Kitchen hacks: The Margarita Machine

If [Paul Degenkolb] really decided to make this on a whim one day (like he says he did) we think he should quit his job and go into a full-blown state of whimsy for the rest of his life. The Margarita Machine makes five gallons of slushy intoxicants in a quick and relatively quiet process that will have a backyard full of guests lining up not just to imbibe, but to see what the heck you’ve come up with this time around.

It’s easy enough to see that the vessel is an Igloo cooler, but where do you get a motor and blade assembly strong enough to turn ice cubes into slush? Just hit the home center and pick out the Garbage Disposer model of your choice. With the ball-valve serving spigot closed, the disposer sucks down the liquid and ice, shooting the pulverized mixture through some PVC pipe back to the top of the cooler. This circulation helps to mix things up, but at times [Paul] uses a glass as a plunger to wrangle rogue ice cubes.

Sorry folks, doesn’t look like there’s any video of this in action.

[Thanks Brad]


  1. kaluce says:

    dude. do want.

    though I’m wondering if there is a cheaper motor than a disposer, and also, i wonder if you could pipe some sort of kegerator into this to keep it cool. . .

  2. It’s neat to see an independent hack converge on a similar solution. See above link, this has been going for over 5 years now. If the return line is routed through the bottom, the thermal loses are small, and the device keeps slushy for many hours.

    Recipe is 1.75 liters Tequila, 6 cans limeade, 14 pounds of ice.

  3. Brad says:

    I’ve been looking for a reason to make this for a few years now. Can’t come up with one other than gallons of margaritas. May just be the only answer I need. Ohh, and glad you used my tip.

  4. Tech Joker says:

    I think this is a cool solution to make frozen drinks quickly en mass, I am just not sure if I could go through 4 gallons of frozen drink in 30 minutes.

    At $300+ for the build I would probably look at a used slushy machine for $400-$500. They are very quiet, but of course can’t make 4 gallons in three minutes either. (Well maybe they could if you refrigerate the mix and freeze the alcohol).

    Hmmmm, I wonder if I could build a Slushy machine for under $300 before next summer. Research!

  5. John says:

    Awesome, you just came up with the Margaritaville!

  6. Andrew says:

    You guys had a version of this posted years ago when I first started reading this site.
    Here is the link from 2005:

  7. aztraph says:

    This is more a drinking and partying hack.

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