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Gear: The Best Blenders for Frozen Cocktails

When summer rolls around, frozen drinks become essential sipping. But unless you’re the proud owner of a commercial slushy machine, you’ll need a good blender to mix quality frozen cocktails at home. We tested a range of blenders side by side, making a classic Piña Colada and comparing factors like ease of use, noise level, aesthetics, size, price and quality of the finished drink—these were the top performers.

Blendtec Designer 625 While this model’s on the large side, the sleek base and illuminated touchscreen controls give it a futuristic look, and it even comes in seven colors. The preprogrammed blend cycles and six-speed slider are not as intuitive as they could be, but once you get rolling, the Blendtec offers powerful, efficient blending that can quickly mix up a batch of smooth frozen drinks. $499,

Cuisinart Hurricane With a peak horsepower comparable to more expensive models, the Hurricane has ample power to grind through thick or icy mixtures. With just two speed settings, plus a smoothie function and digital timer, the operation is simple and intuitive, though the final drink we blended showed separation more quickly than other models. $199,

KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond With a slim, compact shape and 15 colors to choose from, the KitchenAid Diamond looks good on the counter. It also boasts simple settings with five speeds that operate relatively quietly and, though lacking the precision of a dial, it still made quick work of our frozen drinks. $159,

Oster Pro 1200 An economical option for the occasional blender user, the Oster Pro is light and compact, with simple low-medium-high speed controls and a few preprogrammed options. Though it didn’t yield results as smooth as other models, it was quick to blend up a frothy Piña Colada, and the dual- directional blade capability ensures no jamming or blocked blends. $89,

Vitamix Ascent Series A3300 Vitamix incorporates some sleek new features in the Ascent series, like a flat touchscreen for easy clean-up and a base that can detect different-size containers to automatically adjust blending time. The programmable timer is a cinch to use, and the speed dial allows for precise control. Though a bit on the bulky side and notably noisy, this is a powerhouse blender that yields a reliably smooth and velvety drink. $519,

Wolf Gourmet Blender The new blender from Wolf embraces the brand’s signature style (with the option to choose your knob color). The easy-to-use controls include four preprogrammed cycles and a manual function with a finely tuned speed dial and simple digital timer. And though it exhibits an impressive 2.4- peak horsepower, it’s remarkably quiet, and it yields a luscious, airy Piña Colada. $599,

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