Using a cocktail blender behind the bar is not as easy as it seems. It's not just about blending smoothies, it's about creating perfect frozen drinks. There's a little bit of science and a delicate touch needed to make them well, however. Blending cocktails may not be the most regular bar skill you’ll perform but it’s good to know and part of the bartender basics, nonetheless.
Learn more about how to use this bar tool…
Why blend a cocktail?
The idea behind using a blender is to incorporate the ice into the drink. This means that frozen drinks have a smooth consistency whilst also taking a bit of the edge off of the cocktail. You’ll often find frozen drinks in hot climates or on the beach, helping to cool down customers. They’re great for this environment because blended frozen cocktails stay colder for longer than compared to a regular shaken cocktail.
What ingredients to blend?
For cocktails, almost anything can be blended. Any liquid ingredient can be put into the blender but be cautious with carbonated drinks like sodas or sparkling wines. It’s advised to add fizzy ingredients once the blending has been complete, to avoid embarrassing yourself.
Foods, like frozen fruit, can also be added. Fruit added to a Frozen Margarita can be a great addition and add a little edge to the cocktail. Cocktail blenders are a great source of imagination for bartenders, allowing them to experiment with a different style and texture of cocktail.
How to use a cocktail blender
To blend a drink well, all that’s required is a blender. A regular kitchen blender will do the job well, so this part is hard to get wrong. But be sure to get yourself a quality blender, as this will ensure the drinks are consistent and lessen the likelihood of technical problems.
However, it’s not just about the blender. There’s a knack to making top quality blended drinks that takes a little bit of practice...
There’s not so much of a step-by-step guide to blending drinks, more so some advice to keep in mind when blending. Simply put, using a blender requires you to pour the cocktail ingredients and ice into a blender and blend until the right consistency. But what is the right consistency? How much ice should you add to the blender? These are the questions to consider most when using a blender!
The ice is a key part of frozen drinks and their success. If too little ice is used, then the drink will be runny and melt too quickly in the customer’s hands. If too much ice is used, then the drink will be unsatisfying and swamped with chunky pieces of ice. This means it will melt very slowly and unevenly.
Practice your frozen cocktail recipes repeatedly and you’ll be the mastering the blender in no time. Easy stuff!
Popular blended cocktails
There’s so much more to blended cocktails than Frozen Margaritas or Frozen Daiquiris. These two are the classic frozen cocktails (along with a Frozen Piña Colada, of course) but blending cocktails can be a very inclusive bar skill. Almost any cocktail can be turned into a frozen version, it may just require you to tweak the recipe a little. Even something as seemingly un-freezable as the Negroni can be frozen into a cold delight.
Keep in mind that not every cocktail calls for the same method when being blended. Experiment around with frozen drinks to find that perfect recipe.
Feel inspired to learn bartending? Learn more about our EBS Bartender Courses.