Which Frozen Drink Machine Do I Need?
You’ve heard about the new frozen drink machines that make margaritas, daiquiris, and more, but even though it’s still a relatively new market, there are so many variations and options and price levels that it can be a bit confusing to decide which one is right for you. Take a look at the following guide for choosing a frozen drink machine that’s right for your needs.
Brief overview of what’s available
There are essentially three types of machines on the market today: basic blender-type machines (up to $150), mid-level separate ice shaving and blending machines (up to $250), and premium machines ($250 and up). Each of them perform the same basic function – mixing shaved ice and a liquid to make a frozen drink – but the magic is in the details, and you may find that you’d prefer spending a little more to have access to a range of features that you’ll use on a regular basis.
Do you have kids?
If you have kids, the most important feature you want to look for in a frozen drink machine is a shave-only ice option. After they have one snow cone, they’ll want everything snow cone – juice, cola, even chocolate milk – but machine mixing isn’t always the best option. You can fake a shave-only ice cycle in any machine just by leaving out the liquid. In a basic machine, ice-shaving blades will give you a finer more consistent texture than a regular blender. In a mid-level machine, you ought to be able to leave the liquid reservoir empty, but if you have a really smart machine, it may give you a warning. In premium machines, you don’t have to worry about this – there’s a separate shave-only ice option. Best machines: basic, premium, maybe mid-level
Do you have parties?
The more the merrier! One of the main reasons that people splurge on a frozen drink machine is for entertaining. From this perspective, basic machines are great if everyone wants the exact same drink at the exact same time, but if you want to change it up, you’ll need to get a mid-level frozen drink machine or better so you can change mixes after as few as one drink. There is, however, at least one ultra-premium frozen drink machine that will make multiple drinks simultaneously. It’s pretty amazing to watch. If your guests are easily entertained, you wouldn’t even have to hire a DJ. Best machines: mid-level, premium
Do you have a really great blender?
If you do, wonderful! If you don’t, considering getting a premium frozen drink machine. These machines have so many options that your machine can double as a good blender. If you already have a top-of-the-line blender, there are still options in a premium machine that your blender can’t handle, but if you’re looking for a blender and a frozen drink machine, premium is definitely the way to go. Best machines: premium