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I'm finally purchasing a top down blender and wanted some advise. I can buy a new Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster Chrome Classic Mixer at BB&B by my house for $45.00:

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/hamilton-beach-reg-drinkmaster-reg-chrome-classic-mixer/1011309828?Keyword=HAMILTON+BEACH

The only issue that I have is that the agitator on the new units is made from plastic where the vintage ones had a harder metal agitator which seems more durable:

Has anyone had any issues with these plastic agitators? Are they durable?? There are many of the vintage models on Ebay for less money, but you never know what kind of condition you are actually going to end up with from Ebay.

Mahalo and thanks for the help!

Craig

[ Edited by: CincyTikiCraig 2014-05-03 15:17 ]

Ive had a Hamilton beach w the plastic part for a couple years; never had an issue. But I typically wash that part by hand after each use, I don't think it's ever seen the dishwasher.

By the way, once you go with a top down, you never go back! They really make a huge difference imho

[ Edited by: happy buddha 2014-05-02 14:32 ]

M

I have an HB top down mixer with the plastic agitator... I've had it for a year now and have probably made about 100 drinks with it, and then some milkshakes. I don't see any wear on the tip whatsoever, and I can't imagine that you'd wear itout any time soon in a home setting.

A

I hope CincyTikiCraig doesn't mind me butting in here :wink:

I have been thinking about getting a top down mixer for a while now. The only make I have heard of is the Hamilton Beach Blender which is £80 / $135. It gets 3 1/2 stars avergae review on Amazon.

Although my main blender was a pricey one, faced by that level of expenditure I am a little put off!

Does any one have any experience of other blenders?

A

Ps.

Ok, I just looked, Hamilton Beach have a lot of blenders ~ the one I was refering to is:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00004X134/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=WWMFSVJ875Z&coliid=I1IU15ZXDONN8O

That's what I think of as a 'top down' blender?

So... what kind of drinks would be better served by a mixmaster (the top-down style) blender vs a traditional one?

All of them. Except ones that need fruit crushed up, or are meant to be 'slushy', like the Coconaut.

a traditional blender has blades which crush the ice and make your drink into a slushie, whereas a top-down mixer agitates and mixes the drink without pulverizing the ice. It's the type of mixer that's called for in Tiki Mixology. A traditional blender is better for things like crushing pineapple for a Boo Loo or a pina colada, a top-down mixer won't crush fruit.

Sorry Happy Buddha we must have been typing our responses at the same time.

P

Well crud, in the Beach Bum Berry app I saw the icon of a traditional blender and took it literally.

Fortunately since mine only cost $14, as soon as it breaks next week or so I can invest in something better.

For some reason I thought the point of a blender was to crush the ice as much as possible.

The learning curve continues!

G
GROG posted on Fri, May 2, 2014 4:37 PM

You meant ADVICE rather than ADVISE in the title and in your first sentence. You needed to use the noun rather than the verb in the way you were using the word.

------The Spelling Police :D

So... now I'm confused. You're looking for a device to mix drinks but doesn't crush ice or breaks up fruit?

Why wouldn't a standard shaker be able to do that?

On 2014-05-02 16:37, GROG wrote:
You meant ADVICE rather than ADVISE in the title and in your first sentence. You needed to use the noun rather than the verb in the way you were using the word.

------The Spelling Police :D

Fixed it, thanks Officer Grog!

On 2014-05-02 16:37, GROG wrote:
You meant ADVICE rather than ADVISE in the title and in your first sentence. You needed to use the noun rather than the verb in the way you were using the word.

------The Spelling Police :D

Fixed it, thanks Officer Grog!

G
GROG posted on Sat, May 3, 2014 5:14 PM

GROG happy to be of assistance. :D

On 2014-05-02 16:48, wizzard419 wrote:
So... now I'm confused. You're looking for a device to mix drinks but doesn't crush ice or breaks up fruit?

Why wouldn't a standard shaker be able to do that?

Here's what a top-down mixer does that shaking or a standard blade blender can't. The Black Magic in the first picture is how my Black Magic turned out by shaking. The second picture is how it looked when blended with crushed ice in my new Hamilton Beach mixer:

Nice Craig! Play around w/ the way you blend; ie 4 short pulses on low vs 5 sec on high etc to get that 'perfect' froth, where not too much of the rum is mixed into the froth.

I find a few short bursts on high, left to settle completely between bursts, works nearly every time. But it depends on the drink..

If you're trying to get froth, I can assure you a shaker can do a froth like in the second drink you might just not have enough head room in your shaker to allow for froth. It's not like the Ramos Gin Fizz and other cocktails use a shake machine.

On 2014-05-03 23:52, wizzard419 wrote:
If you're trying to get froth, I can assure you a shaker can do a froth like in the second drink you might just not have enough head room in your shaker to allow for froth. It's not like the Ramos Gin Fizz and other cocktails use a shake machine.

