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Best Margarita Machine

last updated Feb 24, 2019

Tropical drinks don’t have to be something that you save for a sunny beach. If you have all of the right tools on hand, and the proper tropical mindset, these drinks are something you can make at home 12 months out of the year. What we discovered is that there are tons of different styles out there on the market that are perfect for the full time weekend warriors that are serious about their fruits drinks, and more casual and affordable options for those that want to save if for a special occasion. Whether you are looking to expand your home bar or just invest in something that will also be able to mix up a nutritious fruit smoothie for the morning after, there are products out there on the market to fit your needs. In this guide you will find some of our favorite picks for margarita machines.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research

icon
Margaritaville Bahamas
89.6/100 our score
Features
90
Ease of Use
89
Materials
88
Size
90
Value
91
Margaritaville Bahamas
Why is it better?

Affordable

Easy to use

Comes with a easy to use measuring cup

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Margaritaville Bahamas
Test Winner: Margaritaville Bahamas
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
2
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
23
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
5
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Features Ease of Use Materials Size Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Features
90 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Materials
88 %
Size
90 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Features
89 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Materials
88 %
Size
87 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$25.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.6
Features
88 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Materials
90 %
Size
86 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$428.56
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Features
89 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Materials
84 %
Size
88 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$79.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Features
83 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Materials
90 %
Size
84 %
Value
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$591.82
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Features
82 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Materials
86 %
Size
81 %
Value
76 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$1,199.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Features
81 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Materials
75 %
Size
79 %
Value
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$299.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
Features
80 %
Ease of Use
78 %
Materials
79 %
Size
73 %
Value
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.4
Features
70 %
Ease of Use
79 %
Materials
76 %
Size
80 %
Value
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$44.98
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.8
Features
71 %
Ease of Use
73 %
Materials
72 %
Size
79 %
Value
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.10.19)
Amazon Link
$49.28

Top 10 Picks

1. Margaritaville Bahamas

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Margaritaville Bahamas
Amazon Link
Features
90
Ease of Use
89
Materials
88
Size
90
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Affordable

Easy to use

Comes with a easy to use measuring cup

Cons:

Some users have had problems with ice getting jammed in the blades

The reason we picked the Margaritaville Bahamas as our favorite pick is because it has a small and compact frame that will fit perfectly on your countertop, and it has a high powered motor to really blend up that ice to give you one smooth and refreshing cocktail.

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Features

What makes this unit great is that it has one basic setting that offers users 400 watts of power to really shave down that ice as smoothly as possible. What we also liked about this option is that it gives users a measuring cup that has the recommended amount of ingredients printed directly onto the cup so that you won’t have to reach for a recipe to get that perfect blend.

Ease of use

As we mentioned earlier, the ease of use is one of this product's best features. Simply measure out all of your ingredients into the measuring cup, and then simply press the on button. There is a switch to the right of the power button that will allow users to first shave their ice, and then they can flick it down to blend all of the ingredients together.

Materials

The pitcher, as well as the base, are made from a high-quality plastic material, and the pitcher is able to be tossed safely into the dishwasher at the end of the night.

Size

One pitcher is able to hold up to three serving per cycle, which is just slightly smaller than your average pitcher that can hold up to 4 glasses.

Value

What users like most about this product is that it comes in at an affordable price point. It might not be able to make as many servings as some of the larger options out there, but the ease of use make it one of the best deals out there in our opinion.

Overall

If you are looking for something small and compact that will mix up frozen cocktails that taste to be on par with your favorite mexican restaurant!

2. Hamilton Beach

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Hamilton Beach
Amazon Link
Features
89
Ease of Use
90
Materials
88
Size
87
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$25.99
Pros:

Dishwasher safe

Spout at base for easy pouring

Trusted brand

Incredibly affordable

Cons:

Users found that the spout clogs easily

Some found that it doesn’t blend evenly

Hamilton Beach is a company that has been in the business of bringing consumers great quality small kitchen appliances since they were founded in 1910. What we liked most about this model is that it offers a sleek design that won’t take up that much space on your countertop, and offers settings for a wide variety of mixed beverages.

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Features

One thing that we noted about this option is that the dial located on the side of the unit offers settings such as pulse, shake, smoothie, or mixed beverage. It also has a spout on the front so that users can pour themselves a drink without the need of taking the pitcher off of the base.

