww Todd. Todd seems like a cool, nice guy.

0:18:55 ANNA: Todd. We wanna be your friend. Come on the show.

0:18:57 LIA: We do.

0:18:58 ANNA: Todd, call us.

0:19:00 LIA: Call us Todd.

0:19:03 ANNA: We have guests now that one time.

0:19:05 LIA: That's right. You know when Todd started National Margarita Day, I feel like just like us, he didn't half a** it, he went all out, he launched a website for it, he did the same for drink wine day, and then on the National Margarita Day website, he has recipes, there's links where you can find Margarita machines to rent for the day, so he's got everything taken care of, you know,  And because he is a marketing genius, Todd also offer sponsorship opportunities for brands who wanna be recognized as official partners of National Margarita Day.

0:19:45 ANNA: Really?

0:19:47 LIA: You can get a special badge to put on your website so you could be like the official blank of National Margarita Day. And I am starting to think that we should be the official Podcast of National Margarita Day.

0:20:02 ANNA: Absolutely. Is this our first sponsorship?

0:20:06 LIA: I think so. Todd, sign us up.

0:20:11 ANNA: You know what? I don't care how many downloads we have, I don't care if we make any money, but if we are the official Podcast of national margarita day, Lia, we have made it.

0:20:20 LIA: We have...

0:20:21 ANNA: We have climbed the mountain.

0:20:23 LIA: I wanna put that badge on the website, we're gonna have it on, Instagram. “Official podcast of national Margarita Day.”

0:20:30 ANNA: It's going in every bio, it's going on our one sheet and press releases.

0:20:34 LIA: I'm changing my LinkedIn profile title.

0:20:39 ANNA: Co-creator of the official Podcast of national Margarita Day. 

0:20:45 LIA: That's right. Recruiters, don't call me.

MX Music Sting 6


0:20:57 LIA: Yeah, so I guess the question is like, What are margaritas? Just real quickly, for those of you who don't know, a margarita is a cocktail consisting of tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice often served with salt on the rim of the glass. The drink is served shaken with ICE or blended with ice or without ice, so that way the margarita basically has all of those great elements of taste that we love, the sweet, the salty, the sour and the bitter, it's pretty simple, but also it provides that complexity of tastes and flavors. I'm a beautiful glass.

0:21:40 ANNA: It's a great canvas.

0:21:41 LIA: It is! And there are so many variations on the recipe that we'll talk about and even what we're drinking, it's so cool that we can just be super creative and make margs the way we want to, but where did the margarita come from? And here's the crazy thing, and this seems to be the case with all other popular or iconic Foods or Drinks, there's gonna be conflicting origin stories... Because everybody wants a piece of that action. Right.

0:22:06 ANNA: Right, right. Everyone wants the glory.

0:22:09 LIA: They all do. But I think it would be fun to kinda go over a few of those origin stories that seemed to be the most popular at the end we will let you decide what you wanna believe.

0:22:20 ANNA: Yeah, I love that. 

0:22:24 LIA: Okay, so this story is about a man named Francisco Pancho Morales, and this story about Pancho seems to have the strongest support because it is backed by Mexico's news agency, Notimaxx.

0:22:37 ANNA Ohhh Legit. 

0:22:39 LIA: So Pancho was the head bartender at this joint called Tommy's place, and Juarez Mexico, and he bartended there for more than 20 years. Pancho is credited as the inventor of a drink called The Conga Cooler, which is another tequila-based cocktail that was really popular at Tommy's place in the 1940, so he's already known for creating really great cocktails, but Pancho’s story, which he shared this one with journalists, is that one day, which he remembered it being the fourth of July in 1942, a woman came in in order to drink called The magnolia. Well, poncho couldn't remember how to make the Magnolia. So he basically just mixed the orange liqueur in the lime with the tequila, and when he served it to her, the woman was like, This isn't a magnolia, but I still like it. So what is it? And Pancho, he’s a slick dude, and he was like, Oh, I'm so sorry, I thought you said you wanted a margarita. Silly me! 

0:23:46 ANNA: She was like “give me another one a them...Margaritas.”

0:23:51 LIA: She said it just like that.

0:23:53 ANNA: Yeah, I bet she did. I could hear it in my head.

0:23:56 LIA: Well, Pancho was like, Oh, I'm so sorry. I thought margarita, which is a flower, just like the Magnolia, I was just... I had flowers on my mind, and that's why I made it...

0:24:07 ANNA: Wait a minute. Margarita is a flower too.

0:24:09 LIA: Yeah, so Margarita is the Spanish word for Daisy. And apparently he recorded that recipe for his Margarita on an old bar tab, so there's supposed to be this written piece of evidence that stored away for Pancho’s Margarita invention.

0:24:53 LIA Now this is the story of Danny Negrette, who was bartending in Tijuana and he created a special drink as a wedding present for his sister, Margarita Ancino who grew up to become hollywood icon Rita Hayworth. 

0:25:08 ANNA: Well, well, well. As you know, as we'll discuss in the deep dish Tijuana was a playground for Hollywood stars.

0:25:16 LIA: Oh, so this could really be...

0:25:21 ANNA: Plausible, plausible.

0:25:36 LIA And now this story is about a woman named Margarita Sames and she was on vacation with her friends in Acapulco in 1948, and she whipped up a fabulous drink for all of them while they were vacationing together, and one of her friends who was there, happened to be a member of the Hilton family, you know the hotels, and apparently he loved the drink so much that he decided to put it on the menu at one of his hotels, this drink became the margarita, named after Margarita, the Dallas socialite, who made this recipe for her buddies on vacation 

0:26:13 ANNA I like that one. Simple. 

