Love At First Bite
“I blew out my flip-flop
Stepped on a pop-top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.”
Frozen concoction? Isn’t that Jimmy Buffet’s lyrics from his it’s-five o’clock-somewhere-anthem, “Margaritaville?” And isn’t Cinco de Mayo the holiday that kicks off this merry month of May?
One plus one equals a good time here, for certain.
Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday and contrary to popular belief, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, either. Cinco de Mayo is a day observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride and what better way to enjoy the day savoring some authentic Mexican fare in one of the restaurants on Southwest Blvd. with the darling of the happy hour…a margarita, on the rocks with salt or frozen.
Margaritas have a great history and there are many versions of the magical adult beverage. I prefer the version of Carlos “Danny” Herrera. He claims to have developed the drink at his Tijuana-area restaurant, Rancho La Gloria, around 1938. As legend goes, Herrera dreamed up the cocktail for one of his customers, an aspiring actress named Marjorie King who was allergic to all hard alcohol other than tequila.
On the Locavore Trail this month, I’ve met a local entrepreneur who loves to let the good times roll...with his Shark Attack frozen margarita, conveniently packaged in a tube. Brad Dickson, a typical scuba diving, 40-something, professional plumber from Kansas (yes, you read that right) is the master margarita mind behind his popular product. Dickson was hanging out with friends and neighbors on the driveway at his annual Cinco de Mayo party in Johnson County, where the adults were sipping their beverages and the kids were enjoying frozen ice pops. A unique idea occurred to Dickson: Why not create a Popsicle-like product that the over-21 crowd could enjoy?
“I wondered why adults shouldn’t have fun with frozen cocktails that are like flavored ice pops?” says Dickson.
Dickson immediately thought of his favorite cocktail, a frozen margarita.
Then one night, Dickson and his wife were watching “Desperate Housewives” and the kids in the show were in the driveway, enjoying ice pops. Dickson got up from the sofa, went to his room and wrote a reminder on his mirror about making frozen pops with liquor. The rest is history and the start of Shark Attack Original Margaritas—fun, frozen margaritas in a tube. Two years later, in the midst of the economic downturn, Sharkbite Cocktails came to fruition and the Shark Attack Original Margaritas hit the shelves.
I sat down recently with Dickson and shared a few frozen concoctions and got the scoop on his super-licious cocktail in a tube.
Jasper Mirabile: Why the name Shark Attack?
Brad Dickson: I love scuba diving and people remember a shark attack. Believe me!
JM: From plumber to entrepreneur, tell me more?
BD: I was 46 years old, owned Dickson Plumbing and prior to that, I worked in database technology. I felt like I was on to something with a frozen drink in a tube. It was unique, and everyone thought it was a great idea—the reaction from friends and business owners was unbelievable. Being in my 40s was part of the reason I started Shark Attack Cocktails. People say I wish I did this or I wish I would have done that. Like NIKE, I just did it! I took the leap. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life is too short, before you know it, it passes you by!” That is why I also scuba dive. I don’t want to be taking my last breath saying, “Why didn’t I do this?” I want to say “Wow, what a ride!”
JM: Let’s talk recipe, do you mind giving me some hints to what makes Shark Attack Original Margaritas so tasty?
BD: I developed my own recipe using simple ingredients, starting with 100-percent Blue Agave Reposado Tequila imported from Jalisco, Mexico. I added a custom-made orange liqueur, pure cane sugar and fresh, 100-percent lime juice. No syrups. No flavor additives. No chemicals. Our margarita freezes in about six hours of “ice time” and contains 6.7 percent alcohol by volume per tube.
JM: What’s on the horizon for Shark Attack?
BD: Think hard lemonade and frozen strawberry margaritas. I am also working with flavored vodkas and rums. To be honest, the variety of flavors is endless. By this summer, we will be distributed in 25 states.
Okay, this chef is thinking Blood Orange Margaritas. Hint! Hint! The summer is upon us—beaches, ball games, boats, driveways, decks, golf courses, tents, campfires. Mosey up to anyplace where F-U-N is happening and chances are, you’ll find a Shark Attack.
But be on guard, because even in this land-locked suburban sea, you just might experience your own personal Shark Attack!
For more information, visit sharkattackcocktails.com.