Sip, Sip Hooray! Dallas Celebrates 50 Years of Frozen Margaritas
Dallas – the Official Home of the Frozen Margarita – is celebrating 50 frozen years with a 50-day giveaway. On May 11, 1971, Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez invented the frozen margarita machine – forever freezing in time the city's claim to America's favorite cocktail. Dallas is celebrating the 50th anniversary of this innovative contribution to American culture with 50 Days of 50 Dollars, and a grand prize giveaway on May 11.
What: 50 Days of 50 Dollars
The Margarita Mile will be giving away a $50 gift card to a Margarita Mile-participating restaurant every day for the 50 days leading up to the anniversary of the invention of the frozen margarita machine. On the 50th anniversary, May 11, participants can enter to win a special grand prize trip to Dallas - a single room two-night hotel accommodations in Dallas, two CityPASS attraction passes, and a $250 gift card. Trip must be booked through VisitDallas and expires on May 11, 2022; see contest terms and conditions for details.
When: March 22 through May 11, 2021
Dallas' history with America's most famous frozen concoction is as storied as it is salty. It begins with Mariano Martinez, a young Texas man who had $500 and dreams of opening his own business. His new restaurant in Dallas, Mariano's Hacienda, gained notoriety for its frozen margaritas (his father's secret recipe), but ice, blenders, tequila and overwhelmed bartenders only led to one thing: an inconsistent meltdown.
Then, inspired by a 7-Eleven Slurpee machine, Martinez converted a soft-serve ice cream machine and tinkered with his recipe until it resulted in a frozen margarita that was served to perfection with every pour. And just like that, on May 11, 1971, the world's first frozen margarita machine was born.
Today, 50 years after revolutionizing the American food and beverage industry, the original machine sits in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, along with Julia Child's kitchen, Tupperware and a Krispy Kreme Ring King doughnut maker.
"When the idea of the frozen margarita machine first came to me, my goal wasn't to be an inventor; I just wanted to keep the doors of my restaurant open and my patrons and employees happy," said Martinez. "Now, I feel an immense joy that so many people have been able to come together and create 50 years of memories around this cocktail."
Inspired by Mariano's genius invention, VisitDallas launched the Margarita Mile in 2018. Today, visitors and locals can enjoy five decades of innovation and pay homage to this invention on the Margarita Mile – a self-guided trail of Dallas' best and brightest margaritas, conveniently collected in a colorful app.
"We are proud that Mariano's historic invention calls Dallas home," said Mark Thompson, chief marketing officer for VisitDallas. "We're excited to celebrate with 50 Days of 50 Dollars and a grand prize on the anniversary, May 11. Mariano elevated the frozen margarita, and we're so excited for people to visit his restaurant and others on the Margarita Mile and discover Dallas' great neighborhoods, restaurants and bars. Cheers to 50 years!"
Visit margaritamiledallas.com to learn more.
About the Margarita Mile
Dallas, the Official Home of the Frozen Margarita, is home of the famed Margarita Mile, a collection of margaritas to try across the city, from the OG at Mariano's Hacienda in East Dallas to a liquid-nitrogen-frozen 'rita at Beto & Son across the river to the west. Think of it as the ultimate margarita bucket list. *Even a mile is bigger in Texas. So many margaritas, one little mile couldn't contain them.
App users check into locations and earn cool swag along the way. We encourage sipping and savoring. There's no prize for finishing first; the real prize is sampling Dallas' diverse drinks – the spicy, the sweet, salty and sour. The FREE Margarita Mile app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play. As always, please drink responsibly.