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What is the best blender to make frozen drinks at home?

Making delicious frozen drinks at home can be easy and fun with the right blender. Whether you love margaritas, daiquiris, piña coladas, or refreshing fruit smoothies, having a quality blender that can handle ice and frozen ingredients is essential.

In this article, we’ll compare some of the top-rated blenders and help you decide which is the best option for frozen drink making at home. We’ll look at important factors like power, blade design, capacity, ease of use, and price.

Top Features to Look for in a Frozen Drink Blender

Here are some of the key features and specs to consider when shopping for a blender to make frozen drinks:

  • Powerful motor – You’ll want a motor with at least 500 watts or higher to crush through ice easily. Look for peak horsepower over 1 HP.
  • Strong blade design – Quality blenders have a blade design that pulls ingredients down into the blades to pulverize ice thoroughly.
  • Large pitcher capacity – A pitcher of 64 ounces or more allows you to make several servings at once.
  • Pre-programmed settings – Presets for smoothies, frozen drinks, or ice crushing take the guesswork out of blending.
  • Durable pitcher material – A blender pitcher made of tough Tritan plastic or BPA-free plastic can handle frequent use with frozen ingredients.
  • Easy to use controls – Variable speed dials and one-touch buttons allow you to adjust as needed while blending.

Reviews of the Top Frozen Drink Blenders

Vitamix Professional Series 750

The Vitamix 750 is a top choice for smoothie lovers and frozen drink makers. With a 2.2 peak HP motor and aircraft-grade stainless steel blades, it has incredible power to pulverize through ice in seconds.

Highlights:

  • 2.2 peak HP motor has 1,440 watts of blending power
  • Hardened stainless steel blades are durable for frequent ice crushing
  • 64-oz BPA-free Tritan pitcher
  • Variable speed dial and pulse button
  • Self-cleaning with just water and dish soap

The Vitamix 750 is on the pricey side, but it’s a workhorse blender built to last through years of daily use. Its four pre-programmed settings (for smoothies, hot soups, frozen desserts, and self-cleaning) make drink making easy.

Ninja Professional Countertop Blender

With a 1,100 watt motor and Total Crushing blades, the Ninja Professional blender offers impressive ice crushing power at a more budget-friendly price point.

Highlights:

  • 1,100 watt motor with 3 peak HP
  • Total Crushing blades pulverize ice to snow consistency
  • 72-oz maximum capacity pitcher
  • One-touch controls
  • Dishwasher safe parts

While not as advanced as the Vitamix, the Ninja blender can churn out smooth frozen drinks easily. Its extra-large pitcher is great for blending drinks for the whole family or a backyard party. It comes with a recipe guide with tasty frozen drink ideas.

Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender

The Oster Versa Pro is a powerful performer with a 1,400 watt motor and blade design that creates a “cyclone” effect to force ingredients down into the blades.

Highlights:

  • 1,400 watts with 2.6 peak HP
  • All-metal drive system and stainless steel blades
  • 64-oz BPA-free Tritan pitcher
  • Program settings for smoothies, dips/spreads, and soups
  • 7-year satisfaction guarantee

This blender means business when it comes to ice crushing! The Oster Versa Pro has the strength to pulverize just about any frozen ingredients you throw at it. Its manual variable speed dial allows lots of control too.

Blendtec Classic 575 Blender

Known for its power and durability, the Blendtec Classic 575 has a 3 peak horsepower motor and sturdy BPA-free pitcher.

Highlights:

  • 1,575 watt motor with 3 peak HP
  • Patented blade design for ice crushing
  • Large capacity 90-oz pitcher
  • One-touch buttons
  • 8-year warranty

While pricier than the Ninja and Oster, the Blendtec 575 has the advantage of an extra-large pitcher for batch blending multiple drinks or shakes. Its LCD display and one-touch buttons make operation seamless.

Hamilton Beach Power Elite Blender

For those on a tight budget, the Hamilton Beach Power Elite provides solid performance for around $30. It has a 700-watt motor with ice crushing blades.

Highlights:

  • 700-watt motor
  • Ice Sabre blades
  • 40-oz glass pitcher
  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • Affordable price

While it may struggle with harder frozen ingredients, the Hamilton Beach can make daiquiris, margaritas, and blended fruit smoothies on a budget. It’s a great option for occasional frozen blending rather than daily use.

Blender Comparison

Blender Model Motor Power Pitcher Capacity Blade Design Price
Vitamix 750 2.2 peak HP 64 oz Hardened stainless steel $$$$
Ninja Professional 1,100 Watts/3 HP 72 oz Total Crushing $$
Oster Versa Pro 1,400 Watts/2.6 HP 64 oz All-metal blade $$$
Blendtec Classic 575 1,575 Watts/ 3 peak HP 90 oz Patented ice crushing $$$$
Hamilton Beach Power Elite 700 Watts 40 oz Ice Sabre blades $

Choosing the Right Blender for You

When deciding which of these best blenders to buy for making frozen drinks, consider how often you’ll use it and for what drink types. Here are some guidelines:

  • If you’ll use it daily for green smoothies and icy blended drinks, invest in a high-performance Vitamix or Blendtec.
  • For occasional daiquiris or margaritas, the Oster Versa Pro or Ninja blenders offer power at a lower price.
  • If needing just the occasional smoothie, the budget Hamilton Beach model gets the job done.

Also, think about pitcher capacity. Do you want to make single servings or pitchers of cocktails to share? A larger pitcher allows more batch blending.

While initial cost is a factor, an expensive yet durable machine that will last for years may be worth the investment over a blender that needs replacing when its motor burns out.

Read user reviews and watch video demonstrations when comparing blenders. And look for a strong warranty just in case of any defects or damage down the road.

Tips for Making Frozen Drinks in a Blender

Once you’ve selected the right blender, keep these tips in mind for successful frozen drink making:

  • Prep ingredients ahead – Freeze fruit, juices, yogurt and other ingredients in advance so they’re ready to blend.
  • Cut large ingredients – Cut frozen bananas, pineapple chunks, etc. into smaller pieces so they blend more easily.
  • Crush ice – For chewier frozen drinks, pulse to crush ice before blending all ingredients.
  • Use liquor last – Add spirits and liqueurs after blending to avoid separating.
  • Don’t overfill – Leave room at the top for ingredients to move while blending.
  • Start on low – Begin blending on low before increasing to high speed.
  • Use tamper – If needed, use tamper to press chunks down into blades.
  • Check consistency – Blend until smooth with no large chunks.

Experiment with favorite flavor combos and garnishes too. Fruits like mangos, berries, bananas, pineapple, and citrus all make tasty frozen drinks. Herbs, spices, honey, or coconut add interesting twists.

Make Endless Frozen Favorites

The right high-powered blender makes it easy to whip up frozen drinks at home to rival your favorite beachside cocktails or smoothie shop creations.

Equipped with a quality ice-crushing machine, you can blend up convenience store Slurpees, healthy fruit smoothies, virgin daiquiris for kids, and adult alcoholic favorites from margaritas to mudslides.

With so many delicious options, get ready to start hosting frozen drink parties and enjoy blender cocktails any time you crave them!