Once you get to a certain age, summer’s not about swimming and picking blackberries and running around barefoot anymore. (What a shame!) It’s about a frozen margarita in your hand, turning your fingers numb and cooling your sun-parched throat as you watch the kids to make sure they don’t smack their heads on the side of the pool. Well, you take life’s little pleasures where you can find them, and with few exceptions (frozen beer, anyone?) shaved ice makes the summer sweeter.
The folks behind the Margaritaville series of frozen concoction makers know all about shaved ice. It’s their specialty, their signature style that sets them apart from all the ice-mangling blenders. But even if you were to acquire perfectly shaved ice from another source, is the Margaritaville DM1000 worth spending the extra money? Depending on your situation, I would say definitely. Read on to find out why.
Perfect for families, parties, offices, you name it
The Margarita DM1000, also called the Key West, is almost the same as their entry level model, the DM0500 Bahamas, with a couple key differences. One, it’ll hold twice as much ice, enough for two pitchers. Two, it lets you select how many drinks you want to make: one, two, or three. These extra features make the machine better suited than the DM0500 for larger parties where you’ll be serving more drinks and possibly offering different flavors.
- Shaved ice and two blenders for perfect drinks
- Easy to make a variety of customized drinks
- Built tough to travel to parties and last a while
- Simple to use and easy clean-up
Balanced blending for smooth as silk margaritas
So why is this shaved ice thing so important? Think about the difference between, say, a convenience store slushy and a drive-in fast food soda. They’re both great drinks when it’s 104 outside, but a crushed-ice soda just isn’t the same as a shaved-ice slushy. The texture’s different, and you only get to drink half the cup because the other half is just ice.
Regular counter-top blenders cannot shave ice. The best they can do is to crush it into small pieces, leaving you with a crunchy drink. In the Margaritaville Key West margarita machine, the entire top half of the machine does one job: shave ice using specialized blades. The blending part actually happens in the pitcher. The shaved ice gets dumped into the pitcher, where the mix is, and the blender blends it twice to get that creamy texture that you can only get with – you guessed it – shaved ice.
But to each his own. If you prefer crushed-ice sodas to shaved-ice slushies, and the same holds for your margaritas, you don’t need a machine!
Customize your drink every time
Beside the automatic margarita cycle, the Margaritaville Key West also has shave-only and blend-only options. Say you’re making a snow-cone for the kids. Run an entire pitcher of ice with shave-only and scoop the shavings out of the pitcher. If you like your frozen ritas to be smoother and maybe even a little melted, run the margarita cycle, then the blend-only option until you’ve got the texture you want. Blend-only is also the best way to start a frozen daiquiri with real fruit. Blend first, and then run the margarita cycle.
The DM1000 Key West has another feature that’s a step up from the DM0500 – you can choose the number of drinks you want. So you can, for example, choose to make two drinks, then slightly more or slightly less mix to make thinner or thicker drinks without worrying about overflowing the pitcher.
Built like a champ, ready to serve
One downside to having a larger frozen drink maker is that you’ll be expected to take it to everyone’s party. (On the plus side, that means you can enjoy all the ritas you want on someone else’s dime!) But the Margaritaville DM1000 can take the heat. It’s almost two feet tall, which isn’t “small”, but it’s still not prohibitively large to take to your brother’s house for a barbecue or on a camping trip. Plus, with a reservoir that holds two pitchers’ worth of ice, you have to man the thing half as much. You can even purchase an additional pitcher and always have one ready with the next batch of mix.
The pitcher on this model is glass, which is durable enough for frequent use and traveling, keeps drinks colder longer, and can even be pre-cooled in the freezer, or by rinsing with cold water, to make sure each sliver of shaved ice stays crisp without melting. This model also has more metal parts than the smaller model, so it’ll weather bangs and bruises more easily.
Set it and forget it, and clean-up’s a breeze
Ice goes into reservoir. Mix goes into pitcher. Choose one, two, or three drinks. Press button, pour, enjoy. Do it again, only without the ice the second time around. Clean-up is even easier. Just rinse out the pitcher with warm, sudsy water, or throw it in the dishwasher. Sometimes drinks get splashed up into the ice chute as well, especially if you’re making fruity drinks, so give that a quick rinse or wipe-down.
More opinions, please
As if it were possible, the Margaritaville DM1000 Key West has even higher ratings than the Bahamas: 4.5 stars at Amazon, and 5 out of 5 across several other Internet retailers. Here’s what people think:
- “I purchased this for my July 4th party and it was a huge hit. We made every kind of drink with ease and they were always perfect!”
- “Not only do we make alcoholic beverages but we also make slushies for the kids. Have had it for about a month and we use it just about every day.”
- “It is easy to use and has a powerful motor. It shaves the ice to restaurant quality every time.”
- “Exactly true to its claims, the thing actually makes perfect consistency margaritas and any other frozen drinks you can think of.”
- “This Concoction Maker is fabulous. You can make drinks so fast and professionally your friends will think you’re a pro.”
True, it’s big, and it takes up some real estate on your counter. But for the value of having frozen margaritas in your pajamas, or smoothies in your pajamas, or cappuccino coolers in your pajamas? Priceless.
Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!