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An ice-cold cocktail feels a little more festive and fun (or should we say happy?!), which is why we think happy hour requires a frozen blended drink. Slushie, spiked, and just sweet enough, Team Culinary Hill loves kicking off a weekend on Friday afternoon with a round of icy margaritas. To make mixology duties a little easier, we turn to our best blenders for margaritas, the Vitamix.
That said, we know that not everyone is interested in investing more than $600 on a bar accessory, so we researched the best blenders for margaritas and frozen drinks at every price point that will work great for other cooking tasks as well.
Our Top Picks:
- What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender – $555 at Amazon
- Best Frozen Drink Blender Runner-Up: Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender – $374.95 at Amazon
- Best Value Frozen Drink Blender: Ninja Professional Plus Blender – $99.99 at Target
- Best Personal Frozen Drink Blender: NutriBullet Pro – $99.99 at Target
- Best Ice-Crushing Frozen Drink Blender: Breville the Q – $399.95 at Amazon
Reviews of The Best Blenders for Margaritas and Frozen Drinks
1. What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender
The Vitamix Professional Series 750 blender earned the number one spot in our guide to the best blenders for margaritas and frozen drinks! The first time Meggan tried a Vitamix blender was in Culinary School back in 2016. It was love at first puree. The reason it’s her top pick for her famous margaritas? The performance of this blender is unmatched when it comes to frozen drinks, she explains. “I love the manual speed dial for complete control—just turn it up or down,” Meggan says. “I find that so much more intuitive than pushing a single button only to watch the blender run through a set of pre-programmed blending speeds of its own accord.”
The Vitamix can crush ice or frozen fruits into oblivion without making too much noise. It’s a pro at anything you throw at it, such as pureeing vegetables. In fact, this frozen drink blender is such a workhorse, Meggan actually uses it for every blender task. Although it’s expensive, Meggan believes this versatile, powerful blender is worth every penny.
- Includes base, pitcher with pour spout, tamper, and cookbook
- 2.2 peak horsepower, 1,440 watts, and can spin up tp 24,000 RPM
- Stainless steel blades
- 5 preset programs
- Comes with a 7-year warranty
- Practically self-cleaning: just blend water and soap
- Can friction-cook warm soups and sauces
- 40% quieter than older Vitamix blenders
- The pitcher and lid are not dishwasher safe
What Others are Saying:
This blender has 2,400 5-star reviews on Amazon. Additionally, The Strategist named it its based overall blender and Consumer Reports also named it one of the best blenders for frozen drinks.
Buy the Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender:
2. Best Frozen Drink Blender Runner-Up: Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender
According to Meggan, this would be her second choice when choosing a blender for frozen drinks because it delivers a strong enough power to crush through ice and frozen fruit. “This model is more than adequate for all your blending needs; it just doesn’t have the dial I personally love,” she says. “It’s louder than the Vitamix too. While it’s not cheap at all, this model is still premium in quality and is slightly more affordable than a Vitamix.”
The device has 6 pre-programmed cycles (including one for frozen drinks), pulse, and 10-speed manual control, and the 1,560-watt power is sure to get the perfect texture for frozen margs or adult slushies. Meggan trusts this model so much, she bought it for her Mom and her sisters.
- 1,560 watts and 10 speeds plus a pulse setting
- Stainless steel forged blade with wings 80% thicker than previous models
- 32-ounce blending capacity
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Self-clean function
- 6 preset programs for multi-use applications
- No speed dial (just buttons)
- Doesn’t come with a tamper
- Lid can pop off during blending
What Others are Saying:
The Strategist gave it the best less expensive award in its roundup of best blenders because of its affordability compared to Vitamix blenders. With nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.7-star rating, everyday households love this option too.
Buy the Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender:
3. Best Value Frozen Drink Blender: Ninja Professional Plus Blender
Although this blender can’t go toe-to-toe with the Vitamix or Blendtec models listed above, this Ninja blender is one of the best blenders for margaritas. It delivers a lot of blending power per buck with 1,400 watts of power. It also specializes in frozen treats with preset options for smoothies, and ice cream, and the 72-ounce capability makes it good for making frozen drinks for a crowd. Plus, at just under $100, this appliance is a great entry-level option if you don’t plan on using it often.
- Includes base, pitcher, two 24-ounce cups and lids, recipe book
- 1,400 watts
- 3 preset programs
- Budget-friendly price
- Dishwasher safe pitcher and lid
- Sharp blade insert can be difficult and dangerous to clean
- Very loud
- Only a 1-year warranty
- No speed dial
- Can’t blend seeds
What Others are Saying:
This budget option has more than 12,500 reviews and a 4.8 rating on Amazon. Additionally, The Strategist gave it the best large blender, and Food Network named it both best value and both best for smoothies in their research for the best blenders.
