Margarita machines are designed to shave ice, then blend it with other ingredients. They are equipped with strong electric motors, steel blades, blending containers, ice storage tanks, and ice melt reservoirs. Margarita machines come with several pitches that allow preparing multiple beverages and are capable of operating for hours.
With so many brands to choose from, it is hard to pick the best margarita machine. There is Margaritaville, Nostalgia, Ninja, Blendtec, Hamilton, and other brands. Each brand’s pros and cons should be carefully considered.
To find the best margarita machine, it is important to analyze factors such as container type, ice handling, mixing power, and additional features and add-ons (margarita flowing faucets, jar multi slots, and variable motor speeds). This margarita machine buying guide elaborates on these factors.
The best margarita machines are listed below:
- Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3500
- Margaritaville Tahiti Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3000
- Nostalgia MSB1AQ Margarita & Slush Machine
- Ninja 400-Watt Blender for Frozen Blending
- Margaritaville DM0500 Bahamas
- Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with FourSide Jar
- Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker
- Hamilton Beach Wavestation Express Dispensing Smoothie Blender
Best Margarita Machines Comparison Chart
Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3500
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Margaritaville Tahiti Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3000
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Nostalgia MSB1AQ Margarita & Slush Machine
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Ninja 400-Watt Blender for Frozen Blending
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Margaritaville DM0500 Bahamas
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Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with FourSide Jar
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Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker
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Hamilton Beach Wavestation Express Dispensing Smoothie Blender
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Best Margarita Machine Reviews (Updated List)
1. Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3500
Margaritaville is considered to be a veteran in the field of margarita machines, and this model is quite popular. With a gray modern design, it will fit into any bar or kitchen, both functionally and aesthetically. Besides having a plastic body, the key parts are made of steel, which significantly increases the durability.
The jar on this margarita machine can fit a total of 60 oz. of liquid in one batch, which is more than enough when it comes to house parties. The icebox is on top and it can hold more ice than needed for a batch so you will not have to refill it a lot. If you like to have a margarita served straight out of the machine, there is an on-demand self-dispenser available. All you have to do is push the glass against it and fresh Margarita will start flowing.
- The excellent self-dispensing system allows you to use the machine with ease, and with less hassle.
- There are 4 modes for 4 different beverage types: Margaritas, Daiquiris, Coladas & Smoothies.
- This margarita machine can work both with full and half batches of a cocktail.
- This model is not suitable for energy-saving purposes. It has a wattage of 650 watts, making it a big electricity spender.
2. Margaritaville Tahiti Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3000
As you have probably heard, Margaritaville is one of the most favorite manufacturers of margarita machines. This model is considered to be a bit luxurious with its higher price range, but it delivers adequate results as well. It‘s best used as a party Margarita machine.
Why a party machine? The name is due to the fact that it has 3 pitchers, each containing a max of 24 oz. of liquid. On top, there is a huge icebox that can fit just enough ice to fill out the three pitchers below. The best thing is that you do not need to move and replace the pitchers to get the ice in. All you have to do is press a button, and the ice dispenser automatically moves to the pitcher of your choice.
- This is a great party accessory due to its large capacity and versatility – it has 3 pitchers.
- An automatic ice dispenser removes the hassle of removing the lids and changing pitchers.
- There are 6 different modes, each for a different drink: Margarita, Daiquiri, Colada, mudslide, Mojito, and smoothie.
- This model is on the pricier side, but it delivers extraordinary results.
- The body is a bit heftier, weighing 29.6 pounds.
3. Nostalgia MSB1AQ Margarita & Slush Machine
The Nostalgia MSB1AQ is designed to look and feel retro, delivering the taste of the fifties. It looks a bit like a classic blender, but it has all the extra features of a good margarita machine. Additionally, there is a handle on top that can turn the jar into a portable one if you want to carry it.
The total jar capacity is a full gallon, which makes this machine great for parties and gatherings. The blades and shavers inside are made of stainless steel, and the cage is secured with an extra layer of protection.
On the bottom side of the large jar, there is a dispenser in the form of a tap, for extra convenience. Although this model doesn’t have an icebox on top, the jar is big enough to fit a lot of liquid.
- A large liquid jar that fits a total of 1 gallon of drinks.
