Posts tagged with "bartender"

Absolut Elyx, Absolut Vodka, 360 MAGAZINE, spirits

Absolut Elyx

Absolut Elyx is the handcrafted luxury expression of multi award-winning Absolut Vodka, built on a commitment to quality craftsmanship and a pioneering spirit.  Every drop of Absolut Elyx is made with soft winter wheat from a single estate in Åhus, Sweden, manually distilled in a 1921 copper column, removing all impurities and resulting in the vodka’s exceptionally silky finish. The entire production of Absolut Elyx takes place within a 15 mile radius and is overseen by master distiller Krister Asplund, who supervises the century-old distillation process that has been passed down through generations of Swedish vodka-makers. Absolut Elyx is admired globally for its playful spirit and tradition of standing out from the crowd, it is bottled at 42.3% alcohol by volume to deliver optimal flavour and character.

For more information about Absolut Elyx, please visit: absolutelyx.com 

alice in chains, Warner Music Artist, recording artist, celebrity, 360 MAGAZINE, Illinois, spirits, bourbon, tequila

ALICE IN CHAINS × FEW SPIRITS

A.S.K. AND UNLOCK THE SECRETS: FEW SPIRITS, SEATTLE GRUNGE LEGENDS ALICE IN CHAINS COLLABORATE ON ALL SECRETS KNOWN, 101-PROOF BOURBON FINISHED IN TEQUILA BARRELS

“For us distilling, like making music, is about having the courage to ASK, ‘What if we…’ and being excited to find the answers – unlocking those secrets.” – Paul Hletko, Master Distiller, FEW Spirits

FEW Spirits and Warner Music Artist Services announce today the release of All Secrets Known, a new, limited-release bourbon distilled by FEW Spirits Master Distiller Paul Hletko in collaboration with Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum selling Seattle Grunge pioneers Alice In Chains, whose music has stood the test of time and influenced a generation. Bottles feature a custom-designed label by artist Justin Helton.

The Whiskey
All Secrets Known (SRP: $75/750 ml), a nod to the name of the opening track of Alice In Chains’ 2009 certified Gold release Black Gives Way To Blue, is FEW Bourbon finished for six months in tequila barrels and bottled at the most rock and roll of proofs, 101 (50.5% ABV). Bold, sweet, and spicy bourbon top notes that have become the hallmark of FEW and led to multiple category awards, are accentuated by grassy agave undertones.

Said Hletko, “There are no two spirits that have a closer association with rock and roll than whiskey and tequila. Bringing together elements of both, but in an unconventional, innovative way, is an illustration of what we try to do every time we distill a new product.”

The Collaboration
“Alice In Chains is part of one of very few movements that can be legitimately credited with shapeshifting an entire culture, beginning with their first album, Facelift,” continues Hletko. “For us distilling, like making music, is about having the courage to ASK, ‘What if we…’ and being excited to find the answers – unlocking those secrets. Nobody sounds like Alice In Chains. We were inspired by their courage to create a sound that flouted convention and thought, ‘There are lots of tequilas finished in bourbon barrels, but it’s rare to find a widely-available bourbon finished in tequila barrels. Let’s do that instead’.”

Added Matt Young, EVP of Warner Music Artist Services, “Our team always seeks out the best in the business when it comes to our artist product collaborations. FEW Spirits was a no brainer when the idea first came up to create an Alice In Chains Bourbon Whiskey.”

The Label Design
Artist Justin Helton, of Status Serigraph, is no stranger to working with musical giants like Phish, The Avett Brothers, My Morning Jacket, Ween, and The Black Keys created the custom label.

“I’ve been a fan of Alice In Chains forever with Jar of Flies being one of the first CD’s I ever owned,” says Helton. “‘I Stay Away’ and ‘No Excuses’ were on repeat in my room. For this design I found inspiration in the name All Secrets Known. The eye in the mouth is a play on seeing all that’s been spoken. The color scheme is a nod to Black Gives Way to Blue, the album on which the song ‘All Secret Known’ appears.”

Helton designed the label in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, also using a mix of hand-rendered illustrations with imagery from the 1800’s to create a distinct look.

