Sunday is National Tequila Day, a "holiday" Dallasites can celebrate with extra exuberance as residents of the city that fucked up margaritas forever. Mariano Martinez birthed the margarita machine here, 40 years ago, after a frightening opening night nearly handed him his ass. Turns out his bartenders couldn't figure out how to make a three-ingredient drink consistently.
Stressed and hungry, Martinez walked into a 7-Eleven (presumably for a chili dog), saw the Slurpee machine, and the rest is hungover history. ABC's Nightline put together a feature that details the "invention" that turns out to be a soft-serve ice cream machine. A recipe boasting extra sugar helps the alcohol freeze into a slushy mess. It also helps you feel like shit in the morning.
"One hundred eighty thousand margaritas consumed every hour in the United States," says Martinez, between clips of him sipping frozen goo from goofy glasses in a posh golf club and walking his frou-frou dog in California. Thankfully, ABC provides a recipe for a real margarita at the end of the story. It's happily devoid of sugar, rail liquor and yellow No. 5, and is a recipe City of Ate happily endorses. Tequila, lime juice and Grand Marnier: That's the stuff of the margaritas we enjoy.
Really, the best margarita is one that someone else makes for you. I just have to figure out who's making mine this Sunday. Here are a few options, from the expert drunks around the office:
Cedars Social: Gets a little crazy with the agave nectar, but rose and orange blossom water is good stuff. 1326 South Lamar Dallas, 214-928-7700.
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The Libertine Bar: 2101 Greenville Ave, 214-824-7900.
Central 214: Indulges muddled strawberries for their house margarita. Ask them to leave the fruit out. 5680 North Central Expressway.
Windmill Lounge: Charlie's a no-nonsense kind of bartender and anyone who can turn a panini into a taco has to make a decent margarita. 5320 Maple Ave., 214-443-7818