This year the Super Bowl is in Houston, where margaritas are often referred to as “practically the state beverage.” In Texas, they're usually shaken with ice, but for some, a slushy frozen margarita made in a blender is the clear winner. 

The bartenders at The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, a popular Mexican restaurant in Houston, shake the margaritas, swearing that they taste better and stronger that way, but they know their stuff. “If you want to make margaritas in a blender, use a little more agave nectar and fresh lime juice to keep the ice from taking over the flavor of the drinks,” one bartender says. Using top-shelf tequila improves the flavor, and some say rimming the glass with salt does as well.

Use all the best ingredients you have for this drink. The ice should be fresh and clean-tasting, with no hints of food odors that migrated from the refrigerator section, causing the ice to taste like last night’s garlic chicken or salmon. 

You want to make frozen drinks slushy and prepare them as quickly as possible. Using cracked iced instead of big cubes helps. Cracked ice is also easier on the blender blades. Crack the ice by wrapping cubes in a kitchen towel, then hitting them with a mallet or small skillet. Whatever your recipe, pour the liquids in first—juice, liquors—then add the ice, blender manufacturers say. Blending goes fast—a minute or two for a batch, depending on your blender.

Super Slushies

You’ll see close to 100 blenders in our blender ratings. If you need a blender to make margaritas and other frozen drinks, zero in on the blenders that scored Very Good or Excellent in our icy-drink tests. Here are six that scored Excellent:

We also test how well the blenders purée soup and crush ice. An Excellent ice-crush score means the ice looks like snow and is uniform, without adding water. A Very Good score tells you the ice is more like a snow cone. The lower the score, the bigger the ice chips. We also measure the noise the blender makes as well as weigh the base, jar, and lid. Our blender buying guide gets you started; then you can check the blender ratings for all your choices.