0:26:15 LIA It was simple. 

0:26:18 ANNA Its the Occam’s razor of margarita explanations. 

0:26:21 LIA Yes. 

0:26:23 ANNA A lady named Margarita made a drink. 

0:26:25 LIA Made a marg. Yep. 

0:26:28 ANNA  The end. 

0:26:29 LIA Done. But the big issue with this story is that Jose Cuervo had already been running ads three years prior, and this kind of conflicts with the other guys too, that said, Margarita, it's more than a girl's name... So Jose Cuervo, the brand was already suggesting that the margarita had been invented by a bartender in the late 30s, but the Margarita was in honor of a Mexican showgirl named Rita de la Rosa, but then it started making me wonder, Is this another one of those tequila board, tequila industry Board things going on.

ANNA: Yeah, okay, so we got a lot of options. What's your take?

0:27:35 LIA: You know, I'm starting to think more about the poncho story. It's not like he just happened to mix this and then it became a thing, but he had already invented another tequila-based cocktail.

0:27:45 ANNA: He seems like more of the Mixologist.

0:27:46 LIA: He does, I'm gonna say, I feel like it was Pancho. Who knows? Who knows?

0:27:58ANNA: Who knows? Well, here's the thing, it's not the most complicated drink in the world.

0:28:03 LIA: Right.

0:28:04 ANNA: So many of these could be true, it could be how people discovered the drink or in whatever area they were in, it wasn't that popular, and so they could make it and then say they came up with it. It does seem to be mostly in the southwest and Mexico area, which sort of tracks with what I'm gonna talk about, and you know how tequila got introduced into the US.

0:28:31 LIA: Right.

0:28:32 ANNA: But you know, it could be any of these guys.

0:28:33 LIA: It could be... One of the stories too, is that maybe the margarita was like the glow up of another pre-Prohibition drink called The Daisy... (Margarita is a Spanish term for Daisy.) So that could be it too.

0:28:50 ANNA: Yeah. Totally like Americans sitting in America, maybe they wanted Daisy, a Margarita during prohibition, and they didn't have access to Brandy, but they did have to tequila, thanks to them sweet, Sweet smugglers. 

0:29:01 LIA Yeah. 

0:29:04 ANNA And they were like, let's go with this.

0:29:08 LIA: That's true, but you know, no matter who invented the margarita, there is no doubt that it is one of the most popular cocktails in America, and one of the biggest pieces of evidence to prove this, as we got a frozen Margarita machine...

0:29:23 ANNA: Yeah, that's American ingenuity right there.

0:29:24 LIA: That is so American.

0:29:27 ANNA: So American, we want it cold and low effort.

0:29:30 LIA: That's right. So this has a really interesting story behind it, the frozen Margarita machine was invented in Dallas by a man named Mariano Martinez in 1970. So he had this killer Margarita recipe that was passed down from his Dad, it was a blended Margarita cocktail, it was icy, and it happened to be bringing a lot of people to his own Mexican restaurant called Mariano’s Mexican cuisine. The issue was that the demand for his Margarita was so high that the bartenders couldn't keep up with all of the orders, I mean, they were blending the ice and a little blender and... One little blender can only do so much at a time.

25:55 ANNA: Right, right.

0:30:08 LIA: So it was really tough.

0:30:11 LIA: But one day, while Mariano was out a 7-11, he noticed the slurpee machine and a light bulb went off, and he was like, Oh my God, what if I could pre-mix everything, put it in a machine, and then the bartenders just pulled this little lever and it dispenses the margarita. Mariana was like, I'm buying a soft serve machine and I'm gonna figure this out, so he modified it and He tweaked his recipe to get the everything to freeze the right way. And he invented the world's first frozen Margarita machine. And guys, this invention was so important that in 2005, the Smithsonian acquired the original machine and put it in their collection at the National Museum of American History.

0:30:59 ANNA: What? Is it like right next door to Julia Child's kitchen?

0:31:04 LIA: Yes, there's a margarita machine, and then you see Julias cutting boards...

26:50 FX: “That’s a callback!”

26:54 LIA: but it's so important to listed as one of the top 10 inventions in this collection, like inventions in America, it's crazy. Well, and on top of having this machine, like the Margaritas is so popular that there are landmarks just dedicated to celebrating the margarita. So in Dallas/

0:31:56ANNA: /I'm assuming there's a statue to the inventor of the frozen Margarita machine.

0:32:02 LIA: If not, there needs to be one.

0:32:04 ANNA: Hello, tear down some of those f****** Confederate generals.

0:32:08 LIA: We need a statue of Mariano Martinez.

0:32:10 ANNA: I think everyone can get behind that. We're like...

0:32:14 LIA: This will unite us, guys.

0:32:15 ANNA: Yes, Yes,  We're taking down Jefferson Davis, but we're replacing him with The guy who invented that margarita machine...People will get on board.

0:32:23 LIA: I'm ready to start that change dot org petition. Right now. I'm in.

0:32:145 LIA: If they're going to put that statue somewhere, it has to be in Dallas, which makes sense, because that's where Mariana was from, that's where the Margarita machine was invented, and Dallas is also the home to the margarita mile. So that is a stretch of more than a dozen bars and restaurants with some of the best and most unique Margaritas in town, and Anna, I can't wait till you come to Texas to visit me because we're totally going to make a trip down the margarita mile together.

0:33:13 ANNA: Road trip, yeah, but maybe we should spend the night in Dallas.

0:33:16 LIA: Oh yes, for sure. Well, you can download an app, you can book a trolley to take you to all of these spots.

0:33:24 ANNA: Shut up. 