The Ramos Gin Fizz etc use egg whites to get a frothy head.

They are extreme foam, other cocktails do not use albumen to get the froth. If you don't have enough space in your shaker (such as it being too full) for the air to incorporate, or using enough ice, it won't froth nearly as well.

I use my top down mixer for larger communal drinks like the Rum Keg, Scorpion Bowl or Tiki Bowl or for strong smaller drinks served in larger than double Old Fashioned vessels, like the Tiki Puka Puka which has the equivalent of 4 ounces of 80 proof and can take the additional chilling/dilution of a long mixing cycle.

KD

Question - will the top down mixer help crush ice, or is it a given that one must always crush ice before mixing? My current "regular" blender does too thorough of a job crushing ice, so I have to limit use to just a few pulses.

M

On 2014-05-05 07:51, Kill Devil wrote:
Question - will the top down mixer help crush ice, or is it a given that one must always crush ice before mixing? My current "regular" blender does too thorough of a job crushing ice, so I have to limit use to just a few pulses.

It will not help crush your ice, it simply isn't designed to do that.

@Adam: I have that exact top down mixer, I'm very happy with it. I did buy it on the Bay for around $45, though.

KD

Thanks! Now that we're on the topic, I recall pretty much every drink I've ordered at Tiki Ti going under a top down mixer, thinking of Tiki joints where the drink making process was visible (vs Mai Kai, etc)

A

Inspired by this post & others like it, I picked up a spindle drinks mixer.

My main blender for blending (eg chopping fruit & ice) is a Kenwood kMix BLX54 - when I first got it, it was a step up from the supermarket own brand blender I had - drinks were just that much easier to make.

I picked up a Hamilton Beach 729 spindle mixer (I got that one mainly because it was the same colour!)

Here's a pic of the two side by side:

For stronger drinks (Zombies etc), the spindle mixer definitely dilutes them easily without the problems of clogging the blenders blades with ice - it's not hard to get good dilution. To quote Swanky (I think - from another thread I can't seem to find):

'You can't go wrong!'

One point to mention, it does something to fresh squeezed orange juice & pineapple juice - it make homogenises them (I think that's the right word - it some how makes it thicker & slightly sweeter). You may want to reduce the amount of them if using a spindle mixer.

Here's a pic of the Atomic Grog's Mai Kai SOS with fresh squeezed orange juice, to my mind it exhibits characteristics (texture & flavour) of regular orange juice:

The difference between using the 2 bits of kit is subtle but overall, for a drink you want to 'mix' (i.e. not chop fruit or ice) it's a good addition to my bar - it's like the conventional blender but when you've done it right. The conventional blender remains on hand for blended drinks.

I'm pleased with the spindle mixer & would recommend one :)

I've got the same top down spindle mixer but in white. Works like a champ. Just made a Rum Barrel in it. Got the perfect mix and froth.

N
NuiNui posted on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 6:01 PM

Is a 600ml / 21oz mixing cup going to be big enough? (Single drinks)

A

@NuiNui - the one I have is 600ml - perfect for making a drink up to about 380ml (a regular hiball).

For a bigger drink I use the conventional blender & take care with the consistency :)

S
Swanky posted on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 6:23 AM

I use my mixer almost exclusively now, as opposed to a blender. It aerates the drink and is closer to shaking. Flash cools it.

I use my blender for Margaritas and now I only use my older model with lots of settings. The simple Hi Lo blender is a pain because they spin too fast and you get an air pocket and so they do nothing. On a lower speed they grind up the ice and don't get the air pocket.

I also use my blender to crush ice while our fridge it out of commission.

J

Just a quick suggestion for those who won't/can't have two separate machines in their bar. I have found the "milkshake blade"
(http://www.amazon.com/Oster-006670-000-000-Milkshake-Blade/dp/B00014WEKY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434480022&sr=8-1&keywords=oster+milkshake+blade)

for the Osterizer does a comparable job to a top down mixer, especially when paired with the stainless steel jar

(http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-steel-blender-Oster-Osterizer/dp/B0000ULKMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1434479912&sr=8-2&keywords=oster+steel+jar).

The hard part is the timing and number of pulses won't be quiiiiiiite the same as with a top-down mixer.

Hope this helps someone.


-J.

[ Edited by: jokeiii 2015-06-16 12:16 ]

I noticed these top down mixers at Target today. I have a vintage Hamilton Beach that works wonders but if you can't find one second hand this seems a decent enough price.

Good find at Target, Mike. That's certainly a nice entry-level mixer which probably does the job.

Home Depot sells a very good Waring top-down blender online, with free shipping to the store. I've bought and have been using it with great success. I can't remember what I paid, I think $60-$80, maybe $100. Works great and it's definitely not light-duty. But its also not $400 like the badass restaurant grade mixers.

Just looked it up. Oops, it's more than $100... Works GREAT though, and comes in at least four different color schemes.

