HOW TO MAKE FROZEN DRINKS IN A BLENDER: TIPS
There’s nothing better than a fruity frozen drink or boozy frozen cocktail on a warm summer afternoon or evening. Making frozen drinks with a blender is a creative and festive way to quench your thirst. Having the right tools, quality ingredients and a handful of tips will help ensure you achieve irresistibly delicious slushy results, drink after frozen drink.
10 TIPS FOR MAKING FROZEN DRINKS WITH YOUR BLENDER
The goal for a thirst-quenching frozen drink is an icy cold, thick, smooth texture with just the right amount of sweet. Whether you’re making a kid-friendly slushie, frosty adult cocktail or a frozen fruit smoothie, creating consistently delicious drinks is easy with a little guidance. Use these 10 tips to help perfect your technique for making frozen drinks at home.
1.) CHOOSE A GOOD BLENDER
Look for a blender that’s strong enough to power through frozen fruits and ice. Using an old blender, or one in poor condition, can create drinks that are too icy. KitchenAid brand offers a variety of blenders that use premium components to quickly blend even the toughest ingredients for consistent texture. The KitchenAid® K400 Variable Speed Blender offers 3 preset recipe programs for Ice Crush, Icy Drinks and Smoothie, to help create the smooth, just-right texture for all your frozen drinks.
2.) DON’T OVERFILL THE BLENDER
Overfilling your blender can make it challenging to blend ingredients thoroughly. Keeping the mixture of ingredients around two-thirds full in the blender jar can help achieve optimal results.
3.) USE THE RIGHT SWEETENERS
Regular sugar isn’t ideal for sweetening frozen drinks. It doesn’t blend smoothly with frozen ingredients. Instead, use simple syrup to add easy-to-blend sweetness to your frosty beverages. Sweetening with honey, agave or even maple syrup helps keep frozen drinks thick and creamy. Be bold when adding sweeteners to frozen drinks. This will help balance the bitter and acidic notes of other ingredients and help maintain texture.
4.) CHILL EVERYTHING
Keeping everything icy cold is key to creating delicious frozen treats and tipples. Use cold or frozen ingredients—including spirits—and freeze your glasses to help avoid diluted beverages. Blend drinks just before serving to help ensure the best texture.
5.) USE FROZEN FRUIT
Frozen fruit—or frozen juice cubes—will help keep your frozen drinks icy cold and help prevent a diluted beverage. Using fresh fruit or regular juice likely requires more ice which will create a watery drink more quickly.
6.) USE CRUSHED ICE
Crushed ice generally blends more easily and helps create a thick, creamy consistency. If using whole ice cubes, make sure your blender can handle hard ingredients. The KitchenAid® K400 Variable Speed Blender has 3 Preset Recipe Programs: Ice Crush, Icy Drinks, and Smoothie to help achieve great frozen drink results.
7.) INCLUDE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE
Plan on using about twice as much ice as other ingredients to create that just-right frosty-to-flavor balance. Too little ice may result in a soupy, instead of slushy, drink. Too much ice can dilute your flavors. Add your ice last—starting with less than you think you’ll need—and keep adding until you’re satisfied with the texture.
8.) LAYER INGREDIENTS
Adding drink ingredients in the proper order to your blender will help create the tastiest frozen concoctions. Layer ingredients in this order: start with liquids, add soft ingredients like sweeteners and powders, follow this with hard or frozen ingredients like fruits and nuts—top with ice and blend. If your recipe calls for soda, add it with a quick pulse at the end to prevent a carbonated mishap.
9.) ADD ALCOHOL CORRECTLY
Factor in melting when considering the amount of alcohol to use. Err on the side of a heavier pour to compensate for melting ice, or alternatively, cut back on the booze to help slow melting. Some mixologists like to blend the alcohol and mixers before adding ice when making frozen cocktails. This can help ensure that the flavors of the cocktail are completely mixed before the ice is added.