0:33:28 LIA: They make it so easy for you, you can earn rewards while visiting all these bars and restaurants, I'm all about those rewards points.

0:33:36 ANNA: You are speaking my language.

0:33:39 LIA: Scan the app. It's like a little passport.

0:33:41 ANNA: Shut up. You know I'm a sucker for that s***.

0:33:44 LIA: I know you got your National Parks one.

0:33:46 ANNA: I got my national parks one for a while, I had an LA bar passport.

0:33:51 LIA: What...

0:33:52 ANNA: Yeah, you go to different bars to show your passport, you got whatever drink special that was in there, and they stamp your passport. / I'm a collector. 

0:33:58 LIA: /Oh my God. Okay, so you definitely need to come to Dallas and get the Margarita mile app, so you can get it all stamped and earn your rewards. 

0:34:05 ANNA: Except I might die because I'm gonna be like... “No Lia, I need one more stamp. I can't have nine out of ten stamps, Lia were doing it.”

0:34:16 LIA: I think they'll let you do it over however many days you need, so you don't have to push yourself.

0:34:20 ANNA: We’ll get the 3 day pass.

0:34:23 LIA: Unless you do get a prize for finishing the most Margaritas in a day, because if that's the case, we're doing it. We're doing it. Day one.

0:34:32 ANNA: We are doing it. We are gonna carbo load. So we'll have our stack of pancakes, some maple syrup, have some margaritas, fill up on mashed potatoes...

0:34:40 LIA: Oh, you know it.

0:34:41 ANNA: We can layer it.

0:34:42 LIA: Yeah.

0:34:44 ANNA: So good.

0:34:45 LIA: Mashed potatoes and margarita, doesn't that sound like a wonderful day.

0:34:49 ANNA: “Mashies and margs.”


0:34:54 LIA: That sounds like a t-shirt.

0:34:55 ANNA: Yeah, that's the new Rose and Slay.

0:34:56 LIA: Mashies and Margs.

0:34:58 ANNA: Mashies and Margs trademark. That's gonna be the first shirt in our merch store.

0:35:04 LIA: Yes. It's our special collection.

0:35:06 ANNA: Pre-order yours today, listeners.

0:35:10 LIA: But you know, if you're someone who really loves margaritas, then there's no better place for a Marg lover, than Margaritaville.

0:35:17 ANNA: Take me away. Take me away.

0:35:22 LIA: You know, margaritaville is a feeling. Not so much a place.

0:35:27 ANNA: It's a place deep inside.

0:35:33 LIA: But you know, it is like an actual place now, which is what is so crazy to me, Jimmy Buffett has built this insane empire around margaritaville, I thought at first it was just like the Merch and restaurants, but there are actual resorts for margaritaville and...

MX: Jimmy Buffett, “Margaritaville” fades in

0:35:49 ANNA: What?

0:35:50 LIA: Yeah, and not only like vacation club type things, if you want to permanently reside in Margaritaville, you can actually own a luxury condo, a little home in select margaritaville locations that he has a 55 and over community, that you can join.

0:3607 ANNA: Wait a minute, wait a minute, Lia. Are you saying that you can literally waste away at Margaritaville?

0:36:16 LIA: Yes, you can. 

MX: Jimmy Buffett, “Margaritaville” up and out

LIA: Your shaker of salt is lost no more.

0:36:125 ANNA: Salt, Salt, Salt. Lia, I know we're millennials, so we'll never get to retire. I'm gonna call my money guys and be like, I have new dates for my 401k...

0:36:40 LIA: Yes, I've got some new goals that I've set, On his website, which is quite robust, you can dive into the different communities that are available, like what you can own on a piece of margaritaville. There are tips for visiting where to travel... I mean, he's got these all over... And if you're a college student, Margaritaville has a college Ambassador Program.

0:37:07ANNA: What...

0:37:08 LIA: Can you imagine having your internship at Margaritaville.

0:37:11 ANNA: I just imagine a retirement community needs college ambassadors to come teach them how to use their iPads.

0:37:20 LIA: How do I get this to print?


0:37:27 ANNA: You know what, I guarantee you margaritaville is full of.

0:37:31 LIA: What?

0:37:32 ANNA: Upside out pineapples. You know what I'm saying.


0:37:35 LIA: Everywhere you turn.

0:37:37 ANNA: Every porch light./If you know you know.

0:37:42 LIA: Upside Down pineapples, if you know, you know.  But how the heck did we get from being this really interesting cocktail that was made maybe in the 30s, all the way to Margaritaville.

0:38:05 ANNA: Hey man, it's more complicated than that. I mean, we're gonna talk about it, but like you're thinking your bathtub gin, this is some smuggled tequila in tunnels under San Diego. There's a long road from tunnels under San Diego, all the way to margaritaville. And when we come back to the Deep Dish, I'm gonna tell you all about it.


0:38:50 ANNA: Alright, Lia, how is your pitcher doing...

0:38:52 LIA: It's doing well.

0:38:53 ANNA: Yes.

0:38:57 LIA: Listeners, I did bring a pitcher in the closet, in the studio with me today, so it just makes refills so much easier.

0:39:05 ANNA: She did, she's the smart one, 'cause I was like, Okay, I'm gonna go down and pour and mix my margarita, and she's like, Oh, mine's right here.

0:39:12 LIA: But you're making two different types...

0:39:14 ANNA: I did make two different types, so the last one was a pineapple margarita, and this one is similar to yours, a spicy cucumber Margarita... Let's see if I did it right. I did full disclosure dump a fair amount onto my beautiful tropical dress, so now I have sort of an ode...