- Double-walled jar construction keeps the drinks cold for a long period of time without adding additional ice.
- The carrying handle on top acts as a lid seal at the same time, making the margarita machine super ergonomic.
- There is no ice box on top to automatically dispense the ice into the jar, but the jar size makes up for it.
4. Ninja 400-Watt Blender for Frozen Blending
The Ninja is light, quick, and effective. To be honest, it is a multi-functional machine with different bowls and features, but we liked it because of its pitcher extension. It is compact, with the biggest pitcher size of 48 oz. and a weight of only 4 pounds in total.
This particular appliance can approach any type of frozen food with its 2-level blades, so everything is fair game: smoothies, Margaritas, Pina Coladas, and even slurries. Additionally, it comes with a small 16-oz container that can be used for chopping and slicing vegetables.
There is no ice-dispensing mechanism provided, so you will have to put the ice in manually. Due to its compact size, we would recommend using this appliance to make drinks for two people max.
- Lightweight and compact, weighing a total of 4 pounds.
- A set of 2-level blades can chop almost everything you put into it, and make all kinds of cold beverages.
- This particular model is super affordable.
- It cannot cover making drinks for a lot of people at the same time.
- You will have to stabilize the machine with your hand while it is operating, because of its lightweight.
5. Margaritaville DM0500 Bahamas
This Margaritaville model is considered an entry-level Margarita machine by many. It is designed to fit into any kitchen, not too modern and not too traditional. On top of that, it weighs only 8 pounds so you can relocate it with ease.
The jar on this model can fit a maximum of 36 oz. of liquid. On top, there is a large ice box that contains more than enough ice for a single batch of margaritas. On the control panel there are 2 options when it comes to ice processing, shave and blend, doubling the possibilities of recipes you can make. To make things even better, both modes have their own powerful dedicated motor.
Both jar and the safety lid set are dishwasher friendly and are pretty easy and convenient to clean.
- Pretty simple when it comes to usage and maintenance.
- Most of the parts are dishwasher friendly which removes the extra time needed to clean the machine.
- Both shave and blend modes have their own dedicated motors for extra efficiency.
- The jar on this particular model is somewhat smaller than the rest in its class.
- There are no added modes for different drinks so you will have to do it manually.
6. Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with FourSide Jar
This particular kitchen appliance from Blendtec is more than just a Margarita machine. It is actually a multi-functional blender, with the added option of dealing with ice and cold drinks. It is designed to look modern with its black finish and metallic parts.
The 75-oz blending jar can make any frozen and icy-cold beverage, including Margaritas, Mojitos, and many others. There is no ice dispensing system on board, but the jar has the capacity to fit just enough ice for serving 4 people at the same time.
Besides having the ice processing modes, this particular appliance can serve as a vegetable chopper, smoothie maker, and salsa mixer, which is always a welcome bonus. On the base of the model, there is a detailed control panel with a LED screen. These enable you to customize the operation modes of the blender with ease.
- A multi-functional power blender with a separate option for processing ice and cold beverages.
- Ultra-customizable operation modes let you make a variety of food and drinks.
- The jar is self-cleaning, which can save a lot of time and energy (in case you are using it in an RV where the power supply is limited).
- It is not a specialized cold drinks machine
- A slightly more complicated operating system and lack of presets make it a bad choice for parties.
7. Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker
Some call it the king of margaritas, and some call it a life-saver when sudden parties occur. This Margaritaville certainly has a ton of features to offer. So, what is so special about this particular margarita machine?
To begin with, it has a computerized system for drink mixing, with 48 drink presets. All you have to do is fill the provided four 54-oz. containers with your favorite drinks and the margarita maker will do the rest. Use the automated interface to choose the drink, and its potency (normal, strong, or shot). And, if you are feeling adventurous, press the “I’m feeling lucky” button which will tell the machine to make you a random drink from the list.
However, keep in mind that this machine doesn’t utilize standard pitchers because it serves drinks directly in the glass you’ve put in the dedicated slot.
- The computerized system can make up to 48 different drinks.
- This model has 4 containers, with each holding 54 oz. of liquid.
- It has a random “I’m feeling lucky” feature that can decide what you’ll drink instead of you.
- It is one of the most expensive machines out there.
- No provided jars because the drinks go directly into the glasses.
