The 14 Best Frozen Margarita Machines for At-Home Drinks
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The 14 Best Frozen Margarita Machines for At-Home Drinks

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There’s something about a frozen margarita that just screams festive. A frosty glass brimming with a slushy cocktail can make a run-of-the-mill Wednesday feel like vacation and a low-key get-together like a true bash. But you don’t need a commercial margarita machine or a pricey rental to whip up a high-quality frozen margarita—advances in at-home margarita machines mean that blending these boozy beverages has never been easier.

To make the best frozen concoctions this side of Margaritaville, we reached out to the pros to get their tips and gear recommendations for making bar-worthy margaritas in your own kitchen. Read on the gear you’ll need to make margarita night go off without a hitch, plus an experts’ guide to making killer frozen margs

Best For Smooth Blending

Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen Concoction Maker & No-Brainer Mixer

Award-winning Barbadian mixologist Phillip “Casanova” Antoine knows how to craft the ultimate tropical drink—the cocktail pro has whipped up concoctions for everyone from rapper Drake to Jamaican dancehall star Popcaan.

“The perfect frozen margarita should contain tequila, triple sec, simple syrup—something sweet is needed to get the perfect, balanced taste—and one freshly squeezed lime,” says Antoine. He prefers the classic margarita on the rocks, but concedes frozen margaritas are the best for hot summer days. “You need a powerful blender that will get the ice to a smooth consistency, so there are no chunks,” he says. “This is very important so the frozen margarita can be smooth and refreshing.” This option from Margaritaville has a separate ice reservoir and shaves the ice down before blending for a super-smooth cocktail.

$215 Amazon

Best For Single Servings

Magic Bullet Blender

“Margaritas are the quintessential summer escape cocktail,” explains Martin Hoffstein, the founder of JAJA Tequila, “whether you are poolside or inside, margaritas take you to a special place.” Hoffstein recommends the Magic Bullet personal blender, which can be taken (almost) anywhere and is ideal for whipping up small batches. “Once you take a sip, you’re far away from the stress of life and ready to chill.”

$38 Amazon

Best for Design Lovers

Beast Blender

“A 1,000-watt blender would be ideal for any frozen drink,” says Kevin Altamura, beverage director at Le Chick in Miami. This compact model from Beast comes in right at 1,000 watts, and it’s the rare kitchen workhorse that gets equally high marks for both form and function. It’s got a reputation for being surprisingly quiet—that’s in spite of a powerful motor that whips the blades around at 18,000 rpm and makes quick work of ice cubes. Just don’t add too many too fast, says Altamura.

“At home, most people over-dilute the drink by adding too much ice,” Altamura explains. “Start by adding only a handful of ice cubes, then work your way up until you get the consistency you desire.”

$165 Amazon

Best for Close Quarters

Blendtec Professional 800 Blender

Chris Bostick, beverage director of De Nada Cantina in Austin, finds Blendtec machines hit the mark for horsepower: “For the home bartender, you need blending power if you’re going to achieve that classic texture, so Vitamix and Blendtec are your best options,” he says. One key tip: “Be mindful of the ice you use. Smaller starting chunks that are fully frozen and not starting to melt produce much better results,” Bostick explains.

The trade-off for hitting the pro-recommended 1,000 watts is that higher power often means a deafening noise. For apartment dwellers, new parents and anyone who wants maximum power for minimal roar, we like Blendtec’s Professional 800 Blender. This machine has an 1800-watt motor that will slice through ice cubes with ease, and the sealed enclosure dampens sound, so your party guests won’t be shouting over the din of an ever-present motor.

$800 Blendtec

Best High End

Breville the Q

“Using great tequila is going to make a huge difference,” says Erin Hayes, beverage director at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. She prefers the bright, vegetal taste of Lalo Tequila. “Or try mezcal for a more earthy and smoky play on a traditional margarita,” she says. The right amount of ice, about 20 to 25 percent of the drink’s total water content, is key to the blend as a whole, Hayes explains. And always use fresh lime juice, which will “make you question everything you drank in college.” She recommends agave syrup as a sweetener.