0:39:35 LIA: Eau de marg?

0:39:37 ANNA: Eau de marg. I'm telling you, mashies and margs.

0:39:40 LIA: Mashies and margs!

0:39:41 ANNA: Cheers!

0:39:42 LIA: Cheers! The color is gorgeous.  

0:39:44 ANNA: It's very green and beautiful.

0:39:48 LIA: Super vibrant. How does it taste, Anna?

0:39:58 ANNA: I think I need to throw in some splenda... I didn't think I did a good job muddling those jalapenos, but they are in there, I gotta fish one out, it's not quite sweet enough, I put simple syrup instead of agave...


0:40:17 LIA: Okay.

0:40:18 ANNA: I don't know, it was agave sweeter?

0:40:22 LIA: I don't know, depends.

0:40:24 ANNA: I'm still gonna drink it...

0:40:28 LIA: No question. You're drinking it. Yeah.

0:40:31 ANNA: When we were talking about doing margaritas and we were like, Yay margaritaville, buckets of margaritas, it’s America's favorite drink. I was kind of like, Okay, but it has it always been America's favorite drink? Like, where did this come from? And it sort of went on a reverse rabbit hole, and I noticed that a lot of these stories, the origin stories, possibly of the margarita happened in the 20s, the 30s, in Prohibition era, and then I kept hearing these mentions of during prohibition tequila coming into America, and I was like, Wait a minute. Because look, I took AP American History, I know about the boll-stead act. I'm aware of prohibition. The 18th amendment, the only amendment to be repealed by another amendment. The 21st amendment. Yeah, I got a five on that test.

0:41:26 LIA: A five, I was gonna say. Anna got a five.

0:41:32 ANNA: But like Al Capone, and Chicago. And I've always heard these stories of smuggling whiskey and through Canada or on the ships back to gin, all that stuff, but I never heard anything about tequila, so I was like, Okay, what is the link really between margaritas, tequila and prohibition,

MX: The Champs, “Tequila” fades in

0:42:06 ANNA: So I'm gonna give you a bit of a background, a prohibition, I'm gonna tell you about one of my favorite icons who I am obsessed with... We're gonna talk about tequila's role in prohibition and especially the city of Tijuana, and then you know, kind of fall out from prohibition. Didn't go so well, was not the noble experiment that they wanted it to be. Okay, so let's all like seriously channel our AP American study sesh.

0:42:38 LIA: Oh yeah.

0:42:39 ANNA: And come with me. 

MX: The Champs, “Tequila” up and out

The movement to ban or limit alcohol in the US had been around since the early 1800s. And so by the time we get to the 19 teens, 33 states already had some kind of prohibition laws on the books, there are a lot of reasons why people wanted to ban alcohol, for one, a wave of Evangelical Protestants saw it as ungodly. They were also trying to legislate other moral behavior, like gambling and boxing and public dancing.

0:43:11 LIA: That's right.

0:43:12 ANNA: Yeah, so there's a great documentary about this called Footloose.

0:43:18 LIA: I've seen that Doc.

0:43:20 ANNA: You should all check that out. 

0:43:22 LIA: It's pretty insane. 

ANNA: Everybody’s gotta get loose.

LIA: You gotta see what these kids do.

0:43:27 ANNA: Another one was good old capitalism, factory owners wanted employees to drink less, so they'd have fewer accidents, be more efficient and be able to work longer hours, but one of the most powerful drivers were groups of women's rights activists, and especially one called the Women's Christian Temperance Union. And the reasoning was that women were totally dependent on men. Women had no rights and no independence, which meant that if their male family members were alcoholics, couldn't hold down jobs, spend all the family's money on alcohol, abandon them, or we're violent. The women and children in the families were completely at their mercy...

0:44:09 LIA: Right, totally helpless.

0:44:11 ANNA: And women couldn't vote, they couldn't run for office, so they had no direct say in policy, so again, if you just let women control their own lives, we wouldn't have to ban alcohol or poison you.

0:44:25 LIA: Right.

FX: “That’s a Callback!”

0:44:35 ANNA: One of the superstars of the temperance movement was a woman named Carrie A Nation.

0:44:43 LIA: What...

0:44:44 ANNA: Yes, her name is Carrie A. Nation. She is iconic and I am obsessed with her. I can't wait to tell you about her. I first heard about her because she was one of the people who inspired another iconic woman, Ruth Desmond!

0:45:07 LIA: The Peanut Butter Grandma! /What?

0:45:11  ANNA: /Yes! In my research for our peanut butter episode, I found out that Carrie was one of Ruth’s heroes and inspired her consumer rights activism as a way to protect families.

0:45:25 LIA That's amazing. 

0:45:26 ANNA Yeah! However, Carrie's style was a little different. 

0:45:34 LIA She didn't have a trial mink that she wore?

0:45:36 ANNA Oh no. Her costume was much better, okay. So we're gonna tell you about Carrie A Nation. And you might say to yourself, “did Anna shoehorn in this prohibition story line so she could just talk about this women?” And the answer is ish...

0:45:54 LIA: Is, ish... Yeah, I wanna hear all about Carrie A Nation.

0:46:02 ANNA: It will be so worth It. Okay, come with me now. Carry A Nation was born in, I mean, is she... Or is she not on Rupaul's Drag Race with a name like that?

0:46:13 LIA: I know. That name. Oh my god.

0:46:16 ANNA: But wait till you hear about her drag. Okay. She was born in 1846, in Kentucky. She married a young doctor and she suffered from the things that the temperance movement was all about, he was an alcoholic and she finally left him because he couldn't function, he couldn't hold down a job, and he drank himself to death just a few months after their daughter was born.

