Ah, blender drinks. Is there anything more enticing this time of year than an icy cold, slushy beverage in your hand? A blended cocktail is, in theory, the perfect summer drink; a getaway in a glass.
BUT… let’s be honest. Blender drinks don’t always have the best reputation, and in general, they kind of deserve their bad rap. How many times have you ordered a blended daiquiri — or margarita, or pina colada — on vacation with high hopes for a balanced beach drink, but ended up with a hardly drinkable sugar bomb instead? Or worse: a bland, flavorless, watery mess?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Blender drinks aren’t set up for success. Incorporating a large volume of water into your drink — in the form of ice, obvi — adds way more dilution than you’d get in a normal cocktail. Temperature also skews our ability to perceive flavors (we taste sweetness better at warmer temps), and blender drinks are much colder than your average serving temp. So, most people fall into the trap of adding more and more sugar to overcompensate for the lack of flavor. Hence: sugar bomb.
Does that mean we should just give up blender drinks forever? Or resign ourselves to a too-sweet or too-bland fate? Of course not! Dave Arnold, the cocktail guru behind Liquid Intelligence (which you should totally read), came up with a solution for mixing up a perfectly balanced blender drink every single time, using one surprising tool that everyone should really own: the kitchen scale.
Using a kitchen scale to accurately measure exact amounts of sugar and ice allows you to churn out perfect daiquiris at practically the speed of light, never ending up with a batch that’s too sweet or too watery. The other innovation here is adding sugar directly to the booze ahead of time instead of using syrups, which would add too much extra water content to the equation.
I love my bamboo scale from AWS — it’s pretty enough to live on my counter, and I use it at least once a day. I make my cocktail syrups by weight, not volume, and honestly once you start measuring ingredients by weight when you cook or bake, you will NEVER look back. Perfect, repeatable results every dang time.
So now that you can mix up blender drinks without fear, you’re gonna need the right blender. Aforementioned cocktail genius Dave Arnold recommends the Vitamix above all others, and that’s enough for me. But honestly, the newest model is — aside from being one stunning piece of machinery — so user friendly and technologically savvy I’m STILL geeking out over all the things I can do with it.
For this recipe, I’ve added a hint of watermelon juice to the classic daiquiri lime + sugar + rum combo for a seasonal touch. I’m always shocked at how just a little bit of watermelon juice can change a drink so drastically. It packs a lot of summer flavor in a pretty pink package. If you don’t have a juicer, just blend up some watermelon flesh and strain it through a fine mesh strainer to get the juice.
Bonus of blender drinks: easy to make a bunch at a time, and your friends are definitely going to want some. I dare you to not make these on repeat once you try your first sip.
You can garnish with fresh mint, tarragon, citrus wheels or edible flowers — everything looks good with pink!
- 1 cups Sugared white rum
- 1 oz Fresh watermelon juice
- 2 floz Fresh squeezed/strained lime juice
- 480 g (by weight) ice
- 4 Generous pinches salt
- For the sugared rum, combine one 750ml bottle of white rum (preferably Flor de Cana) with 160 grams (by weight) of sugar in your blender. Blend on high until the sugar fully dissolves. Store in a closed container in the fridge.
- For the cocktail, add the liquid then solid ingredients to the blender (rum/juices/salt first, ice last).
- Blend on high until fully blended.
- Pour and enjoy!