L

I picked up a Hamilton Drink Mixer as well. I'll never use fresh pineapple, or coconut cream, or frozen margaritas.

We're using my Oster blender today with the Oster base being used on a number of Mason jars.

While this thread has recently zeroed in more on top-down blenders, I wanted to share this photo. Mason jars offer some added convenience in some situations. If you want to batch-and-blend individual or a variety of different drinks, you can build drinks to your heart's content in almost any size Mason jar except for the teensiest size. All you need is one Oster base. They all mate with the threads on all Mason jars. So the process can be whatever you need for the moment... Blend - pour - rinse - move to the next jar. Blend - pour - rinse - move to the next jar. It's even faster if you have more than one blender base available.

Oster blenders really rock!

Don't worry, that "sludge" is not for a cocktail but for the very first step in making a particular type of very tasty smoothie.

A new test this morning revealed that "Classico" brand sauce jars are still thread-compatible with Oster blender bases.

A new base with a blade and gasket currently costs between $5 and $10 depending on which store or web site you're looking at.

Here are a couple of other blender tips:

-- Sometimes I run out of simple syrup and simply use a jar to make more on-the-spot.

-- All manufacturer-supplied blender gaskets shrink and lose their flexibility over time, so I've been buying 5-packs of SILICONE gaskets online. Now I use only silicone gaskets with my blenders. They are inexpensive and superior to the factory gaskets.

MORE INFO (and two photos) on using Mason jars with Oster blender bases:

-- There are at least three sizes of Mason jar mouths - Regular, Wide Mouth, and what I call small mouth. The "regular" mouth is the one which works with Oster blender bases. This jar is used for the 24-oz size of Classico sauces, not the 16-oz size jars.

Out shopping for jars? Bring your ruler and carefully look for these measurements:

Regular mouth (yes Oster!) jars:
Jar opening (outside diameter) is 2-5/8 inches.
Jar opening (inside diameter) opening is 2-3/8 inches.
Metal lid diameter is 2-3/4 inches and is shown in the 2nd photo below.

Small mall mouth (non-Oster!) jars:
Jar opening (outside diameter) is 2-3/8 inches.
Jar opening (inside diameter) is 2-1/8 inches.

These photos may be helpful:

Now go make a cocktail! :)

[Edited to add more photos and the measurements.]

[ Edited by: AceExplorer 2020-01-23 07:09 ]

On 2020-01-20 08:18, AceExplorer wrote:

Here are a couple of other blender tips:

-- Sometimes I run out of simple syrup and simply use a jar to make more on-the-spot.

Ooh, you're using your blender to essentially do the cold shake method? That is SUCH a great, simple (no pun intended) idea for when you need some ASAP but don't have cooling time. I would think that would also be really effective with the ridiculously hard and dense Demerara cubes that I get from the European deli the missus works at. Why didn't I ever think of that?!?

I need to make syrup and grenadine tonight anyway - I think I will give this a go.

Yes, cold-blending simple syrup is a quick and easy method. How did it work for you?

On 2020-01-19 09:45, AceExplorer wrote:

Wow Ace, great idea! Got really excited for a minute. I have a bajillion Mason jars and often times when I go over to friends places I'll mix up a batch or two of cocktails to bring over in the jars. Or for Christmas I'll batch a bunch of coquito for our party and just shake them like crazy before serving. Thought this blender action would be a game changer for me, but sadly it's not to be. The base for my blender doesn't match the mouth of the Mason jars.

Mike, I think only the Oster blenders have that interchangeability. It’s kinda cool - it does open up some interesting possibilities. Their design has been around for what may be 50+ years. Good stuff!

J

On 2020-01-23 21:12, AceExplorer wrote:
Mike, I think only the Oster blenders have that interchangeability. It’s kinda cool - it does open up some interesting possibilities. Their design has been around for what may be 50+ years. Good stuff!

As discussed in a previous thread, the inclusion of the "milkshake" blade to the Oster setup makes it the decathlete in a bar where footprint space is at a premium. Personally, I believe the metal-jar-and-milkshake-blade Oster rig to be vastly superior to the usual top down mixers.

Just bought a Hamilton Beach No 18 spindle mixer from Goodwill for $21.00. It works and I had to buy a mixing cup for $9.00.
Could not believe my luck, I've wanted one for awhile but just could not justify buying one.

On 2020-01-26 18:36, coralreef wrote:
Just bought a Hamilton Beach No 18 spindle mixer from Goodwill for $21.00. It works and I had to buy a mixing cup for $9.00.
Could not believe my luck, I've wanted one for awhile but just could not justify buying one.

Wow, great buy! An absolutely beautiful vintage mixer!

On 2014-05-03 17:14, GROG wrote:
GROG happy to be of assistance. :D

You sure put the ASS in Assistance :wink: jokes I love a good spell-pun :P

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