A normal phenomena- you go on a cruise, you sit at a tiki bar on the beach and you enjoy those delicious frozen drinks. When you come home and wish to recreate the drink at home for family and friends. You start out with your little blender and soon find out you’re spending the whole party bartending and really not enjoying yourself.
This is when most folks decide to look into buying a frozen drink machine for their home.
BUT beyond the drink machine, it’s integral you use a GREAT commercial real fruit mix like Fresh Island Premium Drink Mixes which are now available for not only commercial but also home use!
There are so many machines out there with features the home consumer might not understand unless they’re in the food service industry. So, One Fat Frog Restaurant & Commercial Equipment created a short FAQ sheet on frozen drink machines
Can you go over the fancy part names- I don’t understand what folks mean in the auctions.
Sure, Please see our other guide titled: LIST & Explanation: Slush Frozen Drink Machine Parts It’s a beginner’s list to the frozen drink dictionary of terms and parts. If you can’t find the word there drop me a line and I’ll add it.
What’s a shaver/ blender? How does a ice shaver/ blender work?
A shaver/ blender is another type of machine that makes excellent frozen drinks. You may be familiar with the Island Oasis Machine. This is a good example of a shaver/ blender. It has a bin in the back where one dumps in the ice, then the ice is shaved and it comes out into the blender. If you are using an Island Oasis you dispense the drink mix into the blender. Blend and drink. Repeat.
Another example of a shaver/ blender is the Taylor frozen drink machine CA4 that we have. This machine has a bin in the back and it shaves ice into the blender, just like the Island Oasis. However, the big difference is that this is digial and it automatically (or can be set to manual) dispenses four different mixes (or combinations thereof) into the blender. Blend and drink. Repeat.
What’s a slush machine? How does a slush machine work?
A slush machine does not take ice. It has what is called a bowl or bin; some models may have 2, 3 or 4 bowls on the back. You put the drink mix, water, etc. directly into the bowl. The auger then continually moves and chills it (usually taking about 30 min. to an hour for your first batch). Some slush machines do well with alcohol poured directly into the mix and some do not. Check out the machines carefully as alcohol can damage plastic seals. Examples of slush machines you may be familiar with are the Slushee machine at your local 7/11.
What’s the difference between a slush machine and an ice shaver/ blender?
A slush machine does not take ice; an ice shaver/ blender does. The slush machine is constantly working and chilling. One the mix is in and it’s started, customers/ clients/ friends simply need to pull the opening and draw a drink. The ice shaver/ blender makes custom drinks in different quantities. It is great for a bar setting or where you will be making a variety of drinks. It is also great for making smoothies and drinks that may have fruit, texture, etc in the mix.
Do I need special electrical hookups or a water line?
Most machines plug into a regular outlet and do not need a water line. However, these are considerations when buying a unit- just read about the model you’re buying.
Do I need ice?
If you’re buying a slush machine aka granita machine aka margarita machine then you do not need ice. If you are using an ice shaver/ blender then you will need ice.
What sorts of drinks can I make with my machine?
Here’s a short overview: Granita, slush, margarita, daiquiri, rum runner, pina colada, bellini, lemonade, fruit drink, coffee cold drink For a more comprehensive list please click on our guide- List of alcoholic drinks. Be sure to look at the type of machine you have and if manufacturer suggests that you can put alcohol in the bowls or not. Additionally, you should consider if your mix will have chunks, fruit or pieces and then perhaps you are better getting a blender-based machine.
How do I clean this machine?
This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you have an ice bin, you will only need to rinse that out and clean out the mix dispensers. If you have an auger-based machine you may have a bit more cleaning to do at the end of the party.
How do I put the mix in?
Again, this varies based on the type of machine. You may put it directly in the bowl if it has augers, or you may put it in the blender if it is a shaver/ blender. Some Shaver/ Blenders, like the Taylor CA4, come with dispensers that save this step for you.
What does it mean when it says it has a dispenser?
This means that it has a holding tank for mix and will dispense as needed/ directed. Auger machines do not have dispensers.
Can I put alcohol directly in the bowl?
See your manufacturer manual.