Best Blender for Margaritas: Friday Four (Cinco de Mayo Edition)May 4, 2012 11:06 am ·
It’s Cinco de Mayo weekend, a time when Americans observe General Ignacio Zaragoza’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 by double fisting Coronas and eating super-sized nachos with extra Velveeta. (Admittedly, I had to look up Cinco de Mayo’s origins on Wikipedia…but at least I knew it was May 5th).
Of course, no Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without margaritas. And while purists may cringe, the party margarita will always be the frozen margarita. Tequila, lime juice and Cointreau (or triple sec for cheapskates like me) blended to perfection: it’s the taste of summer approaching. And if you’re going to make your own frozen margaritas, you’re going to need a blender that is up to the task. For this week’s Friday Four, we present four good options for making margaritas this weekend.
Best Blender for Crushing Ice
Frozen margaritas are mostly ice. So when shopping for the right blender, you need to make sure it can sustain the beating of crushing ice over and over again. A blender should also do a thorough job: my old 12-speed Hamilton Beach blender would inevitably leave a couple big cubes bouncing around, no matter how many times I hit the pulse button.
When testing blenders for durability, Consumer Reports performs a one-minute ice cube test 45 times in a row. According to their results, the Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004 “excelled at crushing ice,” making it an ideal option for people who like margaritas a couple times a week.
The Margarita Party Blender
At every Cinco de Mayo party, some schlub gets stuck in the kitchen blending three margaritas at a time. I’m usually that guy, so a machine that can produce more quantity with less work is particularly appealing.
For the hostess with the mostest, a margarita machine may be the best bet. These jumbo blenders feature extra-large pitchers and an ice reservoir for multiple batches. One good option is the Margaritaville Fiji Frozen Concoction Maker: the ice reservoir holds enough ice for three 36-oz pitchers of margaritas, enough to get at least a first round to your guests without breaking a sweat. But standing at 20 inches tall and weighing in at 19 pounds, the Fiji is a beast: make sure you’ve got enough cupboard space to stash it away during the winter.
Best Margarita Blender for Small Batches
We live in California and have a lime tree in our backyard, so we drink margaritas fairly often. I got tired of field-stripping the full-size blender each time I made a small batch of frozen margaritas for just me and my wife, so I purchased a Magic Bullet. I can make two quick frozen margaritas to order in serving cups and the whole thing goes into the dishwasher when we’re done (minus the motor, obviously).
I haven’t been impressed with the workmanship of the Magic Bullet; after using ours for a little over a year the pulse function stopped working, and now I have to unplug the unit to turn it off. I’m also not a fan of plastic cups. So while I hesitate to recommend the Magic Bullet, it has proved to be a very useful tool.
Speaking of hesitant recommendations, this mason jar/blender hack might be worth a try for small batch blending.
Which Blender is Best for your Budget?
For the budget conscious, a blender needs to be more than a frozen margarita machine. It actually needs to be usable throughout the year for various blending tasks. If you’re looking for the best budget blender you can get at your local retailer (when you’re doing your last minute Cinco de Mayo shopping), consider the classic Oster BCBG08. With a 450-watt motor, six-cup capacity and simple eight-speed controls, it’ll easily whip up frozen margaritas and more. You’ll find it for about $40 at your local Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.
What about you? Do you have a favorite blender for making margaritas? Share your thoughts (and any tasty recipes) below. Have a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo weekend!