5 Great Blenders for Cinco de Mayo

These models crushed it in Consumer Reports' ice tests

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Blood orange margaritas with ingredients on bar. iStock-467922082

Cinco de Mayo has an interesting history that has nothing to do with Mexico’s Independence Day—or margaritas, for that matter. Instead, it commemorates a battle fought on May 5, 1862, between Mexico and France, in which Mexico was the unlikely victor. Though celebrations south of the border tend to be low-key, Americans have embraced Cinco de Mayo as a day to enjoy Mexican-American culture, including its food and drink.

Icy margaritas figure prominently in these fiestas.

To make a proper frozen margarita, you’ll need a blender that stands up to ice. In CR's blender lab, three of our tests involve ice. For our Icy Drink test, we make virgin piña coladas and evaluate the smoothness and thickness of the resulting concoction. In the Ice Crush test, we time how fast it takes a blender to pulverize seven ice cubes. We run both tests three times.

Then there's the test for Durability. "We run the Ice Crush test 45 times," says Cindy Fisher, who oversees CR's blender tests. That means each blender chews through 315 ice cubes for this final test alone.

Based on their performance in these tests, the five blenders below, listed in alphabetical order, are muy bueno—whether you're making a frozen margarita or your morning smoothie.

CR's take: The "Will it Blend" series on YouTube, in which Tom Dickson puts everything from iPhones to super glue in a Blendtec blender, has made this brand a household name. And will the Blendtec Designer 725 blend ice? You betcha. And crush it, too. The machine is relatively noisy, so maybe not the best choice for morning-after margaritas. Then again, you are crushing ice, and that's not a quiet task. The Blendtec gets top marks in CR's Durability test, in which a blender is put through the Ice Crush test 45 times. The Blendtec is a pricey pick on par with the Vitamix below.

CR's take: With a name like the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, you'd expect a lot of action from this blender—and it doesn't disappoint. It whirs through both ice tests, scoring top marks for making icy drinks and earning a score of Very Good for crushing ice. The noise is a nuisance, but relatively short-lived because the blender gets the job done quickly. And it's another winner when it comes to durability.

CR's take: The Ninja Professional NJ600 attacks ice just as its name implies, pulverizing ice for slushy drinks and making perfect crushed ice. It weighs only 7 pounds but is built to last, slaying our Durability test. And of the 15 Ninja blenders in our tests, this model is the only one to ace all of the ice tests.

CR's take: The Tribest Dynablend Horsepower Plus High Power DB-850GA succeeds beautifully when crushing ice. It is superb in the Durability test. The 10-pound blender has a glass jar, which some home cooks prefer, and it's a cinch to clean. Plus, this model comes with a scoop that makes it easy to serve an extra-thick smoothie or frozen drink.

CR's take: Vitamix has a passionate fan base, and the Vitamix Professional Series 750 doesn't disappoint. In our ice capades, it makes a star turn for superb performance in both the Icy Drink and Crushed Ice tests. It's another durable model, and it's worth noting that this Vitamix is just as noisy as all the others. The Vitamix costs as much as the Blendtec and hundreds more than the others on this list but stands above other brands in CR's reliability tests.


Mary H.J. Farrell

Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.