A Legacy of Rock and Roll Partnerships
All Secrets Known is yet another foray for FEW Spirits into partnerships with internationally-renowned music acts. In 2006, Hletko partnered with The Flaming Lips to create Brainville Rye Whiskey.

“Brainville led to access,” Hletko said. “Doors started opening and I’ve always felt like when you get a chance to work with cool people you admire, you’ve got to at least check it out. As a long-time fan of Alice In Chains and someone who has at various points made his living as a guitar player, the opportunity to work with someone like Jerry Cantrell, whose sound is unlike any other, was one we were determined to see through come hell or high water.  

Limited-release All Secrets Known will be available in CA, CO, IL, NY, and WA and for purchase online through ReserveBar.com.

Find FEW Spirits:

  • Online: www.FEWspirits.com 
  • IG, FB, Twitter: @FEWspirits
  • Hashtags: #FEWspirits, #FortuneFanciesTheBold, #FEWask

About FEW Spirits
A grain-to-glass distillery since 2011, FEW Spirits produces award–winning craft whiskey and gin in a tucked away alley located in the growing Chicago suburb of Evanston, IL.. A historical town where Prohibition lasted until 1972, Founder & Master Distiller Paul Hletko changed the future of Evanston when he opened FEW Spirits Distillery, the first (legal) alcohol-production facility of any kind to ever open there.

Paul Hletko always knew he wanted to make craft spirits —produced in the local Chicago area—that offered something different, delicious and fun. Living in Evanston, a town that was prime for change after being dry for four decades post the repeal of prohibition, Paul felt it was the perfect home and backdrop for FEW and the brand. Deeply integrated into the brand story, both Evanston and Chicago are crucial elements of the FEW DNA and its inspiration. From its liquid, created from locally grown or sourced ingredients, to the look & feel of the design, which pays homage to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago— FEW is the true definition of a local Illinois craft spirit.

FEW Spirits features a refreshing and innovative portfolio including a stable of core spirits and several small batch limited edition specialty expressions. Each flagship spirit is a new take on the timeless liquors of the past; distilled from the very best grains, aged to perfection, and bottled under the FEW roof. The small batch limited editions hold true to the premium quality FEW drinkers have to come to love and expect from the brand, but offer something novel to the oft-ordinary taste and style we’ve all grown accustomed to.

In a world over saturated with mass-produced spirits, only few remain truly handcrafted, locally sourced and small-batched. FEW has never strayed from this—even as it grows, Paul and his team continue to provide consistently impeccable spirits that are true to their craft roots and reminiscent of their home base.

About Alice In Chains
Seminal rock band ALICE IN CHAINS recently toured in support of RAINIER FOG, which hit No. 1 across Billboard’s Rock, Alternative and Hard Music Charts and No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Album Chart and earned them a Grammy nom for “Best Rock Album.” Over the course of their remarkable career, ALICE IN CHAINS (vocalist/guitarist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and vocalist/guitarist William DuVall) have garnered multiple Grammy nominations, sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and amassed a diehard international fanbase whose members number in the millions.

Their discography features some of the biggest and most important albums in rock history, including 1992’s quadruple-platinum-certified “DIRT,” 1994’s triple-platinum-certified EP JAR OF FLIES, which was the first EP in music history to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and 1995’s self-titled double-platinum-certified ALICE IN CHAINS, which also entered the Billboard Top 200 at No. 1. They returned in grand style in 2009 with the critically acclaimed BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE, which hit No. 1 across the rock and alternative charts, earned a Grammy nomination, was certified Gold and hailed by Vice as “a record that’s as powerful as anything the band has done.” ALICE IN CHAINS remains one of the most successful and influential American rock bands of all time.

Uncle Jack's Steakhouse, Vaughn Lowery, Astoria Queens, NYC, Armon Hayes, 360 MAGAZINE, Uncle Jack's Meat House, Willie Degel

Uncle Jack’s Meat House is a neighborhood gem in Astoria, Queens.

By Armon Hayes × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 MAGAZINE had an opportunity to visit their ‘Boozy Brunch,’ which takes place weekly every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm. Serial entrepreneur, Willie Degel, helms Uncle Jack’s Meat House as well as the host of Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout. On the show, Degel helps restaurateurs uncover major obstacles which threaten to sink their businesses. Moreover, his culinary vision was to
co-create Uncle Jack’s Meat House; a modest luxury establishment dedicated to steak connoisseurs. 

Inspired by his late godfather and great-uncle Jack; he afforded his first restaurant at age 20. Uncle Jack’s exhibits the debut of branding, tailored to today’s patron who’s interested in natural, organic and sustainable elements.

$29.95 includes one entree and bottomless cocktails for 2 hours. Robust dishes, prepared by Chef Marvin, like the ‘8oz Salmon BLT’ are cooked to perfection. A crispy outside with a moist middle. Dished out with your choice side of fruit salad or fries. Wash it down with the High West punch, a premium cocktail developed by General Manager and resident mixologist. It’s garnished with infused Cherry’s and fresh fruit.

Various antiquities frame the bar which complement original artwork throughout the restaurant, adding authenticity to its natural glory. At the 4-star locale, for social engagement purposes, one can document their visit with the ‘selfie mirror.’

Overall, the restaurant possesses charismatic waitstaff, handcrafted cocktails and succulent bites which are certain to keep you coming back.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, spirits, mixology, bartender

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation 13th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Semifinalists Presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin

Top 36 Bartenders Stir Creativity Vie for $25,000 Creative Grant and Mentorship by Creative Visionary 

Hamilton, Bermuda (September 3, 2019) – Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announces today the semifinalists of the 13th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Competition (MIB Competition) presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin. The esteemed cocktail MIB Competition, which seeks out mixologists at the forefront of the industry and provides them with a platform to let their imagination and creativity shine, will kick off the regional stage this September through three (3) competitions held in Nashville (Central), Philadelphia (East), and Portland (West). The 36 semifinalists from across North America will vie for a spot in the top 12 and advance to the finals in February 2020.  The MIB Competition will be held in Chicago, the hometown of the 2018 Most Imaginative Bartender, Carley Gaskin. Driven by the belief that everyone is born creative, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is introducing the Canvas Challenge to this year’s program. The new challenge will task the top 12 finalists to discover their artistic potential and showcase their creativity for a chance to win a $25,000 grant prize and a mentorship by a creative visionary.

According to BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin Brand Director Tom Spaven, the new challenge is a way to encourage bartenders to take their creativity to the next level as he notes: “Each year, the Most Imaginative Bartender competition brings together a group of boundary-pushing bartenders who use BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as the ultimate tool to stir creativity in a glass. Through the incredible work of past participants, we realize the program is not just a competition, but a forum for expression across many different creative mediums. I’m excited to see how this year’s semifinalists will bring the industry to new heights and explore their passions outside of mixology”.

Throughout September, the semifinalists will participate in an invigorating two-day program, aimed to encourage bartenders to stir creativity outside of the traditional lines of the industry. On the first day, all semifinalists will present their masterpiece in a glass to a panel of judges. Following the MIB Competition portion, the program is introducing a new aspect in an effort to encourage self-expression, in which the semifinalists will participate in an educational activity geared towards exploring new creative mediums. Upon completion, the regional winners will head to England in October for an immersive gin discovery tour at the home of the brand’s BREEAM award-winning distillery, Laverstoke Mill. During the week-long tour all finalists will participate in educational programming that will help prepare them for the finale in February 2020.  In addition to the prizes awarded to the final winner, all 12 finalists will collaborate with PUNCH Media for a special cocktail book to debut in 2020.

The 2018 champion Carley Gaskin shared a few words of inspiration for the semifinalists, stating: “The Most Imaginative Bartender Competition encouraged me to explore new forms of self-expression through mixology, while introducing me to a wealth of invaluable resources within the industry. I couldn’t be more excited for this year’s semifinalists to embark on this incredible journey and wish them the best of luck”. 

For more information please visit www.mostimaginativebartender.com. 

Top 36  Semi-Finalists:


EAST

Edward Hansel – New York

Mark Tubridy – New York

Arianna Shaljian – New York

Solomon Thomas – Philadelphia

Valentino Longo – Miami

Derek Stilmann – Miami

Peter Hannah – Orlando

Cody Henson – Savannah

Niall McCourt – St. Pete

Keyatta Mincey-Parker – Atlanta

Sam Treadway – Massachusetts

Michael Rizk – Quebec 


CENTRAL

Maggie Morgan – New Orleans

Terance Robson – Austin 

Nikolas Zoylinos – Austin

Alexis Mijares – Austin

Christa Havican – Houston

Marlowe Johnson – Michigan

Tripper Duval – Wisconsin

David Yee – Columbus

Marta Ess – Ontario

Holly Caverly – Ontario

Jayare Wuo – Chicago


WEST

Cameron Holck – Portland

Estanislado Orona – Portland

Lydia McLuen – Portland

Jamie Socci – Portland

Emilio Salehi – San Francisco

Christian Suzuki – San Francisco

Derrick Li – San Francisco

Shaun Dunn – Los Angeles

Alex Jump – Denver

TJ Vong – Denver

Andrew Woodley – Hawaii

Danielle Pingert – Saskatchewen


# # #


ABOUT BOMBAY SAPPHIRE 
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is the world’s number one premium gin by volume and value.  BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is created with a unique combination of ten sustainably sourced botanicals from around the globe. The brand’s signature distillation process known as vapour infusion is showcased at the BREEAM award-winning Laverstoke Mill Distillery in Hampshire, England. The vapour infusion process skillfully captures the natural flavors of the botanicals which results in the gin’s fresh, bright taste. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, which was awarded a gold medal in the 2018 Las Vegas Global Spirit Awards and a double gold medal in the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, is recognized for crafting the finest quality gin. For more information, please explore www.bombaysapphire.com
.

The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.


For more information please visit
www.mostimaginativebartender.com

Nat’l Pina Colada Day Cocktails

Nat’l Pina Colada Day (July 10): Toast with Reimagined Malibu Pina Colada Cocktails!

Malibu Coconut Water Pina Colada

·         Ingredients:

o    1 ½ part Malibu Original

o    1 ½ parts Coconut Water

o    2 parts Pineapple juice

o    ½ part Fresh Lime Juice

·         Method: Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake until cold and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice cubes, top with pineapple juice

·         Garnish: Slice of pineapple

 Malibu Pea’na Colada

·         Ingredients:

o    1 ¼ part Malibu Original

o    ¾ part Stoupakis Mastiha

o    ½ part Coconut Milk

o    ½ part Simple Syrup

o    ¾ part Snap Pea Juice

o    ½ part Lemon

o    Pinch salt

·         Method: Whip with pebble ice, serve over pebble ice

·         Garnish: Split Pea, Lemon Wheel


Classic Malibu Pina Colada

·         Ingredients:

o    1 part Malibu Original

o    1 ½ parts Pineapple juice

o    ½ part Coconut cream

·         Method: Pour everything in a shaker with ice, shake, pour and enjoy

·         Garnish: Slice of pineapple

Spark Joy with these 4th of July Cocktails

The most-anticipated summer weekend is just around the corner! Level up and make your Independence Day celebration sparkle with these simple yet elevated cocktails, each profiling a different flavor and sure to suit everyone’s preferences. After a heavy afternoon of  burgers and hot dogs, wash it all down with refreshing and low-sugar cocktails while jiving to your favorite tunes.

From a delicious Watermelon Firecracker Margarita to a Berry United Lemonade and elevated G&T, sip back and enjoy the summer weather.

The Independent G&T

    • 4 ounces Fever-Tree tonic water
    • 2-3 frozen cranberries (garnish)
    • 1 popsicle (garnish)
  • Ice

Pour Jaisalmer Gin and tonic water over ice in a tall glass. Stir and garnish with a popsicle and cranberries.


Berry United Lemonade

    • 3 cups lemonade
    • 1 cup cold water
    • 4-6 dashes Angostura bitters
    • Lemons (garnish)
    • Blueberries (garnish)
  • Ice

In a pitcher, pour Diplomatico Rum, lemonade and water. Add in lemon and bitters. Garnish with lemon slices and blueberries. Serve chilled.


Firecracker Margarita

    • Kosher salt
    • 1 lime wheel
    • 3 ounces fresh watermelon juice
    • ¾ ounces fresh lime juice
  • Watermelon (garnish)

Place some salt on a small plate. Rub rim of an old-fashioned or rocks glass with lime wheel (reserve for serving); dip in salt.

Combine watermelon juice, Partida Tequila, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain cocktail into prepared glass and garnish with watermelon lime wheel.


Kareem Bunton’s Creating a Scene in Brooklyn 

*Photo by Taylor Sessleman

Kareem Bunton is a veteran of the NYC nightlife having romped around at revered spots such as Mr. Fongs, VON, Union Pool and even Max Fish. He’s also got musical collaborations with Run the Jewels, Prefuse 73, and TV on the Radio under his belt. Now he’s loading up all of his experience in the limelight and taking it to a refreshing venue in Bushwick.

New York nightlife has found a new breeding place in Brooklyn, so it’s no surprise Bunton’s World Famous is taking root there. BWF is embracing an unexpected vibe of a Tangier hotel bar – obviously one enticing to the young urban “cool kids” ready to relive their ‘90s dreams.

“What I like best about the’90s scene,” he says, “was that it didn’t really matter what you had in your pocket or what you did in the daytime. Looking good, being a great dancer, or just having a lovely personality were often enough to get you through the door. Building a space is easy, creating a scene is not. To do this we are attempting to build a sense of community by hiring old school DJ’s and youngsters.”

The cozy 1400 square foot space will be importing the Tangier’s tropical vibes with drinks that’ll make you mistake Brooklyn for a sultry tiki bar on the beach, high in contrast to the mainstream cocktail lounge. Lucas Moran of Mr. Fongs will be constructing the menu, “Think flavored daiquiris, hurricanes, rum runners,” says Bunton. “It’s usually my preference to keep cocktails simple and quick to make. Waiting 10 minutes for a drink while listening to an unsolicited speech about botanicals is not my idea of a good time.”

Kareen bunton, 360 MAGAZINE, Claire de Lespinois

Photo by Claire de Lespinois

In a time where emphasizing unity and equality is pertinent, Bunton’s mission is to bring together the diverse community of artists and fashionistas into a memorable night of dancing reality away to old-school hip-hop.

Remaining unconventional and consistent with his exotic theme, Bunton says, “We are going to structure the schedule by genre rather than promoters or weekly residents. Different DJs will be able to share their interpretations of reggae, afrobeat, nuyorican soul.”

In addition to creating a unique and sexy scene, Buton’s World Famous also has a captivating retail element made up of t-shirts and snapback hats flush with the classic Bunton’s logo for the stylish enthusiasts of the scene to rock.

Debuting during New York Fashion Week on Friday, February 15th at 1005 Broadway, Bunton’s World Famous is a venue to explore for those ready to delve into a sultry salvation.

Kareem bunton, 360 MAGAZINE

Photo by Hannah Grankvist

Kareem bunton, 360 MAGAZINE, Claire de Lespinois

Photo by Claire de Lespinois

Alex Thaler

Alex Thaler is the national brand ambassador for Chivas Regal. Alex focuses on building relationships with distributors, partnered accounts and consumers on a daily basis, offering information, culture, education as well as the history of the Chivas Regal family.

Alex believes in passion, keeping it real and believing in your brand. He believes there is a proper Scotch for every occasion. He has worked within the hospitality industry for over a decade. Alex truly enjoys traveling, he has taken the journey to Scotland on many occasions and has had the opportunity to work and learn the Scotch World from master distiller’s such as Colin Scott.

Alex covers all markets within the United States – influencing, educating and increasing the awareness of the Chivas Regal brand. Born and Raised in New York City, Alex’s new homebase is in Miami. When Alex is not enjoying scotch, he enjoys cycling, strength training and flying his drone.

Alex is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication & Rhetorical Studies.

Alex Thaler, Chivas Regal, 360 MAGAZINE

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.”