Ease of use

As we mentioned easier, there is no need to even lift the pitcher up off of the base to serve drinks. Simply pour all of your ingredients into the pitcher, and then turn the dial to your desired level. When it is ready to serve, turn the dial to pour and open the spout to get your party started.

Materials

The pitcher of this unit is made from a plastic material that some users feel is a little on the thin side. However, it does mean that you will have the option to toss it into the dishwasher after the party wraps up.

Size

The pitcher on this unit is able to hold up to 48 ounces, which equals about 3 full servings per pitcher. The unit measures in at about 14 inches high and about 8 inches deep.

Value

Hands down, this is one of the most affordable options out there on the market. In fact, it will set you back about the same amount that you would spend on a pitcher at your favorite mexican restaurant.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is small and affordable, this option from Hamilton Beach is going to be one of your better options. Users love the ability to change settings for different cocktails, and how easy it is to toss into the dishwasher.

3. Margaritaville Tahiti

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.6
Margaritaville Tahiti
Amazon Link
Features
88
Ease of Use
89
Materials
90
Size
86
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$428.56
Pros:

Can adjust ingredients per serving

Easy to use

Made from high quality materials

Trusted brand

Cons:

Expensive

This design from Margaritaville is perfect for a party with people of picky tastes. While it is able to serve up 72 ounces of shaved ice, users can select what type of ingredients or how much tequila they want in their serving, and the shaved ice reservoir will serve up 3 specialized beverages.

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Features

As we mentioned earlier, instead of making one big pitcher, this unit will serve up 3 individual glasses. What this means is that you can opt for a wide variety of cocktails that all need some shaved ice. The ice sits in the top reservoir and then is released into the individual glasses.

Ease of use

Simple place your ice into the top reservoir and press the shave option to create perfectly shaved ice. Then, place your ingredients into the individual cups below, and then deliver the ice into the cup and hit the blend button. This is great for parties because guests can choose just how weak or strong they like their cocktail.

Materials

What we liked most about this unit is that it is made from high-quality materials. The base is made from a blend of polished bamboo, brushed aluminum, and stainless steel components.

Size

Each indiculat glass can hold up to 24 ounces, and that means that this unit can make a total of 72 ounces with one fill of the ice reservoir.

Value

The cost of this unit is quite a bit more expensive than other similar home options that we have seen out there on the market, but if you are looking for something that is going to make quite the spectacle at your next party, this is going to be well worth the slightly higher price point.

Overall

The Margaritaville Tahiti is great because it is designed to be used at parties or small gatherings. With larger options, some may feel that your drinks are either too strong or too weak and with this design, the user will have the option to adjust strength according to personal preferences.

4. Nostalgia MSB1AQ

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Nostalgia MSB1AQ
Amazon Link
Features
89
Ease of Use
85
Materials
84
Size
88
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$79.99
Pros:

Serves up to a gallon at a time

Pitcher with a pour spout

Easy to use

Affordable

Cons:

Some users found that it is incredibly loud

Difficult to clean

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDMKLCK/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_ccSzCb9MQPMX9

If you have a lot of people coming over for a party, this unit from Nostalgia is going to be one of your better and more affordable options. It is able to whip up quite a large pitcher with just one use, and it has a spout at the bottom so that you can serve it up directly from the base.

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Features

We like the classic color and design of this option, and it is going to look great on any countertop or bar. It has a spout at the bottom so that you will be able to serve it up directly from the base. What makes it unique is that it has a handle on the top so that users can detach it from the motor and carry it from their kitchen to an outdoor seating area with ease.

Ease of use

Simply pour all of your ingredients into the top compartment, and then make sure that the pitcher is locked into place. If it isn’t secured down correctly, the unit will not turn on. Once everything is in place, turn the switch to the on position and this unit will shave and blend at the same time.

Materials

The base, as well as the pitcher, are made from plastic materials. This means that you need to be extra careful when snapping the pitcher in place on the base because if a piece breaks off if you try and force it, it means that the unit will not turn on.

Size

The big takeaway with this option is that it will hold up to a gallon, which far surpasses many of the other options out there that hold just why of about 72 ounces.