0:46:37 LIA: What?

0:46:39 ANNA: So in 1874, she moved to Kansas and she opened up a chapter there of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, she got married to a preacher, and then that really became her focus, prohibition and temperance. But around this time, she got the spirit, the spirit moved her.

0:47:03 LIA: Woah.


0:47:03 ANNA: She was speaking in tongues, she started having visions, she's going full Joan of Arc here, and she started to believe She was on a mission from God to end the evil of alcohol on earth. 

0:47:22 LIA: Wow.

0:47:28  ANNA So she'd been running her chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, but she was getting really tired and frustrated with what she considered indirect action. The petitions, marches, talking to politicians and then...waiting. Like come on, she was on a mission from God, this was serious, this was not a change.org situation. That's not why spirit came to her, right. 

0:47:59 LIA: Exactly 

0:48:00 ANNA: So she decided to start taking what she called “Direct action” to stop the consumption of alcohol. And, oh Lia, it was direct.

0:48:12 LIA: How do you mean? And why am I scared? 

0:48:19 ANNA So in 1900, she went into the Kerry hotel bar in Wichita, Kansas. This woman is six feet tall.

0:48:27 LIA: Oh wow!

0:48:28 ANNA: So she is dressed head to-toe in black, black veil, black veil, black hat like she's serving for reals Queen Victoria in mourning realness. Prince Albert's body is barely cold. 

0:48:41 LIA: Oh my God.

0:48:41 ANNA: She goes in, holding a Bible in one hand and a hatchet in the other.

0:48:49 LIA: What?

0:48:50 ANNA: And she proceeds to smash all the bottles of alcohol and chop up the bar, the stools, the chairs at the table with patrons and people working in this bar all the while, screaming verses from the Bible in her other hand.

0:49:12 LIA: Carrie. 

0:49:14 ANNA: Isn't that incredible.

0:49:31 LIA: She just showed up and was like, mission from God. Mission from God.

0:49:39 ANNA: Mission from god. Can you imagine it's 1900? You're just sitting there and you're just in a saloon.

0:49:45 LIA: And a six foot tall woman in all black.

0:49:49 ANNA: She is like Miss Havisham, but reverse.

0:50:02 LIA: That's horrifying. Don't even know if I could move, if I was like, Yeah.

0:50:09 ANNA: I know, but also kind of respect. She is really going for it.

0:50:12 LIA: She is. She took this mission seriously.

0:50:18 ANNA: So she got arrested, but she also became instantly famous.

0:50:27 LIA: Oh, yeah.

0:50:28 ANNA: Obvs. And she kind of found her calling. Carrie had done a ton of speaking engagements on temperance up until now, and so she decided to make that her career.

0:51:00 LIA: Okay.

0:51:01 ANNA: She, I love this, trademarked her name, Carrie A Nation because she knew how fucking iconic it was, she divorced her preacher husband so that she would have more freedom to go on her speaking engagements.

0:51:14 LIA: Wow.

0:51:15 ANNA: While she was on the speaking engagements, she find the bars or the speakeasies, the underground bars. She would show up in her garb in her full vengeful Angel of death garb, and chop that s*** up.

0:51:42 LIA: Oh my goodness.

0:51:44 ANNA: She was arrested many times... For disturbing the peace, property destruction, disorderly conduct. And Lia, do you know how she paid her fines and bail?

0:51:59 LIA: No, I can't even imagine. How did she do that? 

0:51:06 ANNA: She sold Merch!

0:52:07 LIA: She had merch? She was like... She had her whole business planned out.

0:52:12 ANNA: She was an influencer before there were influencers.

0:52:14 LIA: She was.

0:52:17 ANNA: Get this. She sold souvenir hatchets.

0:52:21 LIA: I was gonna say, isn't a branded hatchet?

0:52:23 ANNA: Yes. There's branded hatchets, souvenir hatchets, also little stove axes for chopping up woods, 'cause everybody was rocking the wood burning stove, and Hatchet jewelry, like a pewter hatchet broach, or pins And Lia.

0:52:42 LIA: Where do we get some.

0:52:45 ANNA: Lou found some on Ebay.

0:52:46 LIA: Did he?

0:52:50 ANNA: Seriously, they have her profile on it.

0:53:00 LIA: Oh my God. Yeah. Okay, you go, we'll put a picture up online 'cause this is too crazy.

0:53:34 ANNA: Unfortunately, she died in 1911, seven years before Prohibition went into effect. But you can't say that she did not put it on the map.

0:54:04 ANNA: I love this quote I found about her from a scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University, said, Nation wielded her voice as effectively as her hatchets, eloquently speaking her mind and inspiring others on numerous occasions, even sworn enemies acknowledged her success with compelling enforcement of prohibition laws and spreading her message.

0:54:35 LIA: Wow. I mean, when your enemies are praising you.

0:54:41 ANNA: Also, who are her sworn enemies? Is it just like bar stools? It's the high tops. The high tops hated her. So, I love this story. I am glad that Ruth didn't take this too literally and show up at the FDA trials with hatchets. I'm glad just went with the trial mink.

0:55:01 LIA: Yeah, the mink. That's good.

0:55:04 ANNA: Can you see you just going at the CEO of Jif. 

0:55:11 LIA: This is not peanut butter.


0:55:12 ANNA: Is this crisco? Crisco? 

FX: CLIP, “The Blues Brothers” 

46:16 ANNA: Another thing leading up to prohibition, we haven't even gotten to prohibition yet. Another thing leading up to prohibition was the Spanish flu aka the last pandemic.

