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SOURCE Mariano Martinez
DALLAS, Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tequila, orange liqueur and lime have come a long way since the 1930s when Americans wondered what to do with souvenir bottles of tequila from Mexico. As amateur bartenders around the country mix, shake and blend the delicious tart cocktail this National Margarita Day, February 22, 2013, the origin of the drink remains largely unknown. One thing is sure though – the frozen margarita machine was invented in Dallas, Texas in 1971 by restaurateur Mariano Martinez.
Mariano opened Mariano's Mexican Cuisine in 1971 serving his father's version of a blender made margarita at the restaurant's bar every night, and every night his bartenders were overwhelmed by demand for the drink. Blenders were burning out faster than Mariano could replace them. As a result and to the dissatisfaction of customers, the drink's consistency was ever changing.
Mariano realized his problems would be solved if he could mix a large batch of margaritas with the ingredients measured exactly and all his bartenders had to do was pull the lever to the machine. On May 11, 1971, he modified a used soft serve ice cream maker and it became the world's first frozen margarita machine. With a precise margarita recipe and his new invention, Mariano's margaritas became an instant hit in his restaurant and Mariano's Mexican Cuisine became the hot spot in Dallas.
Fast forward to 2013 where frozen margarita machines are a staple in bars and Mexican restaurants in more than 40 countries and it is easy to see the impact of one man who was born in the barrio of Dallas. He singlehandedly streamlined the process of making frozen margaritas, increasing the popularity of not only the margarita but also tequila and Tex-Mex food in the United States.
Mariano's original frozen margarita machine now sits in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. and is currently displayed in "FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000" exhibit along with Julia Child's kitchen and more. So, while sipping your frozen treats on February 22, 2013 raise a glass to Mariano, as he deserves a toast from everyone enjoying a margarita this National Margarita Day. If it wasn't for him, you might not be drinking that delightful, icy concoction.