We're incredibly strict on remaining unbiased towards any brand in our reviews, but after three days spent reviewing 18 frozen drink makers, one thing is clear: Margaritaville dominates the margarita maker marketplace. This brand offers several models designed for different needs, and while they are more expensive than competitor products, they're higher quality, easier to use, and rated much higher by customers – not to mention, they produce some of the best drinks you'll ever taste. We personally think their Bahamas DM0700 is the best margarita machine for most 'rita lovers, but check out our other top picks if you think you need a machine with more capabilities. Article Summary
There are few things that spark excitement at a party like fresh margaritas. Whether you prefer classic, strawberry, or any of the other countless sweet variations, margaritas are always guaranteed to put smiles on your guests’ faces (and your own, of course!). There are plenty of ways to prepare them by hand, but having a margarita machine on the table can add even more fun to the night while also making sure every drink is a perfectly-mixed delicious concoction.
If you’re a frequent ProductAdvisor reader, you know that we pride ourselves on honesty and remaining completely unbiased towards different brands and products. With that in mind, know that we’re speaking with 100% objectivity when we say that nothing beats a margarita machine from the brand Margaritaville. After reviewing 18 frozen drink makers from different brands and comparing numerous technical details like power output, capacities, cycle types, and more, every model from Margaritaville out-shined its competitors – especially when it comes to customer satisfaction. Customers are by far happier with Margaritaville machines than with models offered by any other brand.
With that said, this guide is a bit different than others – typically our top picks will consist of options from different brands, but because our research showed models from Margaritaville to be the most loved by customers, all of our top picks are from their family of machines. We wanted to bring this up now in case you started reading the guide and thought, “Why are all these machines from the same brand?” We’re not biased towards them in any way, they just truly offer the best margarita machines on the market. Without further ado, below are what we’d consider the best choices if you’re looking to add a new drink maker to your kitchen!
The best margarita machine for most people
The Bahamas DM0700 is considered the entry-level machine from Margaritaville, but it’s far from basic. In fact, this is the most popular and highest-rated model they sell! With the touch of a button, this machine can whip up 36 ounces of restaurant-quality margarita, making it perfect for regular home use or small parties.
Even if you’ve never made a margarita in your life, the Bahamas machine makes it so simple that anyone can do it on their first try and get restaurant-quality results with every mix. The machine is split up into two key areas – the jar and the body. The jar is where all your liquid goes, and the body is just a term for the blender itself, which contains the 450-watt motor and the ice compartment up top. Once you’ve mixed all your liquids in the jar, you put the jar in the body, press a button, and in roughly 15 seconds you’ve got 36 ounces of snowy-textured margarita ready to be poured.
As we all know, the hardest parts of making the perfect margarita are two things. First, getting the right mixture of tequila and margarita mix (and whatever else you plan to put in your drinks). Second, getting the right blend of ice. The Bahamas machine solves both of these issues with ease.
To solve the mixture issue, Margaritaville includes a nice little tool called the “No-Brainer Mixer”. The name says it all – this is a plastic cup with markings on the side to show you exactly how much tequila, margarita mix, and other liquids you need to make a 36-ounce pitcher of margarita (in fact, there’s even markings for piña coladas, too). So, all you have to do is pour in each liquid to match its designated marking on the cup, and you’ve got the perfect mixture ready to be blended.
To solve the ice issue, the machine has a button called “Shave-N-Blend” which is an automatic blending cycle that’s pre-programmed for margarita-making, so it knows exactly how much ice to put in the jar and how long to blend it for to create the perfect drink consistency. Simply add ice to the ice compartment, secure the jar of liquid in the base, and press the button to watch the magic happen. Since the machine actually shaves the ice before blending, rather than just dropping whole ice cubes into the jar like most other frozen drink makers, you’ll never have to worry about coarse drinks with unexpected ice chunks ever again.
With that said, everyone has their own personal preference as far as drink consistency goes, which is why there’s also two manual buttons on the side for “Shave Only” or “Blend Only”. This way, if you like your margaritas a little thicker or thinner, you can customize the consistency to your liking.
One last thing to note is Margaritaville’s unique drainage system for melted ice. As your ice cubes sit in the ice chamber on top of the machine, they will inevitably start to melt. With any other margarita maker, this would present a problem, as this excess water would be mixed in with future drink batches and dilute them. However, this machine has a specially-designed reservoir on the backside which collects all the excess water as the ice melts, keeping your drinks as strong and tasteful as possible.
