Consumer Reports: Here's the best blender for your budget

No summer party is complete without margaritas and other frozen drinks, which means you might need a blender that can handle crushing lots and lots of ice.

What better way to toast the arrival of warm weather than with a frozen cocktail?!

"As of recent years the frosé has become super popular so everyone's making frosés with different variations - the Aperol frosé... we've been doing a strawberry frosé," says bartender Nick Macchi.

Macchi says the key to whipping up any type of frozen drink at home is getting the consistency right.

Consumer Reports says not all consumer-grade blenders are up to the task of making those perfect frosty drinks!

Its ratings cover nearly 70 full-sized blenders put through some pretty tough tests - including one for icy drinks but only a handful actually aced the tests for the icy drinks.

Consumer Reports tests each blender with a batch of nonalcoholic piña coladas and use a series of increasingly smaller mesh sieves to evaluate smoothness and thickness.

A blender only earns an Excellent if the drinks have a smooth, consistent texture.

They also test how well a blender crushes ice without the help of water or using the pulse button.

A blender that garners an Excellent rating in CR's ice-crushing tests serves up ice that looks uniformly like snow. Bigger ice chips and chunks give a blender a lower score.

Vitamix's Professional Series 750 has held a top spot in CR's ratings for quite some time but it's pricey - $650!

For $100, consider the Ninja Professional.

It's excellent when it comes to blending up an icy drink and demolishes the ice crush test.

"The best thing you can do for an at-home frosé is use high-quality ingredients ... You only get back from it what you put into it," says Macchi.
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