Posts tagged with "7-eleven"

Origins of Frozen Margarita

A Dallas restaurant owner blended tequila, ice and automation. America has been hungover ever since.

Source: Smithsonian.com

The way Mariano Martinez tells it, accounts of the margarita’s beginnings should be taken with a grain of salt—and a wedge of lime. Martinez is the creator of what is arguably the 20th century’s most epochal invention—the frozen margarita machine—and, at the age of 73, the Dallas restaurateur is an indisputable authority on the cocktail in the salt-rimmed glass.

The origin stories date to the ’30s and tend to feature a Mexican showgirl or a Texas socialite and a bartender determined to impress her. One of Martinez’s favorites involves a teenage dancer named Margarita Carmen Cansino who performed at nightclubs in Tijuana. “After Margarita got a contract from a Hollywood studio, she changed her name to Rita Hayworth,” he says. “Supposedly, the drink was named in her honor.”

When it comes to margarita lore, about the only thing for certain is that on May 11, 1971, Martinez pulled the lever on a repurposed soft-serve ice cream dispenser and filled a glass with a coil of pale green sherbet—history’s first prefab frozen margarita. The beverage was teeth-chatteringly cold with a proper tequila face-slap. Happy hour (and hangovers) would never be the same.

By adapting mass-production methods to blender drinks, Martinez elevated the frozen margarita from a border-cantina curiosity to America’s most popular cocktail. The innovation forever changed the Tex-Mex restaurant business (placing bars front and center) and triggered the craze for Tex-Mex food.

Befitting a musician who once recorded three versions of “La Bamba” on an EP titled Lotta Bamba, the convivial Martinez has a fresh, boyish manner and a beaming smile. He grew up in East Dallas, where at age 9 he started bussing tables at El Charo, his father’s Mexican eatery. “The customers were mostly Anglos who often had no idea what tequila was,” he recalls. “They’d show up with a souvenir bottle a friend had brought back from a vacation in Mexico, and ask my dad, ‘What do we do with this?’”

Though at the time liquor couldn’t be sold by the drink in Texas restaurants, the elder Martinez occasionally would whip up frozen margaritas in a blender for his patrons. (Introduced at a 1937 restaurant show in Chicago and bankrolled by bandleader Fred Waring, the humble Waring Blendor revolutionized bar drinks.) The elder Martinez used a recipe gleaned while working at a San Antonio speak-easy in 1938: ice, triple sec, hand-muddled limes and 100 percent blue agave tequila. The secret ingredient was a splash of simple syrup.

In 1970 an amendment to the state constitution made liquor by the drink legal, in cities or counties when approved in local-option elections. Shortly after Dallas voted yes, the younger Martinez launched Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine in a shopping center near the campus of Southern Methodist University. On opening night, the amiable owner appeared in a bandido costume. And customers, serenaded by a mariachi band, were encouraged to order margaritas made from the old family recipe. Libations were poured faster than you could say “One more round.” The second night wasn’t quite as successful: A barfly cornered Martinez and asked, “Do you know how to make frozen margaritas?”

“Oh, sure, sir, the best,” he answered.

“Well, you’d better speak to your bartender. The ones he’s making are terrible.”

As it turned out, the barman was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of margarita orders that he was tossing ingredients into the blender without measuring them. Tired of slicing limes, he threatened to quit and return to his former job at a Steak and Ale, where the most complicated cocktail was a bourbon and Coke. “I saw my dream evaporating,” Martinez says. “I thought, ‘My restaurant will go bust and I’ve screwed up Dad’s formula.’”

The next morning while making a pit stop at a 7-Eleven, Martinez had a eureka moment: “For better consistency, I’d premix margaritas in a Slurpee machine. All the bartender had to do was open the spigot.’” But 7-Eleven’s parent company refused to sell him the contraption. “Besides,” Martinez was told, “everyone knows alcohol won’t freeze.”

Instead of wasting away in Margaritaville, he bought a secondhand soft-serve ice cream machine and tinkered with Dad’s recipe. Diluting the solution with water made the booze taste too weak, but adding sugar produced a uniform slush. Martinez had struck gold. “Cuervo Gold!” he cracks. The sweet, viscous hooch was such a hit that when Bob Hope performed at SMU in the ’70s, he joked about the margarita he’d just ordered at Mariano’s: “I won’t say how big it was, but the glass they serve it in had a diving board on it. And they salt the edge of the glass with a paint roller.”