Overall, it’s easy to see why the Margaritaville Bahamas DM0700 is the hottest-selling margarita maker on the market. It not only makes the process easy, but it ensures every batch is blended to mouthwatering perfection. We’d say this is the best margarita machine for most people, but if you’ve got above-average wants or needs, keep on reading.
The latest and greatest
If you want to take your drink-making to the next level, whether it be at home, for a party, or even in a restaurant, the Bali DM3500 would be the way to go. This is the latest and greatest from Margaritaville, offering numerous upgrades over the Bahamas machine including a larger jar capacity, better materials, stronger motor, additional drink settings, and more.
The Bali model carries over basically everything that we loved about the Bahamas model. In terms of design, the machine is still comprised of two main aspects, the body and the jar. The jar is where your liquid concoction goes, and the body holds the motor and the ice. There’s still the unique drainage system which collects excess water from the melted ice, and there’s still the automatic Shave-N-Blend function that creates the perfect drink with the push of a button.
With that said, this does not even begin to explain the upgraded functionality offered by the Bali. Besides the fact that it got an upgrade in materials and finish (sparkly brushed metallic and stainless steel), the motor power has been increased to 650 watts, giving you a 40% boost in blending power. You’ll need it, because the jar capacity has nearly doubled in size too, providing a full 60 ounces of drink with each batch (but don’t worry, you can choose to make a half batch at 30 ounces if you don’t need the full 60).
The jar itself has also been redesigned to include what Margaritaville calls a Self-Serving Remix Channel. To put it simply, the handle of the jar now doubles as a drink dispenser so you no longer have to pour the drink yourself (hence the “self-serving” part of the name). And, as the drink is being pushed through the handle and out into your glass, it goes through a series of dividers which serve to further blend the drink so that it’s as fresh as possible (hence the “remix” part of the name). The overall result is an easy-to-use dispenser that keeps your drinks fresh – certainly nothing to complain about! However, if you still prefer to pour drinks yourself, the option is always there (in other words, you don’t have to use this self-serving channel, it’s just an option for convenience).
Another big area of improvement with the Bali machine is in its mixing capabilities. As mentioned above, one of our favorite features of the Bahamas model is its Shave-N-Blend button, which creates the perfect drink consistency by adding a set amount of ice and blending for a set period of time. On the Bahamas model, this feature is only programmed for margaritas, but the Bali model includes cycles for daiquiris, piña coladas, and smoothies as well. This way, if you’re craving a margarita, your spouse feels like a piña colada, and your mom wants some type of homemade smoothie, you can make them all with ease – and all will be blended to their ideal consistencies. Of course, you still have the manual “Shave Only” and “Blend Only” controls if you want to fine-tune it a little more to your personal preference.
Compared to the Bahamas DM0700, the Margaritaville Bali DM3500 is quite a step up. With premium materials, more functionality, and more convenience, this machine is capable of crafting up mouthwatering drinks in any volume and for any occasion. Margaritaville hasn’t flat out said the words, but it’s clear that they deem this model as the best margarita maker in their lineup.
The ultimate party machine
For maximum margarita action, there’s no doubt that the Tahiti DM3000 is the best margarita machine out there. In fact, it’s hard to even call this a “margarita” machine anymore – it’s really more of a general professional drink maker. With the choice of over six types of drinks, this masterpiece has the ability to create three separate pitchers at once, making it the ultimate party machine.
In terms of design, the Tahiti machine receives yet another facelift which gives it a truly professional visual appeal. Like the Bali, it boasts a combination of brushed aluminum finishes with stainless steel accents, but this model also features a beautiful bamboo wood base and heavier-duty components (to handle the higher-volume work). If you own a restaurant or you simply want to impress your party, this machine will do that and more.
As far as functionality goes, the Tahiti model is actually pretty similar to the Bali – it just multiplies everything by three. It has a slightly more powerful motor, 700 watts compared to the Bali’s 650, but the real beauty comes from its ability to make three different drink pitchers at once. As you saw from the image above, the Tahiti machine has three independent blending stations, each with its own jar. Each jar is 24 ounces, supplying you with a total of 72 ounces of drink per cycle. There are three knobs at the base of the machine (one for each blending station), and all you have to do to get started is turn each knob to the setting you want and press start. In about a minute, you’ll have three full pitchers of perfectly-blended drink ready to be poured!