10.) BLEND SLOW TO HIGH
For a smooth, creamy texture—and to help prevent over blending—start with a few quick pulses to help break down the largest pieces, then gradually build speed, finishing on high. The KitchenAid® 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender can crush ice in less than 10 seconds1 with a unique asymmetric blade that pulls ice into the center for powerful crushing.
1. Half tray of ice
HOW DO YOU MAKE FROZEN DRINKS THICKER?
There are several factors that play into creating thick frozen drinks. Keeping everything cold and using frozen fruit are keys to thick smoothies, milkshakes, cocktails and slushies. Make sure your ratio of liquids and ice to solids is spot on, and don’t forget the thick sweeteners. Blend ingredients well to create smooth, creamy drinks, but don’t over blend to help avoid watery results. You can also try swapping out some liquids for yogurt or silken tofu, adding nut butters, or even avocado for thick additions that will still blend well. While ingredients with high water content like watermelon, grapes and cucumbers make great slushies, avoid using them for a thicker frozen drink.
TIP: AVOIDING OVER BLENDING
Be patient when making frozen drinks with a blender. Starting the blender on high can lead to over mixing and will introduce too much heat, the enemy of frozen drinks. Start at a low speed and gradually build to high. When you no longer hear the ice cracking, stop the blender and check the mixture. If it’s still a little chunky, pulse in quick bursts and continue checking every few seconds until you achieve a smooth, creamy texture.
WHY IS MY FROZEN DRINK SEPARATING?
As the ice melts, the heavier, denser ingredients in frozen drinks will follow the laws of gravity and sink to the bottom of the glass—or separate. You can help slow this process by thoroughly blending ingredients into a uniform mixture with small ice crystals. The tiny crystals will act as a binder for all your ingredients.
SHOULD I USE COFFEE ICE CUBES WHEN MAKING FROZEN COFFEE DRINKS?
Coffee ice cubes can keep frozen coffee drinks like—frappés—cold and help maintain a rich, robust taste, sip after sip. Use your favorite brew: cold brew for a smooth, mellow flavor, drip coffee for easy mixing of sweeteners and other flavorings, or espresso for bolder flavor. The ice cubes can last in the freezer for up to two weeks, so keep a batch on hand for frozen coffee drink cravings.
HOW DO I SERVE FROZEN DRINKS?
You’ve mixed your frozen drinks to the perfect thick, creamy texture, now it’s time to serve. Keep thinking cold. Pour into chilled glasses—without stirring—and serve as soon as possible. Choose your glassware wisely. For frozen cocktails, consider a glass with a stem. This will keep the heat of your hands from melting the drink too quickly. A tall, chilled glass or mug, preferably with a handle, will work for milkshakes, slushies, smoothies or frappés.
Frozen drinks make an even more festive addition to the party with creative garnishes. A dusting of spice to kick up the heat, shapes cut from fruit, a sprig of fresh herbs, chocolate curls, edible flowers, pretty umbrellas, all of these—and anything else that strikes your fancy—can boost the fun factor.
Frozen drinks can be served throughout the day and into the evening. Serve a Beet Berry Smoothie with Puffed Quinoa Granola Bars for breakfast. Make a Classic Milkshake to go with a Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger for lunch. For a cool snack on a hot afternoon, try making a Tropical Fruit Slushie and pair it with a Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix. Or whip up a batch of Frozen Coconut Margaritas in your blender and serve with a crowd-pleasing 7 Layer Dip at cocktail hour. Use your KitchenAid® stand mixer and the KitchenAid® Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment2 to streamline the prep for the dip.
EXPLORE KITCHENAID® BLENDERS
Whether you’re whipping up a frappé for an afternoon pick-me-up or creating frosty signature cocktails, KitchenAid® blenders have the power to blend tough ingredients for smooth frozen drinks and so much more. Add to the versatility of your KitchenAid® K400 Blender (models KSB4027 and KSB4028) with a 16-oz. Personal Blender Jar2 that blends your smoothie, then converts to a useful on-the-go container.
2.) Sold separately
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