“You can also measure and freeze the lime juice, agave syrup and water into ice cube trays and then just add to the blender with the tequila and Cointreau for a quick and easy frozen marg,” she adds. Hayes owns and loves the Breville Boss, a tank of a blender that’s (tragically!) no longer available, but the 1800-watt Q is a similarly powerful machine that retails for half the price.

$400 Amazon

Best Drug Store Option

Ninja Twisti

“I have made midnight runs to the 24-hour Walmart when a blender died,” says Greg Randle, beverage master of Louisiana-based 2 Dine 4 Hospitality Group. If you find yourself in similar straits, this Ninja Twisti was the highest wattage machine we found on offer at Walmart, with 1,500 watts of blending power.

$298 Walmart

Best for Fruit-Based Margs

NutriBullet PRIME

If your drink contains both fruit and tequila, who are we to decide if it’s a margarita or a nice, nutritious smoothie? “As a Mexican, I like to use fresh fruits and mix them with botanical elements from the region,” says Eduardo Guerrero, head mixologist at Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. “In the Yucatan Peninsula, we have ingredients that can replace the acidity of lemon, such as sour orange,” which Guerrero likes to pair with pineapple, cilantro and a burnt-tortilla salt rim spiked with pasilla chile. “The elements that give a twist to your drink are using fresh and local ingredients,” Guerrero explains. “The better your raw material, the better your drink.”

For small servings, he says, “processors like the Nutribullet can be of great help for making frozen cocktails, using natural frozen fruit instead of conventional ice, with alcohol as a diluting agent.” This NutriBullet PRIME fits the bill, punching far above its weight with a 1,000-watt motor in a compact package. If you do use ice, he says, be mindful of the size of your cubes: “The smaller the power of your blender, the smaller the ice has to be.”

$120 Amazon

Best Splurge

Vitamix A3500 Ultimate Bundle

“If you can afford to splurge,” says Hayes, “a Vitamix is the way to go.” Vitamix has tons of options to choose from, but this A3500 comes with five automated settings, an easy-clean touchscreen and 10-year warranty. And most importantly, this model packs a whopping 2.2 horsepower motor—that’s over 1,600 watts—that will turn cubes to slush in no time.

$989+ Williams Sonoma

Best Value

Vitamix 5300

If a top-of-the-line machine isn’t in the budget, an entry-level Vitamix still packs a major punch for the price. “For long-term use I would recommend getting a Vitamix,” says Altamura. “It’s worth the investment.”

Randle concurs. “Get Vitamix for the power,” he says. “At home, one is better off in general with a high-powered blender rather than purchasing a residential-grade branded margarita machine.” If you don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, this Vitamix 5300 offers a basic dial and a 2.2 horsepower motor for a fraction of the cost of other machines from the brand.

$560 Vitamix

Best for Parties

Margaritaville Tahiti Margarita Machine

“Our secret is making all ingredients from scratch and using fresh juices—you can tell the difference between bottled and fresh squeezed lime juice—and simple but fresh ingredients,” says David Vendley, co-founder of Calexico, a Mexican restaurant and margarita mecca in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “You can never go wrong with 100% agave tequila, fresh lime juice and simple syrup in the right proportion.”

Calexico uses a commercial-grade Taylor blender to whip up hundreds of frozen margaritas each week. For home use, the Margaritaville Tahiti Margarita Machine, made for margaritas, smoothies and other frozen drinks, allows ambitious hosts to create up to three 24-ounce pitchers of margaritas at once to keep the party going no matter the season.

$452 Amazon

Best for Frozen-Treat Fans

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 Quart Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, & Sorbet Maker

The original margarita machine was just a repurposed soft serve machine—and that’ll still do the job well. “If you have a home ice cream maker, you can go that route—dump your margarita in the ice cream maker and it will work,” says Nick Farrell, spirits director of Brewery Saint X and Devil Moon BBQ in New Orleans. “High-quality ice cream machines do a great job at texture because everything’s constantly in motion and staying very cold, so you don’t have that formation of larger ice crystals.”

