Smithsonian Accepts First Margarita Machine

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The National Museum of American History recently acquired the 34-year-old modified soft-serve ice cream machine that was first used to mass-produce frozen margaritas.

"I have a pretty fertile imagination. I have big dreams," said Mariano Martinez, owner of the Dallas restaurant Mariano Hacienda where the margaritas were made. "But this is beyond what I ever imagined."

In 1971, Martinez hoped margaritas would set his eatery apart. But his bartenders couldn't squeeze enough limes or blend the drinks fast enough. Also, customers complained the drink was inconsistent and not even cold.

Inspiration came from a Slurpee machine at a 7-Eleven. He acquired a soft-serve ice cream machine and started mixing.

"To us, it's a story about American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit," said Rayna Green, curator of the National Museum of American History.

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