Happy Birthday Perfect Frozen Margarita

This week we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the invention of the frozen margarita machine created right here in North Texas.

Dallas' own Mariano Martinez, the owner of Mariano's and La Hacienda restaurants, is the man behind the first machine, which now has a home in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

Martinez came up with the idea on May 11, 1971, when he was just 26-years-old, after a customer complained about the quality, consistency and coldness of his margaritas.

Martinez says he was inspired after a trip to 7-Eleven. "I saw the Slurpee machine sitting there and the light bulb went off in my head and I said 'that's it!'" said Martinez.

The frozen margarita machine ranks tenth on the Smithsonian list of Top 10 American Inventions. (Check out the gallery to the left, Martinez is in great company.)

"To us at the Smithsonian, it's a story about American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit," said Dr. Rayna Green, curator of the Smithsonian's National Museum in Washington, D.C. , "and it coincides with a very interesting story of Tex-Mex becoming a phenomenon."

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