Martinez’s original machine cranked out ’ritas for a decade before sputtering to a halt. Though he never received a patent or trademark for the device, it has a place in his heart and, since 2005, in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The credit belongs to heritage and technology,” he says. “The golden ratio was two parts of the past and one of the present.”

Origins of Frozen Margarita

A Dallas restaurant owner blended tequila, ice and automation. America has been hungover ever since.

Source: Smithsonian.com

The way Mariano Martinez tells it, accounts of the margarita’s beginnings should be taken with a grain of salt—and a wedge of lime. Martinez is the creator of what is arguably the 20th century’s most epochal invention—the frozen margarita machine—and, at the age of 73, the Dallas restaurateur is an indisputable authority on the cocktail in the salt-rimmed glass.

The origin stories date to the ’30s and tend to feature a Mexican showgirl or a Texas socialite and a bartender determined to impress her. One of Martinez’s favorites involves a teenage dancer named Margarita Carmen Cansino who performed at nightclubs in Tijuana. “After Margarita got a contract from a Hollywood studio, she changed her name to Rita Hayworth,” he says. “Supposedly, the drink was named in her honor.”

When it comes to margarita lore, about the only thing for certain is that on May 11, 1971, Martinez pulled the lever on a repurposed soft-serve ice cream dispenser and filled a glass with a coil of pale green sherbet—history’s first prefab frozen margarita. The beverage was teeth-chatteringly cold with a proper tequila face-slap. Happy hour (and hangovers) would never be the same.

By adapting mass-production methods to blender drinks, Martinez elevated the frozen margarita from a border-cantina curiosity to America’s most popular cocktail. The innovation forever changed the Tex-Mex restaurant business (placing bars front and center) and triggered the craze for Tex-Mex food.

Befitting a musician who once recorded three versions of “La Bamba” on an EP titled Lotta Bamba, the convivial Martinez has a fresh, boyish manner and a beaming smile. He grew up in East Dallas, where at age 9 he started bussing tables at El Charo, his father’s Mexican eatery. “The customers were mostly Anglos who often had no idea what tequila was,” he recalls. “They’d show up with a souvenir bottle a friend had brought back from a vacation in Mexico, and ask my dad, ‘What do we do with this?’”

Though at the time liquor couldn’t be sold by the drink in Texas restaurants, the elder Martinez occasionally would whip up frozen margaritas in a blender for his patrons. (Introduced at a 1937 restaurant show in Chicago and bankrolled by bandleader Fred Waring, the humble Waring Blendor revolutionized bar drinks.) The elder Martinez used a recipe gleaned while working at a San Antonio speak-easy in 1938: ice, triple sec, hand-muddled limes and 100 percent blue agave tequila. The secret ingredient was a splash of simple syrup.

In 1970 an amendment to the state constitution made liquor by the drink legal, in cities or counties when approved in local-option elections. Shortly after Dallas voted yes, the younger Martinez launched Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine in a shopping center near the campus of Southern Methodist University. On opening night, the amiable owner appeared in a bandido costume. And customers, serenaded by a mariachi band, were encouraged to order margaritas made from the old family recipe. Libations were poured faster than you could say “One more round.” The second night wasn’t quite as successful: A barfly cornered Martinez and asked, “Do you know how to make frozen margaritas?”

“Oh, sure, sir, the best,” he answered.

“Well, you’d better speak to your bartender. The ones he’s making are terrible.”

As it turned out, the barman was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of margarita orders that he was tossing ingredients into the blender without measuring them. Tired of slicing limes, he threatened to quit and return to his former job at a Steak and Ale, where the most complicated cocktail was a bourbon and Coke. “I saw my dream evaporating,” Martinez says. “I thought, ‘My restaurant will go bust and I’ve screwed up Dad’s formula.’”

The next morning while making a pit stop at a 7-Eleven, Martinez had a eureka moment: “For better consistency, I’d premix margaritas in a Slurpee machine. All the bartender had to do was open the spigot.’” But 7-Eleven’s parent company refused to sell him the contraption. “Besides,” Martinez was told, “everyone knows alcohol won’t freeze.”