The number of drink settings has also increased for the Tahiti machine. With the Bali, there were four pre-programmed drink cycles – margaritas, daiquiris, piña coladas, and smoothies. The Tahiti offers these four as well, with the addition of two more – mojitos and mudslides. This gives you as much versatility as possible to offer your guests with different drink options. And since three pitchers can be made at once, people who want different drinks will never have to wait their turn again!
Despite the numerous upgrades over the Bali model, there is actually one thing the Bali offers that the Tahiti lacks. This would be the redesigned jar with the unique Self-Serving Remix channel. However, the Tahiti doesn’t offer this for a reason. For the self-serving channel to work, the jar has to be secured to the blending station. This isn’t a big deal with the Bali since there’s only one jar and blending station, but if three people were trying to self-serve from the Tahiti’s three jars all at once, the machine would get rather crowded. So Margaritaville made a smart choice in deciding to keep the jars traditional.
At the end of the day, the Margaritaville Tahiti DM3000 is the machine you choose if you want as much versatility as possible when creating drinks. This is truly the most feature-packed frozen drink maker on the planet. It’s a little on the expensive side, but it’s made to last and impress for years to come.
Why Margaritaville machines are better
In the introduction to this guide, we explained that we chose our top picks based on the Margaritaville lineup due to their outstanding quality and reputation. But what is it about their machines that makes them superior to other well-known brands?
The #1 most important quality of a margarita machine, or any drink maker for that matter, is drink quality. It’s not a total deal-breaker if a machine is a little ugly or a little hard to use as long as it produces good drinks – but if it doesn’t produce good drinks, what’s the point in buying it?
Margaritaville has drink quality dialed down to a science. Their No-Brainer Mixer cup helps you pour the perfect amount of each liquid (tequila, margarita mix, etc.) into the pitcher, and their pre-programmed automatic Shave-N-Blend feature adds in the perfect amount of ice and blends for the perfect period of time. The result is a flawless, mouthwatering, restaurant-quality margarita that’s sure to keep you and your guests coming back for more.
One of the key features that sets Margaritaville’s drink quality above other brands is its ice shaver. Nearly all margarita machines from other brands are designed just like any old household blender. You’ve got a large jar with a set of blades at the bottom; you pour your ice cubes and liquids into the jar together and press start. While this can blend up a decent drink, it’s hard to get the right consistency (aka drink thickness). We all know what it’s like to sip a blended drink and find a huge ice chunk midway through. Since Margaritaville’s machines all have independent ice compartments with shavers, the ice is shaved up before being poured into the jar, ensuring every batch you make is the perfect consistency.
Ease of use
Besides producing incredible drinks, Margaritaville machines are super easy to use. Going back to the same process discussed above, all you have to do to make a pitcher of perfect drink is follow three simple steps: pour in your liquids to the designated markings on their No-Brainer Mixer cup, secure the cup to the blender base, and press the Shave-N-Blend button. From start to finish, that’s no more than two or three minutes to go from scratch materials to a completed pitcher ready to be poured. Not many other margarita makers can say the same.
If you choose to go with one of their more advanced models such as the Bali or Tahiti, one extra step is required – choosing your drink cycle (for those who plan to make drinks other than margaritas). However, this only adds to the convenience by ensuring each drink is made to its respective consistency.
In the world we live in today, nothing is secret. If someone has an issue with a product, the first thing they’ll do is go online and write a review about it. Now, every product on the planet is bound to have some negative reviews; there’s always a certain percentage of unhappy people – but Margaritaville’s track record of customer satisfaction is truly exceptional. We compiled over 500 customer reviews for each of their margarita mixers from six different sources, and every single one of their models maintained a 4.7/5-star rating or above.
While researching past guides, we’ve come across plenty of individual products that have maintained high scores like this, but for every product in a company’s lineup to boast scores this high – that’s extraordinary. Needless to say, this played a major role in our decision to place Margaritaville products in each of our top three spots. Your happiness is our top priority, and according to the statistics, you’re most likely to be happy with one of their products!
