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    Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Greg

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    Margaritaville’s Machine Mixes Drinks Fun And Fast

    Do you feel lucky? We do, and not just be­cause the tem­per­a­ture hit 80 de­grees in New York City. The win­ter was warm, but that might mean a hot sum­mer, so we’re prepar­ing ear­ly: plan­ning for trips to the beach, swim­ming get­aways, and gear­ing up for a bev­er­age-filled sea­son. If you’re like us, plen­ty of those drinks will have a lit­tle some­thing ex­tra in them- be­cause what’s sort of drink is bet­ter suit­ed to the prac­ti­cal­ly-trop­i­cal cli­mate than a fruity, chilled, al­co­holic cock­tail?

    We checked out a portable ice­mak­er re­cent­ly, and it pairs very well with to­day’s item. The Mar­gar­i­taville Mixed Drink Mak­er is overkill, in the best sense of the word, a kitchen gad­get that will im­press guests at par­ties and serve as a fun cen­ter­piece for con­ver­sa­tion. It’s pret­ty large, but doesn’t apol­o­gize- in­stead, it looks al­most com­mer­cial, a solid­ly built and at­trac­tive unit that can hold four dif­fer­ent drinks and com­bine them at will in­to a va­ri­ety of mixed drinks. Fill one of the col­or-cod­ed tanks with the spir­it of your choice- rum, vod­ka, or tequi­la- and the oth­ers with cran­ber­ry juice, or­ange juice, and sour mix. The ma­chine will do the rest, as­sem­bling up to 15 dif­fer­ent drinks per al­co­hol type. You can choose which recipe you want- from a Screw­driv­er to a Cape Cod to less­er-known drinks like a Trop­i­cal Ri­ta, Madras, and Sun­set or Hur­ri­cane Punch­es.

    The tanks can be chilled be­fore­hand, though fit­ting all four in our fridge was a tight fit. Al­so, un­like the Mar­gar­i­taville Frozen Con­coc­tion Mak­er we checked out long ago, this one doesn’t han­dle ice, so you’ll need to make sure that you have some handy. Their recipes use an eight ounce pour, and as­sume that you’ll be us­ing a six­teen ounce glass about half full with ice. It takes a bit of prep to get the ma­chine set­up of course, but the menu sys­tem is easy, and you can sim­ply se­lect the spir­it you’re us­ing and it most­ly han­dles the rest. There’s even an “I Feel Lucky” but­ton that will choose a ran­dom op­tion, which is a nice way to sam­ple some va­ri­eties- and you can de­cide whether or not to make it, as well as learn some new cock­tail names. And there’s a “strong” op­tion that adds a bit more liquor and a bit less of the mix­ers.

    We were wor­ried about clean­ing, but it wasn’t too bad. Ev­ery­thing ex­cept the basin cov­er is dish­wash­er safe, though the in­struc­tions do spec­i­fy us­ing the top rack for the bev­er­age tanks or hand-wash­ing. The basin cov­er is easy to clean man­u­al­ly and set aside to dry. Of course, it can be chal­leng­ing to man­age the var­i­ous liq­uids cor­rect­ly- we were of­ten left with a bit of one juice or sour mix. But ev­ery­one seemed pret­ty hap­py with the drinks cre­at­ed. There are some down­sides- it’s rel­a­tive­ly in­flex­i­ble, since they don’t rec­om­mend chang­ing juice op­tions, and they rec­om­mend against us­ing OJ with pulp un­for­tu­nate­ly. And you can’t ad­just the recipes ei­ther, if you pre­fer your Mar­gari­ta a slight­ly dif­fer­ent way. The ca­ble seems way too short- on­ly a cou­ple of feet long. And it’s cer­tain­ly not cheap- the ma­chine will set you back about $300. But it is the per­fect ad­di­tion to a par­ty, a way to get peo­ple talk­ing about their drinks, free­ing up the host who might not want to be tied to the bar, and point­ing the way to some new twists on clas­sic in­gre­di­ents. We like the idea and the ex­e­cu­tion: the Mar­gar­i­taville Mixed Drink Mak­er is fun, easy, well-built, and con­ve­nient.

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    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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