$84 Amazon

Most Versatile

Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

“When it comes to frozen margaritas, I like to use a good reposado tequila, rather than a blanco,” says Tyler Pierson, bartender at rooftop bar Peregrin atop the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. “Due to how cold the margarita is, once we take a sip, we tend not to swallow the cocktail as quickly. Therefore, [we can] taste it more and [appreciate] the flavors of the aged tequila.” For a twist on the classic, Pierson recommends adding Crème de Cassis or Crème de Mure. “It is a great way to incorporate berry flavors, plus it adds a nice color to your frozen margaritas,” he says. Pierson prefers to use a Ninja at home, which helps to create a quality consistency, critical to frozen drinks.

$160 Amazon

Best for the At-Home Pro

Ninja BN701 Professional Plus Bender

“The wonderful thing about the margarita is that it’s a crowd-pleaser that can be made to your personal preferences,” says a representative from the mixology team at the Ojai Valley Inn’s Wallace Neff Heritage Bar. “If you use a high-quality tequila and fresh citrus juice, you’re guaranteed a winner, the rest is up to you. From jalapeños and tajin to fresh fruit, the list of ways to create your own ‘perfect’ margarita is endless.”

Neff recommends a small splash of orange juice to finish alongside an agave sweetener or simple syrup instead of Cointreau or Triple Sec. “The lime’s freshness and the agave’s complexity give the cocktail a well-rounded, yet fresh and not-to-sweet flavor.”

“A great go-to blender for making margaritas at home is the Ninja Professional Blender,” he continues. “It quickly crushes the ice and results in a smooth, well-blended margarita. Plus, it’s on the larger side and is great for making larger batches.”

$90 Amazon

Best Commercial-Grade Margarita Machine

Spaceman 6450-C Margarita Machine

Maybe you’re opening a restaurant, maybe Taco Tuesday is your personal religion, maybe you’re merely spending enough on frozen cocktails to justify going pro at home—we’re not here to judge. Whatever your reason, if appliances made for home cooks just aren’t cutting it, the pros all seem to sing the praises of industrial models from Spaceman.

“At our restaurants and bars, we use big, heavy-duty equipment for our frozens. Think Spaceman, Frosty Factory and Taylor,” says Bostick. “These machines keep up with the volume and produce that classic frozen texture.”

Mike Vasko, operations director of Austin margarita hotspot Taco Flats, also name-checked the brand. “We have used Spaceman for many years now. For this kind of equipment, it’s hard to beat. Easily maintained, extremely high quality and generally very good with customer service.”

$4,298 KaTom

Ask the Experts: How to Nail a Homemade Frozen Margarita

What’s the Most Common Frozen Margarita Mistake?

Every pro has their own take on what makes a perfect marg, but there’s one thing they all seem to agree on. “Don’t use a frozen margarita mix tube or some other loveless mix like you did in college,” says Randle. “They are for hiding the octane and lack of quality rather than mixing a balanced beverage.”

Veering too boozy can also throw things off, says Bostick. “The frozen margarita desires to be harmonious with all ingredients in balance. Too much tequila and the margaritas won’t freeze properly. Not enough and you could end up with a texture that resembles concrete.”

You May Also Like: The Best Margarita Recipes for Every Palate

What Ingredients Should I Use?

Mixology veterans are divided on just how much the spirit itself matters, but as Bostick puts it, “100% blue agave tequila and fresh lime juice are non-negotiable.” Several pros prefer agave syrup over straight simple syrup, while tequila preferences run the gamut.

Altamura recommends Curado tequila, noting “they have three wonderful expressions and infuse their tequila with cooked agave fibers, which gives a wonderful complexity.” Meanwhile, both Bostick and Randle, too, like Lunazul.

“I’m definitely of a school that a higher quality spirit would be long lost in a frozen,” Randle says. “Lunazul is a great, inexpensive, 100% blue agave tequila, and it’s much easier to find on a shelf than brands like Arette and Cimarron.”

How Do I nail the Sweetness Without Veering Too Cloying?