Other margarita machines worth mentioning
Just because Margaritaville dominates this product category doesn’t mean there aren’t other good options available. Several other brands make solid margarita mixers, we just felt they weren’t quite up to par. Nevertheless, we’ve provided a few examples below in case you aren’t impressed with Margaritaville’s offerings.
Ninja’s Master Prep Pro System is one of the most popular blending products on the planet. While it’s not specifically made for margarita-making (it’s a multi-purpose food and drink processor), it’s more than capable of whipping up great frozen drinks thanks to its powerful motor and pulse control.
The only tricky part here is figuring out how long to blend the drink for. Since it’s not automatically programmed for margarita mixing (like our top picks are), it may take a few rounds of trial and error before you figure out how long you need to press the pulse control to get the right drink consistency. And, because it’s designed like a traditional blender, it runs the possibility of missing certain cubes of ice and leaving random chunks in your drink.
The true beauty of going with this option is its versatility. One minute you could be making a batch of margaritas, and the next minute, chopping up tomatoes and peppers for salsa. For those with restricted kitchen space, this could be a winner. It’s also a great pick for those on a tight budget.
Hamilton Beach’s Wave Crusher 54221 is another solid alternative if you’re looking for good results on a tight budget. Unlike other traditional multi-purpose blenders, Hamilton offers a unique blade design which it calls Wave-Action. Basically, the motor and blades are designed in a way that continually forces whatever you’re blending towards the bottom, which means they’re hitting the blades more often, thus producing a smoother consistency.
With that said, just like all traditional blenders, the most notable issue is figuring out how long to blend for. Hamilton’s Wave-Action blade system admittedly does a much better job with drink quality than most of the other competitors who run the risk of chunky drinks (which is one of the reasons we chose to include it in our guide), but you’ll still have to play around with timing to figure out your preferred drink thickness. Luckily for you, it has 14 blending functions to test out.
Things to consider before buying
Everyone has a different level of love for margaritas. Some like them all the time, others only want them on occasion. Depend on your personal level of ‘rita madness, one product may be better suited for you than others. Making the following considerations will help determine which will best serve your needs.
How often will you use your margarita machine?
For some people, margaritas are a weekly endeavor. Whether it’s Margarita Monday, Taco Tuesday, or just your regular end-of-the-week celebration, there’s always an excuse to have drinks in hand! On the other hand, some people only drink on occasion. It could be a friend’s birthday, an engagement party, or a promotion, but drinks only come out as party favors. If you’re the frequent type, it may be better to go for a machine like the Bali for its expanded drink settings so you’ll be able to mix up your weekly drinks with ease. If you’re the infrequent type, deciding which machine is best for you is better determined by our next question below.
How many people do you plan to serve?
Regardless of how often you make drinks, the number of people you intend to serve will probably be the ultimate decision-maker. If you know you’re only going to be making drinks for a few friends and family, with some occasional small parties here and there, a machine with a single blending station (like the Bahamas or Bali models) will handle the job just fine. On the flip side, if you know you’ll be serving larger groups, it may be worth it to go with a multi-station mixer so you can pump out drinks as fast as you want while entertaining additional types of drinks (such as coladas or daiquiris).
Our favorite frozen drink recipes
No matter which margarita machine you choose to buy, one thing is for sure – there is no shortage of recipes available to experiment with. While the Margaritaville machines include the handy No-Brainer Mixer cup for classic margaritas, mixing your own custom drinks is where the real fun begins! In case you’re looking for some ideas, we’ve listed a few links below to some of our favorite frozen drink recipes.
• Margaritaville’s Own Drink Index (30+ recipes for everything from margaritas to smoothies)
• The Best Fruit-Flavored Margaritas (15 recipes, nothing too crazy here, just a great source for those new to drink-making who want to expand their options)
• BuzzFeed’s 29 Crazy Margaritas You Need To Try (some seriously creative concoctions in here; if you like to get outside your comfort zone, this is for you!)
Wrapping it up
Most “margarita machines” are really just smoothie blenders being advertised as “for margaritas”, but Margaritaville is one brand that truly does tailor-make their machines toward margaritas and other frozen alcohol drinks like piña coladas, daiquiris, mudslides, and more. With their assortment of unique features, such as their ice shaver and Shave-N-Blend functions, any model from this brand is guaranteed to serve restaurant-quality results with ease.