Instead of wasting away in Margaritaville, he bought a secondhand soft-serve ice cream machine and tinkered with Dad’s recipe. Diluting the solution with water made the booze taste too weak, but adding sugar produced a uniform slush. Martinez had struck gold. “Cuervo Gold!” he cracks. The sweet, viscous hooch was such a hit that when Bob Hope performed at SMU in the ’70s, he joked about the margarita he’d just ordered at Mariano’s: “I won’t say how big it was, but the glass they serve it in had a diving board on it. And they salt the edge of the glass with a paint roller.”

Martinez’s original machine cranked out ’ritas for a decade before sputtering to a halt. Though he never received a patent or trademark for the device, it has a place in his heart and, since 2005, in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The credit belongs to heritage and technology,” he says. “The golden ratio was two parts of the past and one of the present.”

New Brew from Peru

7-Eleven® Sustains Push for Single Origin, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Coffees

For its next exclusive single-origin coffee, 7-Eleven, Inc. headed south to the Cajamarca region of Peru. As with its other single-origin, sustainably sourced coffee, the new brew from Peru is Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Made with 100 percent Arabica beans, the newest 7-Eleven® single-origin coffee has bright citrus notes complimented by vanilla, cinnamon and berry undertones. To ensure the best quality and freshest taste, the Cajamarca region was selected, in part, for its prime harvest season between August and October. The hand-picked beans were grown in the region high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, known for its small family farms and artisanal farming methods. After harvesting, the fresh crop was authentically roasted to a medium level for a smooth rich taste. Peru is the eighth largest coffee producer in the world and one of the leading growers of certified coffees.

“Todays’ coffee-drinkers are more sophisticated and, in addition to wanting a great-tasting cup of coffee, many also are looking for something extra,” said Raj Kapoor, 7-Eleven senior vice president of fresh food and proprietary beverages. “Millennials, in particular, want coffee crops that are sustainably grown, sourced directly from small farms, and made from single-origin beans rather than blends. Peruvian coffee is one that fits all those criteria, and Cajamarca is considered one of the best coffee-growing regions in the country.”

Many of Peru’s coffee farms are in the foothills of the Andes with processing mills on the Pacific side of the range. The Cajamarca region is in the highlands of the Andes in the northern portion of the country.

This is the third limited-time, single-origin coffee offered at 7-Eleven, the fourth largest coffee retailer in the U.S. The others were from Matagalpa, Nicaragua, and Chiapas, Mexico. Available year-round, the retailer’s popular 100 percent Colombian coffee is now made with Rainforest Alliance Certified single-origin beans.

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Carrying the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal with the little green frog means the 100 percent Arabica beans for 7-Eleven stores’ new coffee are sourced from coffee-growers whose farms are required to meet strict standards designed to protect the environment, conserve wildlife and promote the well-being of local communities.

7-Eleven is working with Conservation International (CI) to set measurable corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals to reduce its environmental footprint. 7-Eleven’s CSR mission has three focus areas – planet, products and people. The retailer is a member of CI’s Business and Sustainability Council, a forum for corporate leaders taking positive environmental actions in their businesses, to explore mutually beneficial ways to further reduce its environmental impact.

As part of its CSR objectives, 7-Eleven will continue to seek out responsibly sourced coffees and other products and packaging with less environmental impact.

Like all its proprietary beverages sold in a cup, the new single-origin coffee qualifies for 7Rewards®, 7-Eleven’s customer loyalty program. Through its mobile app, 7Rewards customers earn a free any-size drink after the purchase of six drink purchases. The 7-Eleven app is available for download in Google Play and the App store.

Peru single-origin coffee from Cajamarca is available for a limited time at participating 7-Eleven stores.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry. Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven® operates, franchises or licenses more than 63,000 stores in 18 countries, including 10,900 in North America. Known for its iconic brands such as Slurpee®, Big Bite® and Big Gulp®, 7-Eleven has expanded into high-quality salads, side dishes, cut fruit and protein boxes, as well as pizza, chicken wings, cheeseburgers and hot chicken sandwiches. 7-Eleven offers customers industry-leading private brand products under the 7-Select® brand including healthy options, decadent treats and everyday favorites, at an outstanding value. Customers also count on 7-Eleven for payment services, self-service lockers and other convenient services. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com, via the 7Rewards® customer.

About the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization and growing network of people who are inspired and committed to working together to achieve our mission of conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, the Rainforest Alliance aims to rebalance the planet through creative, pragmatic collaboration, building strong forests and healthy communities around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.rainforest-alliance.org.