When it comes to margaritas, on the rocks is good. Up is better. That said, there is a time and place (summer, Texas) when a frozen cocktail becomes urgently necessary. The trick is pulverizing the ice, a challenge for all but the brawniest of blenders. With that in mind, a couple of us gave up a Tuesday evening and a bit of sobriety to pit a $100 blender against a $200 Margaritaville Bahamas™ Frozen Concoction Maker (the most basic in an ambitious line of party-starting appliances). The results? The blender produced a slightly crunchy marg, while the Margaritaville, which first shaves the ice and then gets to mixing, delivered a silky smooth product. Honestly, we couldn’t tell much difference after the multiple batches required to settle on the recipe below. But, of course, that was our own damn fault.

Frozen Margarita

4 ounces silver tequila
3 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 ounces triple sec, like Cointreau
1 ounce simple syrup
2 cups cocktail ice

Throw everything in the blender (or the reservoirs of your marg machine). Blend. Pour into two chilled, salted glasses and enjoy (responsibly).

This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Machine Learning.” Subscribe today.