0:55:27 LIA: Woah. That pandemic. That's crazy. But yes, you're totally right. That it was when the Spanish flu happened.

0:55:34 ANNA: Right? And they're totally linked, because when the Spanish flu started in 1918, people were scared, they were freaking out. I don't know if you can relate.

0:55:48 LIA: Sounds familiar.

0:55:48 ANNA: They were desperate. And in the same way that we were like... I don't know, Clorox-ing our groceries, they turn to whatever remedy they could think of, and that was one whose medicinal value was unproven, but it was something trusted and familiar and that was alcohol.

0:56:07 LIA: Oh, right, yeah.

0:56:10 ANNA: Except there were two problems with these people who in a pandemic wanted alcohol. Lia, how many bars have you been to in the last year...

0:56:18 LIA: Let me see, aaah none.

47:11  ANNA: None, right. So they couldn't go to the bar or salon, whatever, and also, like I said, more than half the states already had prohibition laws by then, so in 33 states, you couldn't go to the bar and you couldn't buy booze at the store...

0:56:34 LIA: No.

0:56:36 ANNA: I wouldn't want to live in that world. Take me Spanish Flu! How do they get around this? Prescriptions. That's right.

0:56:48 LIA: Yeah just steal the doctor's notepad and just. Write them to yourself.

0:56:53 ANNA: Medical alcohol prescriptions, doctors were literally handing out scripts for whiskey to get around these laws and like I thought I buy my whisky at Riteaid sometimes, so I'm not gonna lie. I can see that. 

0:57:08 LIA: That is so crazy.

0:57:10 ANNA: Yeah, and even though the AMA, the American Medical Association for years had been trying to tell people that there was like no medicinal value in whiskey in 19 19, I don't know why maybe to calm people down or... 'cause they didn't have any other good ideas, the AMA endorsed whiskey as an effective treatment for dozens of ailments, but you know, we also endorsed opium and cocaine. So the AMA knew how to party. Back in the day, I just wanna know what that prescription looked like, is it like “three shots of Makers and call me in the morning.”

0:57:49 LIA: Yeah, are there doses that they would write down?

0:57:52 ANNA: I mean, I guess if the point of a medicine is to make you  feel better, were gonna do it.

0:57:58 LIA: It works.

0:57:58 ANNA: But now everybody's drinking more than ever.

0:58:05 LIA: Doctor's orders.

0:58:08 ANNA: So this really heated up the fight against alcohol, the fight for prohibition. And now we get to the Volstead Act, which was passed at the end of 1919, and that put the 18th amendment into effect. So starting in 1920, that amendment banned the manufacture, sale and distribution of intoxicating liquors. Lia, is that anything missing from that list? Manufacture, sale, distribution. Drinking?

0:58:41 LIA: Oh, the drinking part.

0:58:43 ANNA: So drinking alcohol was not outlawed, which meant there was a market baby, but all of these closings created a huge vacuum, which was filled with crime. So now we're into Prohibition. Because formerly law abiding manufacturers and venue owners were now criminals.


0:59:11 LIA: Right. They're the bad guys.

0:59:13 ANNA: Right, now they're the bad guys just because a law changed. So this led to a surge in orga nized crime and gang violence, as we mentioned. Al Capone was making $60 million annually during prohibition, just from bootleg operations.

0:59:29 LIA: 60 million...

0:59:33 ANNA: Yeah, in 1920s money.

0:59:33 LIA: Oh my God.

0:59:36 ANNA: I'd take it in 2020. But still...

0:59:39 LIA: That's insane.

0:59:41 ANNA: So again, we've heard about the whiskey coming through Canada, the smuggling, the moonshine, the bootlegging, but in California and the Southwest, they had another neighbor source of booze, that was Mexico... Whos primary export was tequila.

1:00:04 LIA: Tequila.

1:00:04 ANNA: So prohibition, literally brought tequila, and therefore the margarita into the United States.

1:00:13 LIA: That is amazing.

1:00:15 ANNA: Right, thanks, prohibition. Yeah, cheers to prohibition.

1:00:18 LIA: Cheers.

1:00:19 ANNA: In the 1920s, the Mexico-US border was very porous, there was no checkpoints, no one was watching this... It was mostly wilderness. No one had built a wall. So the first thing I wanna talk about is the tequileros in Texas.

1:00:36 LIA: Oh.

1:00:37 ANNA: The tequileros were a group of Mexican tequila smugglers who operated through rural south Texas using back trails, brush and wilderness and low water crossings along the Rio Grande in  the border, they rode horses and led mules or donkeys who could carry up to 50 bottles each of tequila and I've seen pictures, they had some very interesting sort of apparati.

1:01:06 LIA: They would just harness onto the donkey.

1:01:09 ANNA: Yeah, it was like imagine a donkey in a trench coat covered in tequila.

1:01:12 LIA: “Nothing to see here, guys.”

1:01:15 ANNA: Actually three donkeys.

1:01:18 LIA: They were all stacked together.

1:01:20 ANNA: They were pursued by the Texas Rangers and the US Customs and Border Patrol, and they kind of gained a rep as outlaws.

1:01:28 LIA Okay. 

1:01:31 ANNA Also apparently, mules are geniuses because they would learn these smuggling routes, so they could do them without a human leading them, so at night, they go by themselves through the wilderness to the other side of the border, which got them passed the cops 'cause the cops were looking for people...

1:01:49 LIA: I didn't know mules were that smart.

1:01:50 ANNA: Right. We have underestimated the mules, Lia.

1:01:53 LIA: Right. We have. 

