Looking back on this Christmas Season I have a few fond memories. Among the most memorable are the family parties that we took part in, meeting new members of our family, from newborns to road testing some of the newer members that have married into the madness.
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One gift that seemed to make the rounds this year was the Margaritaville DM0500 Frozen Concoction Maker. One of our local box stores featured them in a package, complete with the travel bag and we thought it would make a nice housewarming gift for our nephew. That night at his new home, minds were made up and the result was we would soon have three more Margaritaville DM0500 in our family circle, including mine!
There is much lore associated with the origin of the Margarita dating back to 1934 with "Barman Willie, "making the Tequila Concoction for Marguerite Hemery. Since then many have laid claim to the drink with the Frozen Margarita gaining popularity in the early 50's. The first known Margarita machine was marketed in1971 by Chemist John Hogan making the Margarita a bar staple.
In The Box
Getting the DM0500 home I was anxious to start playing around with the Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker. In the box you find everything you need, aside from the alcohol and mixers, to concoct the Margarita of your dreams including:
Quick Start Manual - Printed on brown paper bag stock, as are all the printed materials, outlines four steps to get you up and running. First is placing the unit on a flat surface, (so much for setting up on a beach blanket). Second involves removing the 36 ounce blending jar and adding all the ingredients. Third step engages the unit by selecting the front mounted controls including on/off switch, Shave and Blend Start Button or Blend/Shave Only switch. Fourth step is where the magic happens and you start pouring your guests their frozen, blended Margaritas (salt rimmed glasses optional). To be clear, the instructions are also printed in Spanish and French.
Travel Bag Instructions - Okay, I suppose if you have had a few Margaritas this one may come into play. The Five steps, yes 5, essentially include unzipping the twin side Zippers and placing the Margaritaville DM0500 into the foam molded template base and securing it with the velcro tether and closing. The bag is manufactured of a heavy duty canvas-like cloth and web grab handles and lid pull with a side pocket for your Tequila. Detailed drawings outline the process for the cognitively challenged.
Operators Manual - An essential of every appliance though much of the operational details are almost instinctive on this Sunbeam manufactured appliance. The Margaritaville DM0500 offers 12 pages in three languages devoted to these details.
Changes In Latitude Manual - This one is more about setting the mood offering help with getting your friends in an island state of mind with tips on how to set up your party environment with Tiki torches, beach balls, six string music, beach bar and, well, you get the idea. There are also some good get started recipes for different Margaritas, Rum Runners, Floats, Piòa Coladas among others.
Shot Glass - A good idea to have one but essentially a plain vanilla glass model.
To call this a blender is a disservice; it is more than that. The Margaritaville DM0500 is a beverage station that incorporates a two step process that produces the perfect Margarita every time. Filling the top mounted ice reservoir lid to the point where the lid just fits is all the ice you require to just about fill the 36 ounce plastic blending jar.
Selecting the Shave & Blend control starts the shaving process as ice falls into the ice hopper and into the blending jar. I am impressed with just how well shaved the ice is with no large chunks getting past the ice chute. The weighted ice chute keeps the blending jar firmly on the blending base, filling it via a ported lid as it dispenses ice into it. The blending jar has both ounce and ml graduated scales for easy measuring of ingredients.
Mixing the perfect Margarita is a point of contention, everyone has their own proprietary recipe, but you can be assured that it can be accommodated on the Margaritaville DM0500. While the Shave & Blend control will get your ice to the benchmark, you can control the blend of your ice, making it smoother, rougher or the extent of concoction mix with the Blend/Shave Only switch, which is more akin to a pulse switch. A rear mounted ice melt reservoir keeps the water out of the main ice bin assuring no water gets into your Margaritas.
Mixing your ingredients into the blending jar and placing it onto the blending base, gets you into ready mode. Activating the Shave & Blend control starts the ice shaving process which auto stops when it is all shaved only to start the auto blending process. Once the blending is complete, you now have your Margaritas ready to serve. The process takes about 30 - 45 seconds.
While an argument could be made for using a standard blender, I have done that and yes you end up with a Margarita, but nowhere near the quality of the Margaritaville DM0500. The ice shaving process is far quieter and consistent, requiring absolutely no babysitting the machine. Once the ice is in the hopper and ingredients are in the blender jar, you literally can walk away and allow the Margaritaville DM0500 to do the rest, almost like having a bartender!
As I stood there in BJ's looking at the Margaritaville DM0500, I Franklin Squared the choice and could only come up with cost as a negative factor. Two hundred dollars seems like a lot of dough for this machine but that was quickly erased by just how effective the Margaritaville DM0500 at both ice shaving and blending. Yes, it is probably a little overpriced but it completes a bar and sets a festive tone and environment; and that is the ultimate goal of a home bar, to make people feel that this a great place to spend some time with friends and chat, laugh, watch a Super Bowl or celebrate new babies and family members with a little style and function.
The travel bag is a great idea; this is machine you can take to the shore or a friends house. The Margaritaville DM0500 fits nicely in the bag that is custom made for it and just how bad can that be? The machine is large measuring 17"high x 13" deep x 7" wide though not terribly heavy at all making it easy to move around and perhaps out of the way if you aren't using it.
Care and feeding is easy as cleaning is fast and easy with soap and water. Essential care is similar to a home blender in that you have to take care to seat the Blender Jar onto the Blender Base gear housing to assure you are engaging and not damaging them. The Lime, grey and tan colors are festive looking and add to the party appeal.
I have to say, in difficult times when many of us are celebrating at home more, why not do it more effectively with a little style?
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Amount Paid (US$): 179.00