Two blenders filled with red liquid

How to Craft the Perfect Blended Drinks

Elevate your bartending skills with blending techniques, tips and best practices to help you craft smooth and sensational blended cocktails. 

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Explore the world of blending

The advent of electric blenders in the early 20th century helped expand the boundaries of traditional drinks and empowered bartenders to invent concoctions that tantalise the taste buds and deliver unparalleled smoothness.  

From choosing the right blender to perfecting blend consistency, explore the world of blending with tools, techniques and tips to help add a dynamic textural transformation and evolve your mixed drinks from standard to spectacular. 

Blending Techniques

Blending is a fairly simple process – combine ingredients and ice and let the machine do the work. However, there are a few techniques that can improve the end result.  

  1. Pulsing: Short pulses control texture for cocktails that require a quick mix or those with ingredients that can become too watery if over-blended.  
  2. Gradual Speed Increase: Start the blender on a low setting and gradually increase the speed to ensure ingredients are evenly mixed without splashing.   
  3. Ice Matters: Crushed ice blends more easily and quickly than whole cubes, reducing the risk of watered-down drinks. For a smoother finish, opt for smaller ice pieces. 

Essential Blending Equipment

Know your tools for optimum blending. 

  • High-Quality Blender: Not all blenders are created equal. For cocktail blending, choose a model with multiple speed settings and a powerful motor to handle the rigours of frequent use and dense ingredients.  You can read more about blenders in our Bar Tools resources here [ID 1353]
  • Tamper: Some blenders come equipped with a tamper, a tool to help push ingredients towards the blades for a consistent blend without the need to stop and stir.  
  • Measuring Tools: Precision is essential. Jiggers, measuring spoons, and cups ensure the right proportions for each ingredient.  

Blending Best Practices  

Remember these tips to help perfect your blended creations.  

  • Fresh Ingredients: Fresh fruits and natural sweeteners make a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of blended cocktails. When available, opt for fresh over frozen or pre-packaged.  
  • Balance Ice with Ingredients: Overloading the blender with ice can lead to chunky, inconsistent drinks. Aim for a balanced ratio of ice to other ingredients, roughly one large scoop of ice per drink, depending on the desired consistency, ingredients and size of the serving glass.   
  • Clean Promptly: To maintain the longevity and performance of your blender, clean it immediately after use. Pulse a blend of warm water and a drop of dish soap in the blender for easy cleanup.  
  • Pre-Chill Glasses: Serving a cold blended cocktail in a pre-chilled glass helps maintain its icy consistency longer. 

Blended Cocktail Spotlight: Captain Morgan Piña Colada

  • A Captain Morgan Piña Colada is sweet and creamy tropical drink and a firm favourite in the warmer months.   
  • It is celebrated as the national drink of Puerto Rico. However, its birthplace is often considered as The Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where, in 1954, a bartender named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero reportedly dreamed up the concoction.   
  • Practice your blending technique with this Captain Morgan Piña Colada recipe. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Versatility: Blending is a versatile technique that creates smooth and icy-textured cocktails, including favourites like frozen Margaritas and Piña Coladas. 
  • Invest in Machinery: To master blending, invest in a high-quality blender with multiple speed settings and use a tamper for consistent results. 
  • Keep it fresh: Use fresh ingredients where possible for a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of blended cocktails. 
  • Balance: Maintain a balanced ratio of ice to other ingredients to prevent overloading the blender and ensure consistent drink textures. 
  • Clean Machine: Proper cleaning and maintenance of your blender are essential for its longevity and performance. Use warm water and dish soap for easy cleanup. 

With the right equipment, fresh ingredients, and attention to detail, bartenders can craft delicious, visually appealing, blended cocktails that delight customers and enhance their cocktail menus. 

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