Value

The cost of this unit is one of the best values we have seen on the market. While it isn’t the most affordable option out there, its ability to serve up to 1 gallon at a time makes it one of the best values.

Overall

If you need something that is going to be perfect to serve up a large party, this unit from Nostalgia is going to be your best bet.

5. Margarita Madness Elite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Margarita Madness Elite
Amazon Link
Features
83
Ease of Use
88
Materials
90
Size
84
Value
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$591.82
Pros:

Works incredibly fast

Easy to use

Made from high quality commercial grade materials

Cons:

Expensive

If you are looking for something that it really going to replicate the drinks that you get at your favorite mexican restaurant, this is the unit that the might actually have behind their bar. It turns ice into nice and fluffy snow in seconds, and is incredibly easy to use.

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Features

At face value, this looks like your standard blenders without a lot of extra features such as spouts and handles as we have seen on previous models. This model really shines in how powerful a motor it has, and just how quickly it can turn ice into powdery snow- the perfect texture for a smooth frozen cocktail.

Ease of use

To use this device, it works exactly like your standard blender. Simply toss all of your ingredients into the pitcher- including your ice- and secure the lid tightly. Press the power button to low, medium, or high (or pulse) and in seconds you will have a perfectly blended pitcher.

Materials

The pitcher and the frame of the base are made from BPA free plastics, and the internal components such as the blades and motor are made from high-quality stainless steel.

Size

This unit stands to be just shy of 14 inches tall, and weighs just under 10 pounds. This unit is just slightly heavier than other countertop models, but it gets its higher weight from the powerful motor

Value

The bad news here is that this unit packs quite the wallop of a price tag. However, the incredibly powerful commercial motor means that you will be able to whip up cocktails almost identical to what you would get at a restaurant, making it well worth the higher price point.

Overall

If you want to try and replicate those perfectly blended cocktails in the comfort of your kitchen, this unit from Margarita Madness Elite is going to be one of your better options if you are willing to pay the higher price point.

6. Margarita Girl

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Margarita Girl
Amazon Link
Features
82
Ease of Use
80
Materials
86
Size
81
Value
76
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$1,199.00
Pros:

Keeps drinks cold all night

Dual chambers for more than one flavor or type of frozen drink

Cons:

Some find that it runs rather loud

Incredibly expensive

If you are in the market for something that will not only whip up some super smooth cocktails, but also something that will keep them nice and cold as the party moves into the early hours of the morning, this is going to be your best bet. However, it is important to note that it comes in at a price point that may cost you more than what you spent on your refrigerator.

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Features

What is the biggest surprise about this model is that it doesn’t require you to crush any ice. The cooling mechanisms will cool your ingredients to the perfect consistency, and it will continue to keep them that temperature for the duration of your party.

Ease of use

This is one of the easiest designs to use. All you will need to do is measure out the proper ingredients, and toss it into the chamber and press the power button. It’s going to take a little bit longer than blender options and will take about an hour to freeze everything to the proper temperature.

Materials

The exterior cooling unit on the base of this design is made from a blend of plastic and stainless steel panels, and the pitchers and nozzles are made from plastic.

Size

This unit is a little bit bigger than most, and measures to be 2 feet high and 12 inches deep. It is important to note that it is also pretty heavy- weighing in at a whopping 62 pounds.

Value

As we mentioned earlier, the cost of this unit carries a wallop of a price tag that may mirror what you spent on the refrigerator in your kitchen. However, considering that this will keep drinks cold all night and comes with a 2-year warranty, this is a pretty great deal.

Overall

If you are serious about your parties and want something that is going to be able to run all night without the need for you to continue to be a slave to the kitchen, this is an excellent investment.

7. Margaritaville Key West

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Margaritaville Key West
Amazon Link
Features
81
Ease of Use
85
Materials
75
Size
79
Value
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$299.99
Pros:

Trusted brand

Easy to use

Cons:

Doesn’t come with measuring cup

Some components are made from plastic rather than stainless steel

This is another great design from Margaritaville, although it comes in at a slightly more affordable price point due to the use of slightly more cost effective components and materials that were used. However, it still shaves ice very well and is worth a look.

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Features

At the top of this design is the reservoir to place your ice to be shaved. What this means for you is that you can shave the ice first before adding it to your other liquid ingredients to craft a perfect drink that isn’t over mixed or too watery.

