1) Nostalgia Rsm650 Retro Series: $49.99
The first of our four models of drink machines is a simple one that the whole family can appreciate. Every child and many grown-ups can’t resist a slushie on a hot day. This machine has a 32oz container for blending great slush drinks with ice and salt. Just add the ingredients, set it up and poor the drink. Additional benefits here are the detachable drip tray and cup rest and the easy-clean parts.
2) Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker: $999
There is clearly a lot to love about this Black + Decker model, but there is one problem that won’t have gone by unnoticed. You can only make one sort of drink with these lower-end models. The Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker takes an entirely different approach with a very versatile machine. There are four color-coded containers, each holding 54.oz, for a choice of different frozen cocktails. The smart on-board computer is aware of 48 recipes, created by legitimate Margaritaville bartenders, so there is plenty of choices. Furthermore, there is a randomized drink selector for the truly ambitious. This margarita machine is more expensive but provides a lot for the money.
3) Black+Decker Bl4000r Xl Blast: $69.99
Next up is a model from a brand better known for their tools than their drink machines. This model is an interesting choice at a fair price. The designers have certainly considered the function and processes from different angles. There is a 72oz blender jar with a blade, a strong motor and a spout for filling glasses. Neat additions, like the dishwasher-friendly parts, insulated chill sleeve, and one-touch controls, add to the appeal. Also, it is capable of creating four different drinks: Margaritas, daiquiris, shakes, and smoothies. This is a step up from the Nostalgia model, and one for the adults.
4)Bunn Ultra-2 Gourmet Frozen Drink Machine: $2,400
On the subject of price, we come to our final model in these interesting drink machines. It is very expensive and only for the serious hosts that will get lots of use out of it. Even then, it doesn’t seem quite as fun or interesting as the Margaritaville margarita machine. This BUNN machine gets away with the price tag because of the word “gourmet” and the clever technology. It has a patented motion that increases the freezing time and apparently produces better drinks within its 3-gallon hoppers. It also monitors the temperature itself and advises on cleaning and maintenance. It is a smart machine with a great touchpad, but it might be a bit too much for some buyers’ needs.