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I was skeptical...
on May 6, 2007
I distinctly remember making fun of the Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker when I first saw it advertised in the Front Gate catalog. ("Who's going to buy a three hundred dollar blender on steroids?!? Hah-hah-hah...") Imagine my horror when my wife announced that she wanted one for her birthday. Looks like that "who" was going to be "me".
The vast majority of positive reviews on Amazon calmed my fears a bit and I ordered one up. As usual, Amazon delivered quickly and it was unpacked and setup in a couple minutes.
Exactly true to its claims, the thing actually makes perfect consistency margaritas and any other frozen drinks you can think of. I think I like it more than my wife. It has a "power tool" vibe to it that guys appreciate. Spinning blades and high speed motors. What could possibly go wrong?
There's a few things/tips to be aware of:
1) It's BIG. It just barely clears the front of our kitchen cabinets and is too tall to go under them. Pretty heavy to lift onto a high shelf too.
2) It does a more consistent job making a "full" pitcher than just a single drink. Having a lot of ice in the hopper works best; putting a single glass full of ice in will be too watery if you use the automatic cycle. To compensate, for a single drink I manually hold the "shave" switch on for ~4-5 seconds prior to starting the automatic mix cycle. Works great.
3) The shaved ice melts faster than cubes when it touches glass, so I've taken to icing the pitcher to keep the glass cool (or at least filling it with cold water for a few seconds) before adding the liquid ingredients. Unlike plastic pitchers on commercial drink makers, the glass (thick glass at that) can transfer a lot of heat. Popping it straight out of a hot dishwasher onto the stand will give you a mighty runny margarita.
4) Although "dishwasher safe" the lid to our pitcher turned a funny mottled brown/green color after one cycle in the wash. Not sure if it was the heat or the detergent or what, but after that it was slightly brittle and generally "weird". A call to the 800 customer service number yielded a free replacement which we just hand wash now.
All in all, it works as advertised and is a real crowd pleaser at parties. A good gizmo.