A brain freeze-inducing Mexican restaurant staple has its origins in Texas.
Let them argue about who invented the margarita. A Texan lays clear claim to inventing the frozen margarita machine.
That inventor-entrepreneur? Mexican American restaurateur Mariano Martinez. The year? 1971.
To meet the high demand for margaritas (made with his father’s traditional recipe) at his newly opened Dallas restaurant, Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine, Martinez adapted a soft-serve ice cream machine into “The World’s First Margarita Machine.”
You’ll find that historic machine at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. And you’ll find plenty of frozen-margarita aficionados all over Texas. “Salt or no salt?” “Rocks or frozen?” We can’t speak to how people want the rim of their glass, but in Martinez’s home state, it’s what’s in the glass that matters most. Round these parts, that’s frozen, no question.
Try your hand at the two frozen margarita recipes below — one of which makes for margarita in a jiffy.
Rivertop Frozen Margarita
1½ ounces tequila
½ ounce triple sec
1 ounce agave nectar
1 ounce lime juice
Place in blender. Blend. Pour into glass and garnish with fruit.
Urban Taco Frozen Margarita
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup tequila
½ cup cointreau
3 – 4 cups ice
Fresh lime slices, for garnish
In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 cup water and sugar. Bring to a light boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour mixture into a 5-cup pourable bowl or measuring cup. Stir in fresh lime juice, tequila, orange liquor, and 1 cup water. Pour mixture into ice cube trays or a freezer container. Freeze overnight.
Place frozen margarita cubes into a freezer bag and store until ready to use.
When ready, place frozen cubes into a high-power blender and blend until slushy-texture. Add ice and blend until smooth. Rim margarita cups with salt (optional) and serve with fresh lime slices.
Note: Add extra fresh lime juice, tequila, and/or orange liquor to thin or enhance flavors.
Photography: Courtesy Rivertop Grill, J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa