Posts tagged with "cuisine"

Local Hive Honey

Local Hive™ From Rice’s Honey® Recipes

Raw & Unfiltered Honey

Honey Made Right in Your Own Back Yard!

Local Hive™ from Rice’s Honey®, a leading producer of high quality, U.S. only raw & unfiltered honey since 1924, offers 16 different local varietals of raw honey including Local New England, Local Northeast, Local Florida, Authentic Clover & Authentic Wildflower. Whether it’s for a comforting hot drink during the cold days of winter or to enjoy recipes, the taste of real honey from Local Hive™ will help you create fond memories.

All Local Hive™ honeys are sourced exclusively in the U.S. and bottled in Greeley, Colorado. The team atLocal Hive™ work directly with local beekeepers across the U.S., to ensure each varietal yields incredibly delicious and subtly different natural flavors that will be great additions to your family recipes and holiday memories. https://localhivehoney.com/

Raw, unfiltered honey also offers many health benefits including being rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and pollen and it is kosher. Unlike processed unnatural sugars or sweeteners, Local Hive™ honey offers transparency, as each natural varietal is made so local it’s “made right in your own back yard”.

Very similar to wine, where you taste and see the difference between varietals, Local Hive™ from Rice’s Honey® also imparts specific flavors in each of the honeys they produce. From Washington to Florida each varietal is unique.

Local Hive New England Honey

Floral Sources: Basswood, Berries, Clover, Goldenrod

*Flavor is bold and robust. Northeast honeys are much darker than anywhere else.

Local Hive Florida Honey

Floral Sources: Citrus, Brazilian Pepper, Clover, Gallberry, Tupelo

*Flavor is a bit fruity with a hint of spice.

Local Hive Colorado Honey

Floral Sources: Clover, Alfalfa, Wildflowers

*Flavor should be light & sweet. The sweetest of all honeys sent.

Local Hive Southern California Honey

Floral Sources: Alfalfa, Berries, Citrus, Clover, Sage

*Flavor is fruity and sweet. You’ll notice a hint of orange

Local Hive Texas Honey

Floral Sources: Alfalfa, Clover, Cotton, Horsemint, Tallow

*Flavor is medium bodied and sweet. Not as sweet as Colorado.

“Delicious Local Hive™ honey is perfect for all ages,” noted Tony Landretti, Chief Executive Officer ofRice’s Honey®. “With different floral sources based on the location in which the bees pollinate, everyLocal Hive™ varietal offers a unique flavor. Since Rice’s Honey® was founded in 1924 by L.R. Rice, we have always remained committed to providing natural, delicious U.S. only raw & unfiltered honey, while supporting local beekeepers all across the U.S. Our local honey products are an artisan blend of various floral types that are regionally sourced, packed in Greeley, Colorado, and delivered to participating grocery stores throughout the United States.”

A new label design highlighting our new Local Hive™ brand coincides with Rice’s new alliance with PACE, “Pollinator Awareness Through Conservation and Education”, the Butterfly Pavilion’s non-profit global initiative to restore habitats, strengthen populations and reintroduce pollinators into native habitats around the world. This partnership and commitment will be communicated on the back of the new label and will highlight how a portion of proceeds from every bottle sold of Rice’s Honey® will be donated to the PACE initiative to promote and protect the prosperity of pollinators worldwide. Rice’s Honey® has a mission to help promote all pollinators & sustainable bee farms across the country.

Check out our new website at: www.localhivehoney.com for more information and recipes.

About Local Hive™ from Rice’s Honey®:

L.R. Rice founded Rice’s Honey®, headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, in 1924. The company remainbs committed to its founder’s mission of becoming a leading producer of authentic, high quality, U.S. only raw & unfiltered honey. Local Hive™ from Rice’s Honey® has generated brand equity through its commitment of producing premium, high quality, raw and unfiltered and kosher honey at affordable prices. Rice’s Honey works with local beekeepers to provide several local, raw & unfiltered honey varieties throughout various states and regions across the U.S.

Exploring Western Belize in 2019

Belize has been featured as the only Central American country on National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019 List. Quickly growing in popularity as one of the best tropical vacation destinations in the world, Belize is a blend of cultures and natural attractions and is a place that fully embraces its Central American and Caribbean roots, celebrates its diversity and takes great pride in its spectacular natural beauty. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Western Belize provides a perfect springboard for a vacation filled with adrenaline adventures, fine dining and opportunities to experience the infamous Maya Temples.

Adrenaline Adventures

Black Hole Drop: Begin with a 2 hour hike up the Maya Mountains over the rainforest canopy at Actun Loch Tunich, “The Monster of All Caves.” Become mesmerized by incredible aerial views of jungle rainforests, then step off the ledge of the cliff for a 300-foot high rappelling adventure ride where you will have amazing visuals of the Black Hole and luscious greens. This experience is not for the faint of heart.

