A powerful blender is what separates a great night of enjoying frozen drinks from an evening of frustration where you're left with chunks of ice in your margaritas. The best blenders for frozen drinks should have a motor that's at least 400 watts to cut through tough ice without overheating, and a pitcher that can hold at least 36 ounces, so you can make drinks for a group.
The first thing you'll want to consider when purchasing a blender specifically for making frozen drinks is the wattage. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the wattage on a blender, the better it can stand up to tough challenges like breaking up large ice cubes or blending frozen fruit. If you attempt to blend ice or frozen foods in a blender with a motor that isn't strong enough, the blender could stall or overheat.
If you plan on mixing up more than just drinks, you may want a blender with multiple speed settings that can be used to make everything from salsas to homemade nut butters. Having the option to gradually increase your blending speed is also a way to reduce wear on your blender’s hardware if you’re consistently working with hard items like ice. And if you can spare the space and like having a conversation starter while hosting parties, a blender solely designed for making frozen drinks can be nice to have.
With all those details in mind, here are some of the best blenders for making frozen drinks, all conveniently available on Amazon.
1. The Best Overall
- Capacity: 72 ounces
- Wattage: 1,000 watts
- Speed settings: 4 manual, 4 automatic programs
This blender from Ninja is a powerhouse that has an overall 4.7-star rating and over 21,000 reviews on Amazon. With a 1,000-watt motor and six blades, it can easily cut through ice and blend your ingredients for frozen drinks. The 72 ounce capacity is perfect for entertaining or easily blending larger batches of drinks, and the pitcher is dishwasher-safe, so cleaning up is also a breeze. If you’re ever running low on inspiration on dishes or drinks to make with your Ninja blender, it also comes with a convenient recipe book.
One reviewer wrote: “I’ve had my Ninja for nearly four years and it’s still going strong. My average use is about 3 times/week. It still blends great, I’ve never had the plastic break, I’ve never been cut by the blades. Handle it with care and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this investment.”
2. The Best Budget Option
- Capacity: 40 ounces
- Wattage: 700 watts
- Speed settings: 6
This blender from Hamilton Beach is perfect for whipping up quality frozen drinks on a budget. It has a 700-watt motor, so you won’t need to worry about it stalling on chunks of ice, and it has six speed settings — including a dedicated ice crush function. The capacity of the glass pitcher is on the smaller side, at 40 ounces, but it has a tapered spout to easily pour drinks, and it is tempered to withstand more extreme temperature changes. Reviewers loved the value of this blender, as well as the sturdy and old-school feel of the glass pitcher. Parts of this blender are dishwasher-friendly, but the base will need to be wiped down with a damp cloth. This blender comes in both black and stainless steel options.
One reviewer wrote: “Works great!! Add liquids first, then ice, then the rest of your ingredients and you’ll have a perfect frozen drink! I’ve been making some bomb smoothies with this and the price is super consumer friendly”
3. The Best Professional-Grade Blender
- Capacity: 64 ounces
- Wattage: 1,380 watts
- Speed settings: 10
The Vitamix 5200 blender will produce restaurant-quality frozen drinks, right in your own kitchen. It has a 1,380-watt motor and a variable speed dial with 10 settings, so you’re always in control while blending your ingredients. The hardened stainless steel blades make easy work of chopping or crushing ice, and the blender’s thermal protection system helps prevent overheating. Another feature that makes this blender great for making frozen drinks is its self-cleaning mode: simply run it with warm water and a small amount of dish soap once you’re done serving, and it’ll be spotless in under a minute. Beyond frozen drinks, this blender can whip up everything from nut butter to hot soup.
One reviewer wrote: “If Chuck Norris was reincarnated as a blender...this would be it. It turns ice into snow and can liquify diamonds. I am thrilled to finally own one and expectations have been exceeded.”
4. The Best Dedicated Frozen Drink Machine
- Capacity: 36 ounces
- Wattage: 450 watts
- Speed settings: 1
This frozen drink maker from Margaritaville has just one job: making smooth frozen drinks time and time again. Rather than crushing up ice in the blender’s pitcher, the Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker shaves ice into fine snow, then mixes that with liquid ingredients in the pitcher to create frozen drinks that have a velvety smooth texture. This machine has several pre-programmed settings that allow you to pre-load it with ice and margarita mix then walk away, or you can manually shave the ice to make desserts or more complicated drinks. According to the brand, all parts ares dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze.
One reviewer wrote: “I wanted to wait to review until I had used this a few times. Overall, it works great and I have had no problems. I used it at two parties and people loved it, it was a hit which made me a hit! People think it's the coolest thing ever, and well, it sort of is. Worth the price.”