“As drinks get colder, your perception of sweetness goes down,” says Farrell. “There’s a little truth to that adage that frozen drinks are sweeter, because they have to be—you can’t perceive the sugar well at lower temperatures, so you have to adjust your recipe and bring the sugar up.” To make the sugar pop without going overboard, he likes to add a little salt to the recipe. “That along with using fresh juice goes a long way,” says Farrell.

But be mindful of any additions you throw in the mix, warns Vasko. “When people create recipes they often gravitate towards tropical flavors. That can be great, but the issue is most of these flavors will elevate your sugar levels rapidly and put you in the territory of a sugar bomb,” he says. “Consider an element of bitterness, tartness or spice to offset that sweetness.”

How Can I Make a Fruity Frozen Margarita?

The frozen aisle is your best friend. “Fruit is typically frozen at peak ripeness and frozen whole fruit, like pineapple chunks or strawberries, ends up being very good,” Farrell says.

“My rule with fruit is don’t change the recipe at all—if it’s real fruit it’s got a good balance of sugar and acidity already,” he explains. The frozen chunks function as little flavor-bomb ice cubes, so add them in small batches along with the ice.

What Unexpected Ingredients Work in Frozen Margaritas?

“Think about trying an infusion of your syrup,” suggests Vasko. “You can subtly add an element you like without messing with your Brix—the measurement of sugar concentration—too much. Herbs and spices work great to make something exciting. I’m a big fan of creating your own syrups—they’re simpler than you think.”

Altamura likes to keep an unexpected liqueur on hand to zhuzh up a frozen margarita. “I’ve been experimenting with a pineapple amaro made by Heirloom,” he says. “It has deep flavors and gives a profound taste to a margarita.”

Can I Use Any Ice I Have on Hand?

You’re going for a consistent texture, so now’s not the time for the giant statement cubes. Randle likes a DIY approach: “Get a bag of ice from a store, pour water in the bag, throw the bag in the freezer on top of a cookie sheet, let that freeze, then icepick the ice chunks to put in the blender,” he says.

Adjusting your technique, too, can help: Instead of using ice cubes, Farrell makes a liquid margarita as he would to serve on the rocks, tequila and all, then adds an equal amount of water and freezes the whole mix in a Ziploc overnight. “You’re trying to get the ice chunks as small as possible, and this way it will get slushy with large crystals, you dump it in a blender and it’ll blend up really well because those ice crystals are already evenly distributed.”

Does Order of Ingredients Matter?

Guerrero votes yes—and as someone who spends his days whipping up frozen drinks in the heat of the Riviera Maya, we’re inclined to believe him.

“If you live in a hot place, the ideal would be to first place the liquid products and then the ice into the blender glass. If you put the ice first and then the ingredients, your margarita may be more watery and not as firm,” he says. Guerrero is also a proponent of what he calls the “cereal with milk” rule: not so much cereal the bowl overflows, but not so much milk your flakes get drenched. “Always try to have a balance between your ice and your liquid. Too much ice will force you to add more liquid to make it more manageable. Add ice little by little until you achieve your ideal texture.”

What’s the Best Blending Technique for a Smooth Cocktail?

Different pros have different approaches, but all seem to agree that varied speed is important.

“A key to a home frozen is starting the blender on a very low speed for a few seconds, then jumping to almost the highest speed for half a minute,” Randle says. “Don’t use one of the automatic buttons, like ‘smoothies,’ because you want to keep an eye on it along the way, and be sure and tamp down if your blender has a tamper.”

Farrell likes to pulse instead of just letting it rip. “As that mixture gets soupier, ice tends to float and doesn’t come in contact with the blade,” he explains. “You have to keep agitating, agitating, agitating.”

How Can I Avoid a Crunchy, Ice-crystal-filled Texture?

“I like to add a little bit of the same stabilizer they put in sorbet to get a creamy consistency,” says Farrell. “You really want it to be nice and smooth on the palate.” Farrell likes the Perfect Sorbet powder from Modernist Kitchen, a flavorless blend of dextrose and cellulose gum that will give your margs the silky-smooth texture of a great sorbet.