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave: This site has been featured on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and History Channel because of its mesmerizing giant shimmering flowstone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites widely present throughout this 3-mile long cave. ATM features burial chambers, Maya artifacts, intact calcified human remains, and slate stelaes that were used for burials. The cave itself is several miles long with multiple chambers. Once inside the cave you will spend several hours swimming, climbing, and exploring.

Fine Dining

Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant: Located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant has a new Executive Chef, Enrique Awe whose culinary journey has brought him back to his hometown of San Ignacio after working for 16 years in the USA. The Restaurant showcases an international menu with the best of Belizean cuisine and features grass fed meats from the family’s own ranch where the restaurant got its name.

Trey’s Barn & Grill: Trey Roberson grills up the freshest cuisine in Western Belize and creates cocktails that pair well with his unique dishes. You can also find him at San Ignacio Resort Hotel for special cookouts on property with live music and libations.

Maya Temples

Caracol: Located on the western edge of the Maya Mountains within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Caracol lies on a high plateau that drops into a deep valley to the northwest and rises into hilly terrain to the southwest. The site was discovered in 1938 by Rosa Mai, a logger looking for mahogany. Although one of the most challenging Belize ruins to reach, the trip to Caracol is also one of the most scenic drives. It is the largest known Maya center within the country and holds “Canaa” (Sky Place), the largest pyramid or man-made structure in Belize at 140 feet tall.

Cahal Pech: Located on a hill that overlooks the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, excavations show that Cahal Pech was inhabited from 1000 B.C. to around 800 A.D. The central part of the ruins provides a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area. Thirty-four structures, including temple pyramids, two ball courts, and an altar fill the 2 acre area.

Five of America’s largest airlines have nonstop flights to Belize from major cities across the country, making it easily accessible for US travelers.

Japan Named Travel And Leisure’s 2018 Destination Of The Year

Travel + Leisure announced today that Japan is its 2018 Destination of the Year, celebrating the country’s rich history, incredible number of diverse tourism attractions, unique cuisine and the continued increase of international visitors.

“We are honored that such a prestigious publication has recognized Japan as its Destination of the Year for 2018,” stated Naohito Ise, Executive Director of the New York Office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). “Tourism to Japan among US travelers continues to grow, and we expect an even greater increase in the coming years as Japan continues to be in the spotlight as a top travel destination.”

Travel + Leisure will present a comprehensive guide to the best of Japan – from the changing foliage of Kyoto to the southern island of Kyushu and more – in the cover story of the December issue, available on newsstands December 1, with an expanded array of Japan content at travelandleisure.com.

“Japan is one of the world’s fastest growing destinations for travelers, who are now pushing beyond the major cities of Tokyo and Kyoto into all corners of the country,” said Jacqueline Gifford, Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure. “Our audience is passionate about Japan because it offers such a rich, well-rounded travel experience: you can learn about centuries-old culture and tradition while taking in cutting-edge architecture and exquisite food. And it is the people, of course, who make a destination: the graciousness and hospitality of the locals are something that truly resonates with our readers.”

Even more, this week, Travel + Leisure will release a new monthly series, called “Locals,” to offer an inside look at destinations around the world. The first episode, titled, “Eat Ramen Like a Local,” will be available on Instagram TV and at TravelandLeisure.com, offering a unique perspective on the life of a ramen expert, who helps visitors navigate Tokyo’s ramen scene.

Taste on Melrose, 360 MAGAZINE, la

Taste On Melrose

Taste On Melrose is one of LA’s hippest brunch spots. Ultra chic Hollywood hopefuls alongside of handcrafted cocktails with a Kobe burger make this place popping. Yet, the sweet tasting crispy bacon inside a viscous side of macaroni and cheese still isn’t enough to cover up some of the front of house issues. With no reservations, expect to wait up to an hour or so. Once seated, our beverages and appetizers still didn’t make it to our table until another hour. Don’t fret because management is cognizant of their spotty service and will amend your bill to make up for any misadventures. Nevertheless, this Parisian-style sidewalk dining experience is still worthy of your patronage, especially if you have a flair for fashion and enjoy people watching.

Discovering magical Madison

360 Culture Editor Tom Wilmer and his associate, Annita Thomas from Atlanta, Georgia visit with Diane Morganthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Diane shares a litany of cool things to do and see for the entire family

CLICK HERE to listen to the NPR.ONE Podcast interview

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s State Capital is deftly framed by the rooftop of Monona Terrace. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Many of Madison’s attractions are free, including the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Concerts on the Square, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and Wisconsin State Capital tours.