Ease of use

To use this device, you will first need to all your ice to the top container and press the power button to shave it. In the main pitcher, add all of your liquid ingredients such as tequila and lime juice, and then press the blend button that will slowly incorporate your ice shavings to the liquid.

Materials

Unlike the Bahamas option, the exterior and some of the interior components are made from plastic rather than stainless steel. The pitcher is also made from plastic.

Size

This unit offers a slightly larger footprint over the Bahamas option, and measures in at 18 inches high, 14 inches long, and 10 inches wide.

Value

While it may be lacking the quality of materials used, this selection of materials means that it is going to come in at a lower price point. This means you will still get the quality craftsmanship from a Margaritaville brand, but it will be just slightly more affordable.

Overall

If you are in the market for a powerful Margaritaville brand product, but you don’t want to pay the higher price tag as some of the other models out there on the market, the Key West design is a great place to start.

8. Ninja Master Prep

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
Ninja Master Prep
Amazon Link
Features
80
Ease of Use
78
Materials
79
Size
73
Value
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Small and compact

Long blade runs the length of the pitcher

Affordable

Cons:

Small and compact

Long blade runs the length of the pitcher

Affordable

What we liked most about the Ninja Master Prep is that it serves more functions that just your classic frozen beverages. It’s smart design is also perfect to whip up some recovery fruit smoothies the following morning, and it also comes with a food processor attachment.

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Features

As we mentioned earlier, we liked the inclusion of the food processor attachment that hooks on to the base to allow users to do basic kitchen tasks such as grind coffee beans or chop nuts. The base is small and compact and actually sits on the top of the container to save on space.

Ease of use

What users really like most about this unit is how easy it is to use. All you will need to do is combine all of your ingredients into the central pitcher, and then secure the blades on to the lip of the pitcher. A central blade runs vertically to the base to the unit to ensure for easy blending.

Materials

The blades of this unit are composed of stainless steel, while the base, pitcher, and base are constructed from BPA free plastic.

Size

One of the most attractive features of this design is the size. This is one of the smaller units out there, and it is perfect for those that are a little short on space. It can hold up to 48 ounces in the main pitcher, and 16 ounces in the smaller food processor container.

Value

The price of this unit runs pretty par for the course and will cost you what one would expect to spend on a basic kitchen blender. We feel that the smart design and versatility of this unit makes it well worth the price tag.

Overall

If you are short on space and are looking for something that is going to be just a little bit smaller than more, but still offer you a lot of power without breaking the bank, this is an excellent option.

9. Nostalgia RSM650

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.4
Nostalgia RSM650
Amazon Link
Features
70
Ease of Use
79
Materials
76
Size
80
Value
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.98
Pros:

Affordable

No blades necessary

Sharp design

Cons:

Only holds 32 ounces

Some find that it takes too long to work

Nostalgia is making our list yet again with this really fun design that resembles one of those old fashioned gumball machines. This unit is going to look really sharp on a kitchen counter or a home bar, and users love that it is very easy to use as well.

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Features

One of the unique features about this design is that it has a measuring containing built into the top of the lid to ensure that you get the proper measurements every time you use it. It also has a spout at the base so that you can pour drinks without removing the pitcher from the base.

Ease of use

Simply pour all of your ingredients into the pitcher of this unit, and then flick the switch along the side to turn it into the on position. When you are ready to pour, flick the switch to the other side.

Materials

The base as well as the pitcher of this unit is made from plastic, and it has aluminum components that will help ingredients reach the proper temperature

Size

This unit measures to be 22.8 inches tall and 14 inches wide, making it a perfect size to place on a countertop without taking up all that much space.

Value

What we liked most about this option is that it comes in at a price that is one of the lowest out there on the market. It will likely cost you about the same amount that you would spend on two pitchers at a mexican restaurant.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is simple, affordable, and will all a lot of charm to the countertop in your kitchen or bar, this option from Nostalgia is worth checking out.

10. Classic Cuisine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.8
Classic Cuisine
Amazon Link
Features
71
Ease of Use
73
Materials
72
Size
79
Value
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.28
Pros:

Easy to use

Affordable

Small frame

Cons:

Users found that the ice does not shave evenly

Users like this option from Classic Cuisine because it is easy to work, and it won’t take up that much room on your kitchen counter. Plus, it comes in a sharp red case with a wide detachable pitcher for easy pouring.

