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Made in Texas: The machine that creates the frozen version of one of America’s most popular cocktails

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HOUSTONWelcome to Made in Texas, where we write about products made in the Lone Star State.

Today we’re featuring a machine that creates the frozen version of one of America’s most popular cocktails.

The product

The world's first frozen margarita machine.
The world's first frozen margarita machine. (This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws.)

The frozen margarita machine is a product that creates a slushy version of a margarita, which is a mix of tequila, lime juice and sweet n’ sour.

The margarita, a staple alcoholic beverage in Mexican American culture, was first created in the Californian-Mexican border in the 1940′s. 20 years later, the adult beverage would surpass the martini as the most popular American cocktail, according to the National Museum of American History.

The inventor

Mariano Martinez was a Dallas entrepreneur who opened his own restaurant named Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine in 1971, following after his father’s footsteps.

The idea behind it

On his restaurant’s opening night Martinez received complaints from customers who didn’t like the consistency of the blended margaritas he developed using his father’s secret recipe, according to his restaurant’s website.

Martinez’s inspiration came after seeing a little girl pulling a frozen Slurpee from a machine at a 7-Eleven. Consequently, Martinez and a friend, Frank Adams, tinkered with Martinez’s dad’s recipe and adapted a soft-serve ice-cream machine to create the world’s first margarita machine, according to the NMAH.

The machine, which was never patented, was retired in 2005 to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History after 34 years of blending lime juice, tequila, ice, and sugar for enthusiastic customers, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.


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