8. Hamilton Beach Wavestation Express Dispensing Smoothie Blender
This is one of the most compact models out there, coming from Hamilton Beach. Resembling a classic blender, this margarita machine can be taken anywhere, and can fit anywhere, due to its lightweight frame, weighing only 5.5 pounds.
However, do not be fooled by the size of this appliance, because inside it packs a 500-watt motor that can attack any kind of smoothie or Margarita mix. The jar is located on the top and it can fit a total of 48 oz.
On the bottom side of the jar, there is an on-demand tap that allows you to pour the liquid directly into a glass, without the need to disassemble the unit. The jar itself is made out of thick plastic which is dishwasher safe, and it‘s almost unbreakable.
- Extremely lightweight for the power it has. Weighs only 5.5 pounds, but can tackle any kind of cold beverage.
- The tap on the bottom side of the jar makes it ultra-convenient for quick pouring.
- There are 4 available speeds for different types of drinks and smoothies.
- Because of how lightweight the body is, while operating, you will have to provide extra stability to the machine. Simply holding it will do the job.
What Is a Margarita Machine and Do You Need One?
If you ever attended a pool party, you have surely seen one of these. A typical margarita machine looks similar to a larger blender, with some additional parts on top and on the side. Now, even though their mechanism are similar, there are many differences in the way a blender and a margarita machine operate.
A margarita machine is, at its core, a dispensing device, and not just an appliance. With its several chambers (this differs depending on the model), the margarita machine is engineered to make this wonderful concoction in a matter of seconds. It will mix and stir the ingredients for you, and on top of everything, shave or crush the ice you provide.
As opposed to a regular blender, a margarita machine is designed to endure prolonged work hours and heavier loads. Some models are even able to dispense fresh margaritas for twelve hours straight, with breaks to refill the ingredients and ice when necessary. And this is where the strength of a well-made margarita maker lies: reliability. You do not want to go out of Margaritas mid-party, right?
In the following sections we are going to mention the ups and downs of margarita makers, but also what types are out there, what additional features can they offer, and ultimately how to look for the ideal margarita maker to suit your requirements.
You will be surprised by how much a margarita maker can contribute to a pool party, a summer gathering, or any kind of fun, social activity for that matter. And, no, these machines are not considered to be luxury anymore, so why not learn about them, and see if you can fit one into your home.
We have also prepared some blenders for crushing ice reviews.
How Do Margarita Machines Work?
If you ever used a blender, you will understand the basic mechanics of a margarita machine easier. And if you didn’t have such an experience, we are not going to delve too deep into the technical stuff, and we’ll keep it simple. Now, the best way to approach the working mechanisms of a Margarita machine is to go step by step through its parts, at least the essential ones. Different models can bring somewhat different parts, but their role is always the same, as is the end result.
So, how do Margarita machines work?
1. Jars, Pitchers and Bowls
The biggest and the most essential part of a good margarita machine is its container. This is where the mixing magic happens, and different models have a different type of container, with the jar being the most common.
The shape of the jar will dictate how you serve and pour margaritas when the mixing process is done. Some have dented ends to help you pour, and some models come with dosage faucets or small taps. All in all, the jar is there to mix and hold the drink for future consumption. Variations in jar size will only help you make more margaritas at the same time (more about that later).
Another important piece of info to remember is that usually, the container is the part with the mixing blades. They are at the bottom and are powered by an electric motor. These blades act as choppers, mixers, and homogenizers for the ice and the cocktail ingredients (yes, you can make other things, not just Margaritas).
2. Ice dispensing
Let’s face it: Margaritas served without ice are not Margaritas. That is why manufacturers decided to make the ice delivery easier by attaching an ice chamber, usually located on the top. The machine will take this ice and transform it into shaved, crushed, or smushed ice, depending on the model and the program you chose. After the ice is transformed into the wanted form, it goes down to the container to be mixed and homogenized with other ingredients. Some models have thermo-isolated ice chambers that allow it to last longer before melting so you can use it for more than one batch of Margaritas.
3. A Control Module
With a container and the ice box being the two essential parts of the Margarita machine, there also needs to be a way to control it. A control module is the essential part of a margarita machine because it allows you to pick and choose between different forms of ice and different concoction types. Basically, with the module you control how fast the mixing blades spin, when is the ice coming down, and how long should the machine mix the ingredients with the ice. Some models even have timers and automated programs that can make drinks in several stages.
