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Dewey’s Famous Frozen Margaritas

Today’s guest post is written by my husband, Dewey, better known as “that guy that makes killer margaritas”. Beware, this recipe is DEADLY. It will sap your will to do ANYTHING other than have another margarita.  You have been warned.
20110603-040939Every year about this time I get asked for my “not really famous but probably should be if you ask me” frozen margarita recipe.  And every time I get asked I have to scrape the bottom of the memory banks to remember exactly how I like to make them.  Ask Merry, she’ll tell you I’m not a strong rememberer.  So this year I decided to write it down and have Merry post it so people can try it if they want.

I spent a long time after I moved away from Texas wondering why nobody in Calgary could make a good Margarita and eventually gave in and did it myself. Before I go too far though I’ve got to give credit where it’s due.  My recipe is adapted from various recipes I’ve found on .

The site is run by award winning competition bartenders Brent and Marie.  Go have a look for yourself, there are a ton of recipes there.  The small amount of credit I’ll take for myself is based on years of “research” in and around Austin, Texas.  Most of that hard research work was done at a place called Trudy’s.

Now I won’t vouch for the service there, in fact I remember it being pretty brutal at times, (picture me being yelled at by a pink and or green haired mega pierced waitress for asking for a table with more seats than I have people) but I will vouch for their Margaritas.   I haven’t been there for a while but if you’re in Austin check them out at

My recipe is for a frozen margarita and for that you’ll need a machine that can shave ice. NOT just a blender.  In order to get that nice creamy frozen texture that people like you MUST use shaved ice.  Blenders just can’t do what you need to do to make margs turn out right.  So before you waste good tequila on bad margaritas just bite the bullet and get a machine, you’ll be glad you did.

The machine I use is the “Margaritaville Explorer Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker”.  How could you ever argue with a name like that?

I’m sure there are plenty of other kinds of machines out there but this is the only one I’ve ever used and I like it. I especially like the fact that it runs off re-chargeable 18 volt batteries (think electric drill) so we can take it camping and not have to worry about having AC power.  In theory, any machine that can do a good job of shaving ice will do.  You can just dump the shaved ice into a blender which is exactly how the Margaritaville machines work.  Have a look at the Margaritaville Cargo site for more info on their machines, they even make version that does 3 blenders at once.  If you ask me that has train wreck written all over it.

Seems like whenever you buy one of these machines they only provide recipes that promote the use of their own special pre-packaged prepared mixes.  Based on my findings I have only one word of advice on pre-bottled mixes, “don’t”.    The only thing you need to buy prepared for my recipe is frozen lime-aid.

Choosing tequila isn’t a life and death kind of decision when it comes to frozen margaritas but it can make a difference. I wouldn’t waste money on a really top shelf bottle but I do like to use aged tequila.  The oak casked aging process mellows the taste and produces what I think is a much nicer (wine snobs might use the term ‘more complex’)flavor. Tequila is typically aged in oak casks that have been previously used for aging some other type of spirit.  Ever wonder why a good aged tequila might have a hint of bourbon or rum or even scotch? Now you know why.

The technical term I like to use when describing the flavour of an aged tequila is “less skanky”.  A silver or blanco tequila is one that has not been aged at all. Blancos are bottled right after they are made. A reposado is a tequila that has been aged for 2-11 months and an anejo is one that has been aged for at least one year. Anything aged over 3 years can be considered an extra anejo and will likely put a large dent in your wallet.  Aging not only changes the taste of tequila but also affects the colour.  You’ll probably notice that the longer a tequila ages the more “amber” in colour it will become.

Our fave margarita tequila…Herencia de Plata Anejo

Some people use gold tequila (such as Jose Cuervo), especially for frozen margs where it might not matter as much.   Some oro or gold tequilas contain as little as 51% agave and the rest is corn syrup or some other glucose or fructose.  I always use 100% agave tequila.  You can do whatever floats your boat.  I like this one…

One more note before the recipe itself.  Don’t use crappy ice.  By crappy ice I mean that kind of ice you get at the gas station that’s too “wet” and isn’t frozen hard enough.  Ice like that makes a runny, lumpy margarita and you don’t want that.  Use hard frozen (like from your refridgideezer) clear ice cubes that will shave really nicely and produce a good creamy texture.

Ok, vamonos!

Dewey’s Frozen Margaritas

Yields just enough to fill one Margaritaville pitcher – about 1064 ml

I’m purposely not converting ml to ounces because I’m taking it upon myself to make

all my American friends learn the metric system just like the rest of the world did a long long time ago.

Hey It’s time. Buck up y’all.

Warning: Don’t try to use the “automatic” setting on the Margaritaville machines.  It might work with their recipe but it won’t work with mine.  Besides it’s way more fun to use the machine in manual rather than automatic.   Just like driving a sports car.


frozen margaritas recipe
Yield: 4

Dewey’s Famous Frozen Margaritas

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Looking for a must try frozen margarita recipe? This one can not be missed! Quality tequila and great ingredients make a drink your guests will be asking for again and again!


  • 4.5 oz Tequila- your choice., ok, I decided to cave and spare you the metric conversion
  • 4.5 oz Minute Maid frozen lime aid.
  • 1.5 oz Triple Sec
  • 1.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice, don’t even think about using the squirted out of a plastic lime kind
  • 1 oz fresh orange juice
  • 2-3 tbsp agave nectar to taste.


  1. Mix all ingredients except for the agave nectar in a measuring cup and pour into the blender
  2. Shave enough ice into the blender to bring the level up a few inches and then blend for a second or two.
  3. Add the agave nectar.  Doing it this way stops the agave nectar from floating to the bottom and sticking
  4. Continue alternating between adding more shaved ice and then blending.  Don’t try to add it all and then blend.
  5. Stop when the blender can just barely “turn over” the mixture in the pitcher. If you listen carefully you can actually hear a difference in the sound the blender makes when you get to this point.  You should have a nice creamy consistency at this point.
  6. If you find you’ve still got a little room then add a tiny bit more booze.  Always 2:1 tequila to triple sec. Then add more shaved ice and blend. Repeat this until the pitcher is full but doesn’t overflow when blending.
  7. Tweak your agave to fresh lime juice ratio to adjust your sweetness. Some people like them tart, some sweet. 
  8. Serve in salted glasses (don’t use table salt) with a lime wedge and a straw.  Best served with chips and a spicy hot salsa. 

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Sodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 17gSugar: 15g

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