1:01:54 ANNA: So the Tequileros became lowkey heroes because they, A, they outsmarted these cops. And B, They defied a law that everyone hated, but their clashes with law enforcement were frequently violent, which led to business drying up around 1928, so five years before Prohibition ended, but there's still kind of legends, the tequileros . And the other area I wanna talk about is Tijuana.

1:02:27 LIA: TJ.

1:02:28 ANNA: TJ, which during Prohibition earned the nickname Satan's playground.


1:02:32 LIA: What?

1:02:33 LIA: Oh yeah. So Tijuana is in Baja, California. It borders California to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west. So it's basically like the northwest corner of Mexico, and it's only 20 miles from San Diego.

1:02:57 LIA: Yeah.

1:02:58 ANNA: And 140 miles from Los Angeles. So it's like right there. And again, the borders were kind of imaginary at this point. So Tijuana was a perfect home base for smugglers and for Americans looking for a good time. So some people actually call prohibition the golden age of Tijuana, and for a long time TJ had a role as an escape for Americans. Here is San Diego State University, Professor Emeritus Paul Vanderwood, author of the book, “Satan's playground, monsters and movie stars, and America's greatest gaming resort”: 

FX CLIP, Dr. Paul Vanderwood on KPBS

ANNA: Tijuana was so notorious that according to Professor Vanderwood preachers put up signs along the road for San Diego warning people that they were headed for Satan's playground, and that if they continued, they'd end up at the real Satan's Playground. They mean h***. 

1:04:13 LIA: Do you think that really made people turn back or they were like, “Oh awesome, I'm getting closer.” 

1:04:22 ANNA: Do you think it deterred people, and they were like, No, no, I'm not going to Satan's Playground, I'm going to Tijuana. Is this the road to tijuana?

1:04:28 LIA: I don't see this on the map.

1:04:30 ANNA: Damn it apple maps.

1:04:33 LIA: Again?

1:04:35 ANNA: One of the most famous places build just for this purpose, was the Agua Caliente Casino, resort and spa, which was built in 1928, and it was a haven for Hollywood movie stars, you know the Hollywood elite. Kind of like us. 

1:04:55 LIA  Yeah. 

1:04:58 ANNA It mimicked resorts in Europe and the Mediterranean. In 1929, the LA Times said “it's only rival in the world is the Monte Carlo.”

1:05:03 LIA: Wow.

1:05:05 ANNA: My My. It featured an Olympic-sized pool, Turkish baths, steam caves, a horse racing track, 500 hotel rooms with tortoise shell toilet seats and an air strip. Okay, I miss the memo on everyone having an air strip with the Rajneeshees, these f***ers I was just excited to get my own washer dryer, and apparently, I'm dreaming too small.

1:05:35 LIA: Air strip. Come on, Anna. Dream bigger.

1:05:40 ANNA: Putting that on my vision board. They were famous for their cocktails, including the OG margarita, the Daisy and of course, many concoctions using tequila, and once people really heard that this place was rolling, lots of small time mobsters came down to Tijuana, so the C and D-list mobsters from Chicago, in New York there's sort of like, they thought they'd be more successful in a smaller market, so the smuggler community, let's just say, started to ramp up here, and lots of rumors about the most famous prohibition, mobster, Mr. Al Capone in Tijuana, including that he was a frequent guest at the Agua caliente. Now, there's nothing really concrete because mobsters don't usually sign the guest book...

1:06:29 LIA: Right.

1:06:31 ANNA: But a woman who worked at the coat check at Agua Caliente claims the Al Capone stayed there and he checked his beaver skin hat with her, however, later a whole bunch of cops showed up and surrounded the place, but Al Capone came back... Retrieved his beaver skin cap and tipped her 50 bucks.

1:06:52 LIA: Wow.

1:06:54 ANNA: In 1928, you could buy a house with it.

1:06:58 LIA: That's a lot of money. That was nothing for Al Capone. He's raking in 60 mil a year.

1:07:03 ANNA: Right? 

1:07:05 LIA Yeah. 

1:07:07 ANNA He probably made that back in a half hour, like Bill Gates. When your wife takes half of it, Ayooo. She's earned it. Ooh. 

ANNA: Another rumor, was that the underground tunnels the AC used for their water, HVAC & sewage systems were actually entry points to secret passages for smugglers to take booze into SD. 

ANNA: So the Agua Caliente served its last margarita in 1938 when it closed its doors, because people didn't need to go down there for booze anymore because it was 1930 and prohibition ended.

1:07:35 LIA: They don't have to go to Satan's playground anymore.

1:07:41 ANNA: Right. Why take the risk. Yeah. They did miss those tortoise shell   

1:08:21 LIA: Wait what?

1:08:22 ANNA: Yes, this is another eccentric, rich weirdo who collects animals.

1:08:27 LIA: With animals!

1:08:29 ANNA: And took a regular as property and filled with... It's like if the Tiger King was actually a king, that's what's disturbing to me about this Tiger King with money.

1:08:41 LIA: Oh no. How do you get to be like that level of rich, eccentric. And then having a zoo...

1:08:49 ANNA: Right, It's not just rich is like, you have to be rich. Eccentric.

1:08:53 LIA: There's a third thing.

1:08:59 ANNA: I was reaching for it, I was reaching for the third thing, but I couldn't find it. Detached from reality.

1:09:07 LIA: That could be it. There is this mysterious third thing that we... And when the trifecta….

1:09:13 ANNA: Right? Tilda Swindon is rich and eccentric.

1:09:17 LIA: She doesn't have the third thing.

1:09:19ANNA: And then she doesn't  have f****** lemurs that are in the attic. I don't know though. Check me on that. So despite early declines in alcohol consumption and arrests for drunkenness, prohibition did not turn out to be the magical cure for society's ailments. In fact, it was pretty much a huge disaster.