4. A Solid Base
Every part that we mentioned above needs a well-made base to stand on. Even though people usually forget about this part, bases are crucial because they need to keep every single part in check while the blades are working and vibrating at a fast pace. Some bases have slots for pitchers and glasses, some have multiple holders, and some are plain and simple.
Margarita Machine Buying Guide
Ok, now that we established some essential terms, and made the process somewhat clear, it is time to dive into the subtle differences of margarita machines. The basics are the same, yes, but learning how to get the optimal machine for your needs requires exploring what kind of parts you can expect.
Besides the basic part variation, we must also cover additional features that some manufacturers decided to install into their products. If it were all the same, then we would all have the same model, right? Variety brings you custom options regarding Margarita quality, volume, ice delivery and time needed to finish making them.
1. Container Type
First and foremost, the thing that makes all the difference is the type of container your Margarita machine has. We mentioned before that containers can be divided into jars, pitchers and bowls. But what does that really mean?
This type is the most common. It resembles the container that a regular blender has, but with small modifications. The size of a jar can vary from 30 to 140 oz, with an average being somewhere around 60. Jars are fairly easy to clean, and because of their shape, they are usually dishwasher friendly (in case they are not, the manufacturer will put a disclaimer).
Margarita machines that have a pitcher as a container are usually smaller in size and are made to serve 2-4 people from a single batch. Pitchers are a bit trickier to wash and clean, due to the handle and the curved glass. However, it is not impossible. Pitchers are a great starting point for doing homemade “Rita” parties and cocktail tryouts.
One of the least common container shapes out there is the bowl. It is made for larger quantities of liquid, and was popular in the past, with that popularity significantly declining today. It fell off as a viable option due to its large size and a harder maintenance routine. But its strong suit is the quantity of margarita it can produce. If you are looking for a machine that can handle large parties, the bowl is the way to go for sure.
2. Ice Handling
As we have already established, there is no good Margarita without ice in it. So, if you want fresh cold Margaritas in the summer, you need to pick the best-fitting ice machine according to the ice it can provide, including the shape, size, and consistency.
The models made for margaritas strictly (and some other, similar, drinks) will usually have an ice container on top. This container can be a bowl that holds more ice than the machine needs for a single batch of cocktails, or it can be a type of a larger funnel that helps you get all the ice into the mix. Either way, the quality of cocktails depends on this feature.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is ice processing. If you intend to make dense margaritas or smoothie-like drinks, you should consider getting a model that can crush ice in more ways than one. That is why margarita machines can offer multiple ways of ice processing:
· Shaved ice
By far the most popular ice shape among margarita enthusiasts. Shaved ice, if mixed with the ingredients, can make the most homogenized concoction out there. Some models even have features like the top-rated shaved ice machines, which make the cocktail so dense you can eat it with a spoon and suck it through a straw.
· Crushed/Nugget ice
For old-school margarita fans, there is the option of crushed ice as well. Crushed/Nugget ice makes the drink a bit rougher to consume, but it does keep it colder and fresher for a longer time. That is why large capacity margarita machines have nugget/sonic ice as a default, it is simply more practical. If you are interested in these, you can visit our best sonic ice maker article.
· Ground ice
This type of ice processing is getting less and less popular by the day, simply due to the fact that you need to prepare the ice before you put it in the icebox of the margarita machine. The upside is the option to make other drinks that do not require shaved or crushed ice, and bigger ice pieces are allowed.
People usually undermine the importance of ice that goes into Margaritas. We think that ice is as important as every other ingredient you plan to put in it. Just imagine drinking a warm Margarita. Would you like it? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
3. Mixing Power
Having ideal ice shapes and big pitchers would mean nothing without the mixing power to follow it through. As you might have already concluded, margarita machines rely heavily on the blades at the bottom of the container. The harder these blades can hit, the smoother and more homogenized your cocktails are going to be. But that is not all that these blades need to do, because if it was, a standard blender could also be called a Margarita machine.
