Whether you like ice slushies or margaritas, a blender that can crush ice into a fine texture is necessary for the perfect frozen drink. Although some blenders struggle with ice since it can get caught under the blades, others are capable of making snow-like ice with an evenly-processed crush. They should also be able to break down frozen fruit and veggies into a cold, silky smoothie.
We've tested over 40 blenders and below are our recommendations for the best blenders for frozen drinks. If you're looking for more blenders, check out our recommendations for the best blenders for crushing ice, the best blenders for smoothies, and the best blenders.
The Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770 is the best full-size blender for frozen drinks that we've tested. It's well-built and has a good overall performance, and it's outstanding for crushing ice. It comes with a 72-ounce main jar, two 16-ounce additional jars, and a food processor attachment, making it a versatile tool in any chef's kitchen.
With its main jar, it can easily crush ice cubes into a snow-like consistency in little time. It even has a dedicated 'Crush' setting that makes it easy to process ice. You can also use its personal jars to make an incredibly silky, well-blended smoothie. When you're finished, it's easy to clean by hand, and you can also wash it in your dishwasher.
Unfortunately, you can't use it to blend hot ingredients, which may be disappointing for users looking for a versatile blender. It's also very loud at its max speed setting, which some users may find annoying. However, if you want something that can easily crush ice, it's a solid choice.
If you're looking for a more durable blender that can be used in a professional setting, consider the Vitamix A3500 instead. While it doesn't have a dedicated Ice Crush mode like the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770, it's better-built, so it seems like it can handle heavy use in a professional kitchen. This full-size model can also crush ice into a snow-like blend in little time. It's also very versatile, and it makes outstanding almond butter, an impressive smoothie, and it can hot blend. It's easy to clean, too.
If you want a full-size blender with lots of attachments and a dedicated Ice Crush mode, check out the Ninja. However, if you want a better-built option that can hot blend, consider the Vitamix instead.
The Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO is the best personal blender for frozen drinks that we've tested. This well-built model comes with two 24-ounce jars as well as one 14-ounce one so that you can take your frozen drinks with you on-the-go. The 14-ounce jar also has a unique manually rotating knob with two plastic arms within the jar so that you can move food towards the blade vortex.
While it's designed with smoothies and spreads in mind, it makes outstanding snow-like crushed ice. If you like to make a fruity blend, it can also make fantastically silky smoothies in no time. Cleanup is very easy as the jars, blade assemblies, and lids are all dishwasher-safe.
Unfortunately, it has only one speed since its preset modes act as a timer. It doesn't have an ice-crushing setting either, but it takes around two minutes to make crushed ice, so it's not a big issue. That said, this personal blender excels at making crushed ice for frozen drinks and is well-suited for making single-serve portions.
The best blender for frozen drinks in the budget category that we've tested is the Ninja Nutri Ninja Pro. This compact personal-sized model can produce snow-like crushed ice in around two minutes. It also comes with three differently sized jars that are suitable for taking your blends with you on-the-go.
If you like to make drinks with frozen fruits, it makes a decent smoothie with its 12-ounce jar. While it has a bit of a foamy and grainy texture since it struggles a bit more with fibrous fruits and veggies like kale, it's still somewhat silky. That said, it's very easy to clean it since you can rinse it with soap and water. You can also put the jars and lids into the dishwasher for a more convenient clean.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any controls and it has only one speed. Since it comes with three differently sized jars, they each perform differently when making smoothies and the 18-ounce jar makes a worse, foamy, and grainy blend. Still, if you're on a budget, it can make frosty, single-serve drinks with a fine ice texture.
11/19/2020: Updated text for clarity and accuracy, no change in recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best blenders for frozen drinks for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper blender wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no blenders that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for blenders, sorted by their performance crushing ice. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no blender is perfect, most blenders are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you look for them.