Buy the Ninja Professional Plus Blender:
4. Best Personal Frozen Drink Blender: Nutribullet Pro
If you’re seeking the best margarita blender for one or two, this mini model is worthy of a look. Available in a wide range of hues to match your kitchen, the Nutribullet Pro model has a more powerful motor and larger cups than the original NutriBullet.
However, this isn’t the blender for you if you want to whip up a party-sized batch of margaritas (its max capacity is only 32 ounces). It’s also very important to follow the instructions for the order to layer ingredients to steer clear of leaks if the cup is properly attached. With the 900-watt blender, you’ll likely find yourself shaking the cups a few times to get the ingredients to the bottom of the blades. However, you’ll immediately have a drink for sipping thanks to the portability of the cups.
- 900 watts
- Base available in 16 colors, matte and metallic
- Comes with a base, two 32-ounce cups with rings and lids, recipe book
- Cup and lid are dishwasher safe
- Takes up very little counter and cabinet space
- Can blend frozen ingredients in about 30 seconds
- Can only blend up to 32 ounces
- Not as powerful as full-sized blenders
- May leak if you don’t stack the ingredients as directed
- No warranty
What Others are Saying:
This personal blender has more than 26,000 Amazon reviews and earned a 4.7-star rating.
Buy the NutriBullet Pro:
5. Best Ice-Crushing Frozen Drink Blender: Breville the Q
If the versatility of making margaritas, smoothies, and nut milks is the main reason you’re purchasing a new blender, this Breville blender is a strong contender. Add ice, and with a press of a button, the blender auto-pulses to turn it into snow surprisingly quickly. The powerful motor and the tamper provide all the grit required to turn anything silky or icy, and there’s a self-clean function (but it’s also dishwasher safe). The only downside is the Breville blender’s tight lid which might lead to unwelcome appliance wrestling matches to pry it off.
- Includes base, pitcher, tamper
- 1,800-watt motor and the blade can spin up to 186 MPH
- 5 speed settings
- Several one-touch preset programs
- Self-cleaning function
- Lid comes with ring pull for those with limited dexterity
- 7-year warranty
- Pitcher and lid are dishwasher safe
- Quieter than previous Breville blenders
- Fairly heavy
- Lid can be difficult to remove
- Taller height than some other blenders
- No speed dial
What Others are Saying:
This has been named one of the best blenders for frozen drinks by Consumer Reports.
Buy the Breville the Q:
Related: How to Stock a Bar Cart
Other Blenders for Margaritas and Frozen Drinks to Consider
Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen Concoction Maker
While the measurement markers, easy-to-pour jar, and multiple functions (blend, shave, both), are handy, this Margaritaville blender doesn’t quite crack into our best frozen drink maker list because it’s a one-trick pony. Unlike the other best blenders on this list, it’s made to crank out slushy beverages only, and can’t play double-duty as a regular blender for soups, salad dressings, dips, and beyond. The Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen Concoction Maker is available at Amazon for $228.95.
KitchenAid K400 Blender
The soft-start feature of this KitchenAid blender helps pull food into the blade’s vortex seamlessly and preset modes are tailor-made for icy drinks and crushing ice. It also comes with both a regular-size pitcher and a single-serving jar. The programmed functions can be a bit challenging to get the hang of, though, and it’s fairly loud. The plastic pitcher isn’t the easiest to clean, either. The KitchenAid K400 Blender is available at Amazon for $229.99.
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak Blender
This “smart blender” can remember your function as a preset. Auto-margaritas? Sign us up! The lightning-quick blade speed and sturdy base earn cheers as well. What you sacrifice for power, however, is peace—this blender is extremely loud, and it might not have the longevity of a Vitamix or the other best margarita blenders featured above. The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak Blender is available at Amazon for $290.37.
Oster Pro 1200 Blender
More than 17,000 reviews on Amazon alone stand behind the Oster Pro frozen drink blender. Its “dual direction” motor is praised for its ability to spin one way, then the other, to reduce the need for pulsing. Plus, you can’t beat the price for the wattage (a whopping 1,200, as much as the Vitamix Meggan adores!). That said, the blade is not nearly as sturdy and it’s essential to be really careful with the rubber washer at the base. If it’s not secure, your blender ingredients will leak. The Oster Pro 1200 Blender is available at Amazon for $69.99.
