The Bottom Line
- Makes consistent frozen drinks on an automatic cycle.
- Make 1-3 drinks without measuring ice for each, just fill the ice well and let it shave away.
- Battery life is consistent with manufacturer's claims - about 60 drinks.
- Powerful blender mixes liquid, fresh, and frozen ingredients perfectly.
- Makes a great gift.
- Many removable parts that could be lost or damaged.
- Larger design than I expected for a portable.
- Buying the hard case is optional necessary for ultimate portability.
- Each piece needs to be locked into place to be able to operate.
- Ensure that the pitcher bottom is secured before pouring liquids in it.
- Margaritaville® Explorer Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker - Model NBMGDM0900
- Battery operated, pre-programed frozen drink maker that will make 60 drinks on one charge.
- Part of the Margaritaville line of products produced by Sunbeam Products, Inc.
- Retails for around $300
Guide Review - Margaritaville Explorer Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker
It took more time than I would have liked for my willing testing group of avid Strawberry Daiquiri drinkers to figure out how to make our first round of drinks. The instruction manual is not entirely clear and had no trouble shooting guide. Our first mistake was that the pitcher has a screw device underneath which loosens the base so water can easily flow out the bottom while cleaning. You need to ensure this is tightened before pouring your lime juice or, worse yet, your spendy liquor. Once everything was in place (or so we thought) the machine would not start. After a little inspection this was because the pitcher and the ice tray were not fully locked into place, though they seemed to be. It's a safety mechanism, so it seems, but a frustrating one that takes a getting used to.
Once we got the hang of it the Margaritas started flowing - okay, slurping out - and they were quite good. The three drink limit of 36 ounces is a little frustrating for people used to filling an entire blender and serving 5-7 people at once. An attempt to add more ice and liquid to increase volume is in vain because the ice is shot onto the top of the blended drink and the blades could not mix it properly, even with the manual blend button. However, for a small party the Explorer would quench their thirst in a single pitcher.
The battery life seemed to hold out just as promised on a full charge. This is a bonus for those seeking a reliable portable "blender" because keeping a charge is one of the major complaints about battery-powered machines.
The Explorer does a great job at fully mixing the ingredients in one shot and at around 2 minutes for the whole process this makes it a powerful blender. I did notice that the recipe guide included mentioned nothing about fresh or frozen fruit. We put that to the test with frozen strawberries and they blended up perfectly.
Overall, the consensus of the day was that it's a nice looking frozen drink maker. Though it has a few too many parts and is a little too large for complete portability it would be nice for a deck party if you want to avoid power cords and for tailgating or camping. A hard case can be purchased separately to hold everything and I feel it is a necessary add-on. Clean up is a breeze, the drinks are mixed perfectly and consistently (though thick), and it beats out many of the other portable blenders I've tried.