1:09:41 LIA: Wait, you're saying it didn't work and it didn't stop people.

1:09:43 ANNA: It didn't stop people. The bootleg liquor, everyone turned to... It was poor quality and not safe. So during Prohibition, a thousand people died every year from tainted liquor...

1:10:01 LIA: No!

1:10:02 ANNA: Yeah, nobody's checking it. They are making that s*** in the bathtub. It was also terrible for the economy because breweries, distilleries, winery, salons, taverns, they all close, and it turns out they do a lot of business and provide a lot of jobs.

1:10:21 LIA: Yup.

1:10:22 ANNA: As we also learned in the last year.

1:10:23 LIA: Yes. 

1:10:24 ANNA: Theatres, entertainment venues, sales declined and remember that's where they make their money, their concessions. Restaurants couldn't make enough money to stay open without alcohol sales, the government lost huge revenue 'cause they weren't taking excise taxes off alcohol anymore, and it was super costly to enforce.

1:10:45 LIA: Yeah.

1:10:46 ANNA: Also, they put the IRS in charge of enforcing the law.

1:10:51 LIA: Guys.

1:10:53 ANNA: Like I still haven't gotten my refund, so I don't trust those clowns to enforce anything. Okay, your federal return’s been accepted. Yeah, show me. Prove that's a personal problem. And again, crime skyrocketed, new mobs, new gangs, but also all these people who before prohibition had totally legit businesses were forced underground.

1:11:17 LIA: That's so horrible, they were just doing the right thing, following the law and then one change, turns them into the enemy.

1:11:24 ANNA: Right, and you know what could have solved all of this, let women open their own f***** bank accounts and vote god. FDR pledged to end prohibition as part of his 1932 Presidential platform, he won and made good on that promise past the 21st amendment, which repealed the 18th, by then tequila had already taken hold in America, and people were coming up with some very interesting tequila Cointreau, lime juice combinations that we now know as America's favorite cocktail, the Margarita.

1:12:06 LIA: Delicioso.

1:12:09 ANNA: But just as some states had passed prohibition laws before the 18th amendment, some had laws after the 21st amendment, and do you know when those alcohol restriction laws became a real problem?

1:12:24 LIA: No when?

1:12:26 ANNA: Last year, during the 2020 pandemic, and I'll tell you why.

1:12:30 LIA: Oh my gosh.

1:12:31 ANNA: Yeah.

1:12:32 LIA: Now I'm thinking about it, yes.

1:12:35 ANNA: Yeah, so all these laws that we had that said, You can only drink liquor in bars and restaurants, or you can't buy at a certain grocery store, you get all these restrictions, right, can't do deliveries.

1:12:46 LIA: Right.

1:12:46 ANNA: All of a sudden when you restricting everybody's mobility and everybody's available actions. Now you get a problem. So for example, early on in the pandemic, Pennsylvania, who has some of the craziest alcohol laws in the country, Pennsylvania Liquor regulators shuttered, the state's network of government-run liquor stores, even though those are the only stores where you can buy distilled spirits in the state and do people stop drinking Lia?

1:13:15 LIA: Oh no.

1:13:16 ANNA: No, no. What do they do instead? They got in their cars in a pandemic and they drove.

1:13:23 LIA: They went to another state, right?

1:13:24 ANNA: To the neighboring states, rights, Pennsylvania residents just went to bordering states like New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia to buy booze there. So now we've got people in the middle of a pandemic traveling across state lines, crowding into these little a** liquors then going back home, and they actually traced this policy, to outbreaks in border towns. Right.

1:13:51 LIA: Oh my gosh.

1:13:52 ANNA: Lots of other states had to look at laws that made liquor only available at bars and restaurants, which they didn't shut down, and especially restrictions on delivery of alcohol, 'cause it was like, Man, if somebody can get their prescription for Percocet and their AR-15 in the mail, like, Why can't they get a bucket of margaritas.

1:14:11 LIA: Right. I'm not asking for much.

MX: Tijuana Lady, Gomez - Fade up

1:14:15 ANNA: So now and get booze to our doors, including our margaritas shout out to mini bar, which is what I use for my delivery service.

1:14:37 LIA: Drizzly.

1:14:40 ANNA: Ayo drizzly, call us. And that is a story of prohibition and the margarita.  

1:14:47 LIA: That is amazing. That is so crazy though. The parallel between Spanish flu prohibition, the pandemic, now, the way we're approaching drinking, it's crazy.

1:14:59 ANNA: And we definitely were not gonna stop drinking during this dynamic as we have discussed.

1:15:04 LIA: No, we figured out a way. People were working really hard to find a way to make sure we can all drink.

1:15:09 ANNA: We were dedicated. We were better together. I'm pretty sure at least 5% of my covid weight is Margaritas. 

MX: Tijuana Lady, Gomez 

1:15:20 LIA: Thank you for joining us for this episode of Every Day is a Food Day. 

1:15:24 ANNA: The clips & music you heard today were Tijuana Lady by Gomez, Tequila by The Champs, Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett, The Blues Brothers from Universal Pictures, KPBS Public Radio...and ProfessorPuppet on YouTube. Please take care of yourself Professor Puppet. 

1:15:41 LIA Please subscribe, rate and review the show! Check out the links in our show notes and connect with us on social media @FoodDayPod.

1:15:49 ANNA Every Day is a Food Day is a production of  Van Valin LLC & Yumday. It is produced & hosted by us, Lia Ballentine & Anna Van Valin.

1:15:58 LIA We’ll see you next time!