Zwilling Enfinigy 64-ounce Countertop Power Blender
Sporting a chic stainless steel base and 1,400 watts of power, this blender is beautiful enough to display on your counter. That’s only true if you can clean it, though, which can be challenging to do. Some users report that this model excels at shakes and soups but can struggle with blending every last bit of ice. The Zwilling Enfinigy 64-ounce Countertop Power Blender is available at Amazon for $299.95.
Why You Can Trust Us
Meggan Hill, the founder of Culinary Hill, attended a 2-year Culinary Arts program in Southern California and graduated in May 2018. She and the Culinary Hill team have tested and perfected thousands of recipes in their Valencia, California Test Kitchen. Using dozens of tools along the way, they’ve learned a lot about what they love (and loathe) about kitchen gear.
Karla Walsh, the writer of this piece, has more than 12 years of experience covering health, food, fitness, psychology, beauty, and beyond. Her writing has been published in Allrecipes, Runner’s World, and SHAPE magazine. Before going full-time freelance in 2019, Karla held several social media, writing and editing positions at Meredith Corporation and spent two years as a digital food editor for Better Homes & Gardens, working closely with the Test Kitchen experts to develop new recipes and try out new equipment.
For this guide to the best blenders for margaritas, Meggan and Karla referred to their own equipment trials, then scoured trusted online reviews to round up the best frozen drink blenders for every need and price point.
Everything to Know Before Buying a Blender for Margaritas and Frozen Drinks
What to Consider Before Buying a Blender for Margaritas and Frozen Drinks
“I never want to wonder if it can handle a job,” Meggan says. “Is my blender going to do well with this frozen cocktail? Is it going to choke on the ice? Will it get stuck with air pockets? Unfortunately, some of the cheap blenders on the market just can’t handle the workload.”
Look for these qualities in the best blenders for margaritas and frozen drinks:
- Wattage. The higher the wattage, the more power the blender has. Meggan recommends a blender that has 1,200 watts or more. Many low-end blenders are 300 to 700 watts and are too low in power to crush ice well for blended drinks.
- Blades. Seek out stainless steel rather than plastic. Metal blades will work better when tackling frozen ingredients and will last longer.
- Weight. Some blenders are lightweight and bounce or vibrate on the counter as they blend. This can damage the motor over time, so look for heavier models that aren’t too much to lift or store.
- Pour Spout. Make sure your blender jar has a pour spot to make it easier to pour your blended cocktails (and not waste a drop!).
- Cleaning. While this is not exactly a factor in relation to the quality of a best frozen drink blender, it will certainly make the overall use experience better. Look for a model that comes apart easily so you can clean it thoroughly. Sometimes the jar and/or blades are not removable from the base unit, and it can be difficult to clean well without cutting yourself on the blades.
Can All Blenders Make Margaritas?
Rather than buying two separate pieces of equipment like a blender and a margarita maker, pool your money together to get one high-quality blender, if possible, Meggan suggests. One high-quality blender can serve all your blending needs—from margaritas and sauces to hummus and soups—all while saving you precious cabinet space.
Are Frozen Drink Machines and Margarita Machines Worth the Money?
Save your cash! A specialty frozen drink machine is probably not a necessary investment for most home cooks, according to Meggan.
“Unless you are hosting weekly gatherings featuring frozen cocktails, it’s a lot of money to invest in a piece of equipment that might not get a lot of use,” she says. “But they sure look fun! Having a regular blender is just more versatile overall.”
How to Make a Frozen Drink or Margarita Without a Blender
No frozen drink blender? No sweat. Any drink that is “blended” should be able to transform into a beverage “on the rocks.” You might have to adjust the quantities so the drink isn’t too strong, however. Tinker with the ratios until you dial your mixed drink in to suit your tastes.
You can also attempt to crush ice by hand:
- In a large zip-top plastic bag, add ice cubes. Seal the bag closed, then wrap the bagged ice in a dish towel.
- Set the wrapped, bagged ice on a strong surface, such as a granite or concrete kitchen counter, tile floor, garage floor, or basement floor.
- Hit the bagged, wrapped ice with a hammer, rolling pin, or meat tenderizer until crushed to your desired size.
The Best Blended Margarita Recipes
Any of the best blenders for margaritas and frozen drinks above will be MVPs for a wide variety of cocktail recipes (and any other blender duties!). After you’ve invested in your favorite, give your new blender a try with these fan-favorite recipes from Culinary Hill:
- Blue Hawaiian
- Strawberry Peach Frosé
- Margarita (follow the instructions for a frozen margarita under “Recipe Tips and Variations”)
- Pina Colada
- Strawberry Margarita (try it blended with a Margarita Salt rim!)
Prices were accurate at time of publication.