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Features

What we like about this design is that much like some of the higher end options, it shaves the ice in the top of the unit, and then it is slowly blended into the wet ingredients in the base to give you an excellent frozen cocktail that isn’t overmixed.

Ease of use

To use this design, load your ice into the top of the unit, and then add all of your wet ingredients like your lime juice and tequila into the pitcher. Once the ice is shaved, add it to the pitcher with the blend setting turned to the on position.

Materials

This unit is made from a thinner plastic material, and nowhere in the brand description did we see any language that would lead us to believe that it is considered to be BPA free.

Size

We like this option because it is a little smaller and more compact than some of the others. It measures to be just 12 inches high and 8.5 inches wide.

Value

The best part about this design is that it comes in at an incredibly low price point. While it isn’t the least expensive out there, it will likely cost you about the same price as 2 pitchers at a mexican restaurant.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

We liked to select designs that came with a little bit extra, because that it going to mean that you will be able to make high end frozen cocktails.

One thing that we noticed that a lot of these designs has was the feature of an ice reservoir up at the top of the unit. This will allow users to shave the ice separately from their liquid ingredients, so that you can ensure that you get a perfectly blended drink. Some of the designs out there also come with a measuring cup with the proper measurements for ingredients such as lime and tequila, while some of the others have those measuring devices built right into the unit itself. Allowing users to adjust to different speeds to change up the thickness and consistency of their cocktails that also made certain designs stand out from the crowd.

Ease of Use

Of course, you are going to want to select something that is going to be easy to use.

Less time in the kitchen serving up cocktails means more time that you get to spend actually enjoying your party. We were drawn to designs that were pretty simple and straightforward to use, and have minimal power settings. From what we gathered, most of these designs basically have two standard settings: shave and blend. The shave option is used to get your ice to the proper consistency, and the blend options will slowly mix all of the ingredients together without running the risk of overmixing. If you really want to save yourself the hassle, there are actually designs out there on the market that will turn your liquids into a frozen and smooth consistency, and it will also keep your beverages the perfect temperature all night long. The only downside to these models is that they come in at an incredibly high price point that is not going to be a great investment for casual use.

Materials

Superior materials are going to hold up better in the long run, and they are going to to make for a better cocktail.

When it comes to the blades (for units that use blades), we preferred stainless steel. By using this high-quality material, it will be able to stay sharp and rust free with extended use, and users will not have to worry about it breaking on them. For the exterior base, materials like plastic shells are going to the trick just fine. Users will not need to wash the bases, and plastic makes it easy to wipe down when it starts to get a little dirty. For the pitchers, almost all designs- even the higher end options- use some form of plastic rather than glass. If you are worried about the integrity of the plastic use, be sure to check to see if it is BPA free. From what we found, there were many that made claims that their plastic was BPA free, but there were also some others that didn’t make such claims.

Size

Size is important, because it is going to dictate how much room it is going to take up on your countertop as well as how many servings it came make in a single run.

For many of the standard designs out there on the market, they can typically make between 3-4 servings from one pitcher, whereas some of the more expensive designs can offer up to a gallon from one singular pitcher. Before you buy, take into consideration how many people you are going to be serving at your party. If it is going to be a large party, the options that only serve between 2-4 servings are not going to be ideal and won’t give you enough time to actually enjoy the party. We also wanted to select a few designs that measured to be just a little bit smaller so that they aren’t going to take up that much room on your countertop or your home bar.

Value

Saving money is always going to be one of our top priorities.

From what we gathered, there are about three tiers of price. There is the low end of the spectrum that comes in at an incredibly affordable price point. The only downside to these models is that they are sometimes not very powerful, and they typically only mix up about 2-4 servings at a time. Midrange options like that from Margaritaville have a price tag that is quite a bit higher, but the tradeoff is in superior design and innovative features. If you are someone that loves to throw parties and frozen drinks are your specialty- these designs are going to be well worth the investment. On the high end of the spectrum are the designs that are the top of the line. These options will freeze your drinks for you, an will keep them cold all throughout the night. The only downside to these options is that some will set you back about as much as you paid for your full sized refrigerator in your kitchen.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Features

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to these designs. A well made unit will only have two speeds: blend and shave. If you notice that a design offers multiple settings, it probably is going to do none of them well.

