Do you need a summertime splurge or a last minute Father’s Day gift? I’ve got you!
I’d been wondering what the difference was between making a frozen margarita in my Vitamix vs. a Margaritaville machine. We spend all summer out enjoying the Texas heat, so we decided to give the Margaritaville machine a try for ourselves. It’s awesome! Is it perfect? No. Let me break it down. Instead of blending and crushing ice, it shaves it like those glorious Hawaiian ice stands with well-deserved unending lines. It promises “no bartender required”. That’s an overstatement. If you had a poolside bartender, they’d whip you up a fresh margarita whenever you wanted one. This machine holds 60 ounces, which is 4 of those big restaurant margaritas. If there are 4 of you, you’d make a batch and clear out the machine. You can do a half batch, but… The machine does not keep it frozen. That’s the only drawback. So if 2 people want 2 margaritas each, the 2 left in the machine will start melting. And the one in your glass starts melting pretty quickly. Drink it faster?! No way! Who wants to rush their frozen concoction treat?!
Margaritaville Bali frozen concoction maker
I have a solution! Karbach Brewery sent us a firepit, a Yeti cooler, and 2 Yeti beer holders. We were super psyched about the firepit and the cooler. I didn’t think much about those 2 beer coolers. Then we tossed in a beer and headed out to the jacuzzi. The beer stayed icy cold til the last sip. No way! Way! And it doesn’t require pre-chilling or anything! We pulled the beer holders straight our of out room temp cupboard and popped an ice cold beer in and it just stayed that way. It was as magical as Baby Yoda (Grogu for you nerds!)
Yeti Rambler 12 ounce coldster
Do they have Yeti tumblers that would keep our margaritas cold? Yes!!! We ordered 2 of the 30 ounce ones. They each hold 2 margaritas! Do they stay cold? We watched a long movie in the jacuzzi and it stayed in it’s perfectly suspended frozen state. We sipped at our leisure and that last sip was as glorious as the first! Awesome!
How about that Yeti cooler? Kiddo popped in a case of warm water bottles and a freezer bin of ice into it yesterday afternoon, for a pool party a few hours later and it was 100 degrees F outside. She left the cooler out on the patio. I opened the cooler this morning, and the last few waters were still nice and cold.
Okay! Margarita/daquiri/pina colada recipes… The Margaritaville machine comes with recipes. The pina colada recipe is all natural, but the margarita and daquiri recipes use mixes. Team time saver? You’re done! Team – ewww, mixes?! You can either do your own thing, making the liquid volume match what’s in the recipes, or if you don’t like to wing it, the Margaritaville cookbook doesn’t use any mixers in the drinks. If you’re a total foodie, you’ll be delighted to know that Julia Turshen is the co-author. She wrote Small Victories, Now & Again, Simply Julia, and Feed the Resistance. Now & Again is so good it’s in my primary cookbook case. Yeah, I have 4 floor-to-ceiling cookbook cases downstairs + overflow upstairs. The number of books that don’t make the cut and get handed to someone else is pretty high, so bookcase number one is a big deal.
Here’s the link to the blogpost I did about Now & Again. It doesn’t do it justice. I wanted to cover the baked pasta and garlic bread with anchovies, but it was one of those weird situations where I could only get permission for an egg dish from the publisher. The cilantro and coconut were cool and unusual additions, but no one cares about eggs. The anchovies in the garlic bread blew my mind. If you pick up the book, just do yourself a favor and head there first.
Well, I’m not going to leave you all without a recipe to try. I like playing around with it and living out all my shaved ice fantasies. One of my favorites is subverting the machine for frozen sangria.
Jen’s Frozen Sangria
Add to the mixing chamber and blend til it’s nice and smooth:
1 750 ml bottle of wine (That’s 3 cups if you’re using a ginormous bottle. No judgment!)
3 1/2 cups frozen sliced strawberries
Zest and juice of one orange – optional, but delicious!
Add about 4 cups of ice to the top of the machine and shave a little and blend it in, a little at a time, til you hit that 60 ounce mark. Pour into big Yeti tumblers. Enjoy!
And two more summertime joymakers…. We got these tiki torch speakers to use for outdoor movies, but end up using them for music in the pool all the time. They sound terrific! They’re loud enough, but not so loud that the neighbors will stop thinking you’re wonderful. Bluetooth. One pairs with the other beautifully. They have little poles to stake them into the grass, or you can just set them down. Awesome!
We have a salt water pool, so *obviously* we needed a salt water crocodile. Meet Teefers, our RC boat. He is well creepy! He takes 45 minutes to charge and then he runs for 15 minutes. He is at his most terrifying at night. Note that he has a little water sensor and will not run unless he’s in the water. The directions skip that part.
Cheers! And happy summer everybody!