 

Original Frank Lloyd Wright 1938 rendering for Madison’s Monona Terrace

Madison, Wisconsin’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center was first proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. But it was 21 years before the project was completed, sadly just weeks after Wright’s death.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural rendering for Monona Terrace on the waterfront in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Stunning rooftop vistas from Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Monona Terrace rooftop Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison, Wisconsin is passionately proud of their bike and pedestrian friendly culture

 

Classic theater in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

 

Don’t miss the free tours at Wisconsin’s State Capital in downtown Madison. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Friday evening is party time on the rooftop deck of the Edgewater Hotel and adjacent Boathouse on the lakefront in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Always time for a sunset paddle on the lake in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s weekly farmers market is crazy popular. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Exploring Madison, Wisconsin’s neighborhoods reveal endless architectural gems. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Classic circa-1917– Frank Lloyd Wright’s USONIAN homes remain strikingly contemporary a century later. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Daring distillers are passionate about their craft in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

If plants are your thing Madison is the place for you at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison’s Children’s Museum is a must if you’re bringing the kids. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum includes a rooftop garden complete with real chickens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM PODCAST

Gabriella Gearghardt at Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Join Gabriella Gerhardt, Development Officer at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. It’s a hands-on engaging place where free-play is the operative. Discover why NPR ranked one of the exhibits among the top ten in America, and learn about the live chickens, the human hamster cage, the engaging Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, and more—just for kids.

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s captivating Museum of Contemporary Art is another must-do. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The outside of the Museum of Modern Art in downtown Madison, Wisconsin beckons one to check out what’s on the inside. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Celebrating 117 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the longest serving cultural organization in the city. Join Erika Monroe-Kane Director of Communications for an insider’s look at the ways the free-access museum brings art to the people and people to the art in MadisonWisconsin. MMOCA attracts visitors through engaging cutting-edge art that serves as powerful visual metaphors for social issues, and injustices.

CLICK HERE to listen to the Podcast interview with Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications

 

 

Sunset party at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Wisconsin’s State Capital is stunning night or day. iPhone 6s photo credit: Tom Wilmer

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Eau Claire–Inspired Culture

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer explores Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a city of 68,000 that has rapidly evolved to become a trend-setting cultural mecca.

EAU CLAIRE abounds with classic architecture melded with cutting-edge street art  Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The driver behind the city’s renaissance has everything to do with the passionately engaged locals, including a 39-year-old tech executive who’s invested millions of his own money revitalizing his hometown’s anchor hotel-conference center, and millions more in Eau Claire’s new performing arts center, the Pablo Center at the Confluence in the heart of town.

The cutting-edge facility’s inaugural season includes dance productions, literary and film events, along with a series of musical events performed in the 1,200-seat main theater. Mack John, Public Relations Manager at Visit Eau Claire, notes, “there are multiple art galleries featuring regional and national visual art displays representing an array of mediums. And in keeping with Eau Claire’s emphasis on community engagement, the galleries are free and open to the public.”

Workers installing finishing touches at the Pablo Center in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin in preparation for opening day festivities September 22nd 2018    Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

John added that there are also multipurpose spaces on the third floor that offer dramatic vistas of the Chippewa River and the city’s lighted Phoenix Park Bridge.

A line up of the 2018-2029 live performances includes: Cloud Cult, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Tony Jackson, Ailey II, Kate Lindsey/Baptiste Trotignon, The Oak Ridge Boys, Blind Boys of Alabama, Kodo Taiko, Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure, La Caverne (torch Sisters), Aaron Diehl, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Farewell Angelina.

 

Mack John at the Eau Claire Farmers Market   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Kristin Dexter, co-owner of Forage EC Community kitchen in Eau Claire is a prime example of why the town is thriving. Listen to her conversation in the NPR.ORG Podcast   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Eau Claire’s proud multi-ethnic pride is exemplified by the Hmong seller at Farmers Market in the heart of town. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Trend-setting Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s hip and happening Shift–it’s a combination coffee house and bicycle repair place Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

tranquility is mere feet away from the heart of downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR.ORG PODCAST–CONVERSATIONS WITH PASSIONATELY INVOLVED LOCALS

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show,  Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast Directory,  Apple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer

 

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge, Panama’s newest luxury and adventure outpost, is getting ready to open its doors to guests in January 2019, but it’s already raising the bar for sustainable tourism in the region.

Located 20 miles off the coast of Panama, and with 9 stylishly-designed “casitas” sleeping up to 18 guests, the archipelago of 14 private islands covers more than 1,000 acres in the Gulf of Chiriqui. With approximately 75% of the archipelago consisting of environmentally protected areas, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge protects the archipelago’s incredible beauty while offering guests a timeless, idyllic setting among one of the most pristine and diverse marine environments in the world.

“Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is located in an extraordinarily vibrant ecosystem with more than 750 species of fish and 128 species of plants,” said Sergio del Nunez Prado, Property Manager at Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge. “Designed to blend harmoniously with its surroundings with minimal environmental impact, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge aims to preserve the rich biodiversity of the archipelago while connecting people with nature in its purest form.”

At the core of Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is a driving passion for the enjoyment and conservation of the archipelago’s natural resources, with a deep appreciation and respect for local culture and history. Sustainability and environmental stewardship are at the core of the facilities, infrastructure and operations of the property, from the use of solar energy to composting all organic materials and recycling water waste for irrigation use. Among the sustainability initiatives and programs implemented by the reserve are:

  • 100% of energy consumption on island is powered by a 300-meter long solar array.
  • 100% of guest water use is captured and reclaimed through a system that includes man-made wetlands, sand filtration system and infrared light process to provide surface irrigation.
  • 100% of food waste are dehydrated and used for composting as fertilizer. There is no waste.
  • Guest facilities were constructed with certified sustainable wood, and interior woods were pressure treated with non-toxic boric acid. These high-quality materials and construction methods were used to maximize the life of facilities to reduce the frequency of future rebuilds.
  • No single-use plastic water bottles.

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge aims to create a model for sustainable tourism by pairing exhilarating recreation and warm Panamanian hospitality with a strong ethos of environmental stewardship and community support. Understated and under-the-radar, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is ready to welcome today’s most discerning and conscientious traveler, including couples, families and groups of friends seeking adventure and an intimate setting where no detail has been overlooked.

For more information on Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge please visit: www.islassecas.com

For reservations please contact 800-377-8877 or info@islassecas.com

ABOUT ISLAS SECAS RESERVE & LODGE, PANAMA:
Officially opening in January 2019, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is a new and exclusive property located on its own archipelago of 14 pristine islands in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Panama. The secluded retreat will sleep 18 people across four casita sites with of 9 luxury guest rooms, providing the perfect springboard for marine and land adventures in this lesser explored part of Panama. The interiors were designed by renowned interior designer Tom Scheerer and built to reflect the island’s surroundings. Facilities include the Terraza, offering local cuisine, a Hemingway-style lounge and bar and a Dive Center. 2019 will see the addition of a resort pool and a Field Station, while the 2020 season will see the completion of a Wellness Pavilion and a 4-bedroom Villa Residencia with a private swimming pool.

Montrose West Hollywood Hotel

Story by Patrick T Cooper

Ever dreamt of living the Los Angeles rock-star lifestyle? Its time for an immediate check in to the Montrose West Hollywood hotel. California dreaming is exactly what you will arrive to at the newly renovated rooftop pool and terrace. A $15 million-dollar redesign and rebrand has insured this boutique hotels presence in the Hollywood landscape. Star status awaits you in the elegantly appoint 133 all-suite domicile. Located a few steps from the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills you are right in the thick of all of the great happenings. Chef Bryan Achay’s global cuisine will chase you across the entire hotel whether you are dining at Timbre Café or Tonic Rooftop Café. The food is delicious, delectable and divine. Cheers to LA so pleasure your palate with signature cocktails while you stand in awe of the design and aesthetic created to celebrate the world of entertainment. View a short video here: https://youtu.be/_CDlPMfLvn4

Panoramic LA Views Photo Credit: Patrick T Cooper

Wine Spectator’s 2018 Restaurant Awards

Wine lovers everywhere, it’s that time of the year to update your wine destination list! Wine Spectator has released the winners of the 2018 RestaurantAwards, which honors the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,759 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 75 countries internationally.

The Restaurant Awards began in 1981, and there are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,453; 1,215; and 91 winners this year in each respective category. Seven of the Grand Award winners—Ai Fiori in New York City, Barolo Grill in Denver, Le Coureur Des Bois in Beloeil, Quebec, Canada, Madera in Menlo Park, California, Metropolitan Grill in Seattle, Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria, South Africa and Sistina in New York City—are first timers.

“This year’s class of restaurants is one of the most impressive and innovative ever,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “Their wine lists keep improving, because wine lovers are eager to explore and learn. The goal of our Restaurant Awards is to support restaurant wine programs and bring them to diners’ attention through our outreach through print, digital and social media. Wine Spectator salutes every restaurant honored in the 2018 Restaurant Awards.”

All winners are profiled at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and in the Restaurant Awards app. The app, available free on the App store, allows iPhone and iPad users to easily find nearby award-winning restaurants, with maps, plus helpful information about cuisine, wine and pricing.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.

The Grand Award is the program’s highest honor. This elite group comprises the world’s best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vantages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation. Wine Spectator carefully assesses each Grand Award candidate, including rigorous independent, on-site inspections of the wine program, cellar, service, ambiance and cuisine of the restaurant.

The full list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands July 17.
Follow the Restaurant Awards on
Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 16,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’sImpact Newsletter.

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.”