Ease of use

You are going to want to select a design that is easy to use, but is also easy to clean. Be on the lookout for designs that have pitchers that are dishwasher safe, as well as the blades that come with the unit.

Size

Size not only dictates how much room that it going to take up, but also how many glasses one pitcher is going to fill. If you are selecting one of these options for a party, we suggest a size that measures to be over a gallon.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why do I need one?

a:

Have you ever tried to make a frozen drink in a general blender? It’s good (because it has tequila in it!), but there’s just something off about it. A standard kitchen blender is going to be able to crush and blend up all of the ice, but it’s still not going to taste quite the same as the ones you order at a mexican restaurant. So, what is it that makes their frozen cocktails so smooth and delicious? The answer lies in the method that the ice is shaved. If you are using a standard kitchen blender, it is crushing the ice rather that shaving it. Shaved ice is going to give you a smoother finish, and there are going to be virtually no lumpy ice chunks getting stuck in your straw.

q: Can they be used for anything else?

a:

The good news here is that you can use these devices to serve up some potent frozen treats on a Friday evening, and then use the same device to serve up some recovery fruit smoothies the following morning. Some options use a blade in the central units, which will allow you to crush up frozen fruit. Other designs have a chamber for shaving ice, and you should never put anything other than ice in this chamber. To create a great fruit smoothie in these devices, simply swap out your frozen fruit with juice, and be sure to throw in plenty of protein powder to get your day started off right!

q: Are they easy to clean?

a:

The answer to this question depends upon the style that you selected. For the designs that have the ice shaver up at the top and the pitcher down below- they are super easy to clean! Most designs, even the plastic models, can simply be tossed in the dishwasher for really easy cleanup. Eventually you will want to clean out the ice shaver, but that typically only requires you to wipe it down with a wet cloth. For options that have a blade in the bottom like a traditional blender, clean up is going to be a little more complicated, but nothing terrible. For most, you simply can toss them into the dishwasher, or soak them in a sink of hot soapy water. The Ninja, for instance, can be a little bit of a pain to clean. The instructions tell you that you can run a cycle with soap to clean it, but our experience with Ninja tells us that this method isn’t going to get it as clean as washing it by hand.

q: Are they expensive?

a:

This all depends upon the style that you select. While some offer price tags that are comparable to a coffee maker, others have price tags that are similar to full size refrigerators. From what we gathered, there are three different tiers of price tags. The first tier is for users that want something that is going to be more of a novelty item to use from time to time, and it has a price tag that reflects that. Other users that intend on using these products more frequently and on a consistent basis may want to opt for the mid tier design that sometimes carries a price tag that is similar to that of one of the name brand electric stand mixers. The final tier of priced options packs quite the wallop of a price tag, and will generally cost you just about as much as you would spend on your kitchen refrigerator. These options are great for parties because they keep the cocktails cold all night, but they come at a pretty high cost that might be out of your price range.

q: How do they work?

a:

There are generally two settings on most of the standard Margaritaville designs. There will be a reservoir in the top that will shave the ice, and then a pitcher down at the bottom that has a simple plastic (or sometimes stainless steel) stirrer. The top unit is designed to shave the ice to the desired consistency (the fluffier the better!) and then the stirrer underneath is designed to slowly incorporate the wet ingredients with the ice to give you the perfectly blended frozen cocktail that will be evenly blended and not overmixed.

q: How do you make the perfect margarita?

a:

This cocktail really shines in its simplicity. If you want to make something that is really going to knock the socks off of your guests, keep it simple but also make sure that you use high quality ingredients. These drinks are a wonderful blend of sour from the limes, saltiness from the salt around the rims, and sweet from the premade mix or simply syrup you use. One big way to impress your guests is to make sure that you purchase high quality tequila to mix into your drinks. As we mentioned earlier, the key to a perfectly blended drink has to do with how you shave the ice. Selecting products that have a speciality ice shaver built into the unit that shaves ice independently from the wet ingredients is going to elevate your home cocktails to restaurant quality.