The key difference between a blender and Margarita machine’s set of blades is none other than durability. If you ever embarked on a journey of cocktail making, you probably know that margaritas need to be stirred at a constant rate in order to mix the tequila, juice, and ice in the best possible way. Blenders cannot provide that because they are made for short bursts of power.
On the other hand, Margarita makers are equipped with motors and blades that can endure long mixing sessions. Like, half a day-long session. In terms of power, we are talking about a wide range of 150 to 2100 Watts. For regular use, getting a machine with a 500-Watt motor is ideal, especially for people that like to enjoy Margaritas in larger quantities.
The power rating rule is simple, the larger the wattage, the faster the blades. This piece of info is especially important for RV owners who need to be careful of how much power they use, due to its limited supply.
4. Additional Features and Add-ons
Besides having a simple ON/OFF module, Margarita machines utilize some ergonomic and technological solutions that enhance the ease of use by a large margin. Having all this useful technology laying around can do you no harm, so let us see what kind of extra features you can expect from your Margarita machine!
4.1 A Margarita-flowing faucet
This may sound like it came from a movie about ancient Rome and Cesar’s parties, but it is true that margarita machines can have a tap onboard. This feature is designed with capacity in mind. If you put a large batch in, with a margarita tap, you can enjoy a fresh glass without stopping the mixing process. With a system like this, it is easier to serve your cocktails and to make new batches faster as well.
4.2 Jar multi slots
Larger models have the option to mix more than a single batch of cocktails at the same time. With slots for three jars, you can enjoy margaritas of different strengths or sweetness. You can also serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoctions simultaneously. There are margarita machine models that can even mix two or more drinks, with the option to randomize if you’re feeling like experimenting.
4.3 Variable motor speeds
People tend to overlook this feature. A motor that can work at different speeds will significantly increase the versatility of the margarita machine. There are models with up to 8+ different speed settings which match different cocktail recipes. If you like to explore new things, you might want to consider a model with variable motor speeds.
FAQ About Margarita Machines
1. Are Margarita machines dishwasher friendly?
There is no short answer to this. Different models like Margarita come with different cleaning systems. However, most of the popular models have a container that is easily detachable and is dishwasher friendly. If you are not sure how to approach this, consult the user manual because it is always better to be safe than sorry. Otherwise, you can find yourself looking for cocktail maker fixing methods. On the other hand, an unwritten rule is that every detachable part is easily washable and/or dishwasher friendly, so have some patience and find out.
If there are parts that are not made of glass and plastic, double-check because the chances are that they are not made for washing at all. Sometimes a wet cloth can do the trick as well.
2. Can I use my Margarita machine to make other cold drinks?
Yes, you can! Margarita machines are not reserved for this tequila delight only. People use these powerful appliances to make all sorts of smoothie and slushie recipes, with a few restrictions though. You should be careful not to clog the machine with fibrous food or large chunks of fruit. It would be best to use prepared mixes or to simply decant all the extra parts and bits that could put the machine at risk.
Try looking at it like this: if you get a more powerful model in terms of wattage, you will be able to make more cold treats, because the blades will be able to handle the harder ingredients. Just remember to clean the margarita machine thoroughly after you are done using it.
3. What do I do if the ice melts in the ice dispensing box?
Opinions are divided on this one. If the ice melts and leaves cold water in the tray, you can pick between two possible outcomes: either you use the cold water and make a cocktail that is totally liquid, or you replace the ice. The main thing is that you cannot damage the machine this way, but maybe you should consider lowering the power in the case of melted ice.
Blades are set to crush it or shave it and will put in extra power, which ice water doesn’t need. So, all you have to do is lower the power output by switching to a lower setting. Essentially, this will prevent any damages that can be caused by a blade that goes fast and strong needlessly.
And there it is! All the necessary knowledge you need to enjoy an icy cold glass of Margarita. We went through all the essential (and some less so) details on how to get the best margarita machine for your household and/or poolside. These machines are powerful, reliable, and above all user-friendly, so there is absolutely no reason why you should not give them a fair chance.
We encourage you to use our guide as a checklist before you make the final decision and read our margarita machine reviews to help you understand their variety and versatility. Make sure to study this guide and get the one model you will enjoy using, and above all, enjoy serving drinks from.
If by any chance we missed something, or you want to ask us additional questions, feel free to do so in the section below and we will gladly provide an answer.