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Entertaining
Frozen Versions of Your Favorite Classic Cocktails

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Summer cocktails can never be too cold—especially if you’re sipping al fresco. Drinks served up or on the rocks rarely stay chilled enough, even if you drink quickly, but there is one way to avoid warm and watery drinks: Blend them into submission. No matter how hot and sticky it is outside, the weather is no match for an expertly blended cocktail.
 
We’re not talking about your average, sticky-sweet frozen Daiquiri or Margarita. There’s a new class of boozy blended drinks that deserve your attention—and they’re oddly familiar.
 
“I love frozen drinks and they tend to be the forgotten child in the cocktail renaissance,” says Jerry Nevins, cofounder of Kansas City’s Snow & Co, where slushy-fied classic cocktails take center stage. “If you say ‘frozen drinks’ you can immediately see people turn up their noses and roll their eyes at the thought of drinking one.”
 
In his new book Sloshies, published in June 2017, Nevins takes on the task of sharing what he’s learned at Snow & Co so anyone can make respectable frozen drinks at home. “We wanted to elevate frozen cocktails from the world of cheap booze you get on Bourbon Street to a respectable choice of drink style where the classics—and some new additions—could be reworked in frozen form.”
 
Luckily, Nevins isn’t the only one who sees the benefits of thoughtfully blended booze. Bartenders across the U.S. have also gotten in on the trend. Here, four recipes that will help you turn your favorite classics into slushy masterpieces. Bring on the brain freeze.

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

The Painkiller is a staple across the Virgin Islands for a reason: The medley of coconut, pineapple and orange juices and rum is the perfect companion to an endless summer. The only way to make the tropical concoction even more suited to warm weather relaxation is to throw it in a blender—so that’s exactly what Kevin Beary and Julian Cox of Chicago’s Three Dots and a Dash did, with a couple of adjustments and additions, namely the fragrant and savory pandan leaf.

 

“The Pandan Painkiller works well as a frozen cocktail due to a favorable proportion of rum to juice and syrup,” says Beary, Beverage Director of Three Dots and a Dash, who uses a hefty blend of golden and black rums as the base of the drink. “The cocktail has strong notes of pandan and coconut, and the bold blend of rums hold up well to the dilution of the crushed ice when blending.” This complex variation—which also includes tangerine juice in place of OJ—might be a little stronger than your average Painkiller, but it will put you on the path to blissful summer drinking in no time.

The Essentials

rum
coconut cream
fresh pineapple juice
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Typically served in a glass chock full of crushed or shaved ice, the Mint Julep isn’t too far a cry from slushy goodness as it is. But when sipped outside, the melting ice can quickly water the drink down, leaving you with a semi-sweet puddle of whiskey. Take a tip from the genius bartenders at Home Team in Charleston, SC, and blend it for a longer lasting chill. To make their version of the Julep even more bracingly refreshing, Home Team’s team adds a hint of Giffard Menthe-Pastille liqueur, which is infused with the biting flavor of peppermint, along with mint syrup to round out the sweetness, creating the ideal antidote to the blazing sun. We recommend making a double—or triple—batch so you don’t run out too quickly.

The Essentials

bourbon
mint syrup
ice
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The Mojito is one of our favorite summertime sippers—no matter how much bartenders may hate making it. And when the temperature starts to rise, we can be found nursing a few rounds of this frozen version from nautical, tiki-themed New York bar The Rusty Knot. Not only is it the perfect amount of refreshing, but it somehow manages to improve upon the classic version. The secret? According to general manager Victor Everitt, the bar likes to give the drink a little extra zing by adding a few dashes of Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters to its sour mix.

The Essentials

gold rum
Sour Mix
mint
Matthew Kelly/Supercall
Though a frozen Bloody Mary might sound all wrong, this recipe proves that it’s oh, so right. “The spiciness of the jalapeño-infused Tito's vodka playing with the savory tomato juice makes for a unique Bloody Mary experience—especially as the drink warms up on your palate and you get different flavors that come to life,” says Nevins. Instead of just chucking everything into a blender with ice, Nevins adds a small amount of water and a hefty pour of whole milk to the mix before letting the freezer do all the work. The result is spicy, creamy, citrusy and delicious. “Our favorite thing is watching someone taste a drink they think they'll hate, then watching a smile spread across their face as they realize it may be one of their new favorites,” says Nevins.

The Essentials

Tomato Juice
Jalapeño-Infused Vodka
Milk
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Just when you thought the Caipirinha couldn’t get any more refreshing, we took the whole thing and dumped it into a blender with ice to create the ultimate summer sipper: the Frozen Caipirinha. This crowd-pleasing cocktail is easy to batch for a crowd, and it doesn’t require any fancy syrups or expensive ingredients to get it right. If you choose a quality cachaça (we love Leblon and Avua Prata) and use fresh lime juice, the Frozen Caipirinha tastes like summer in a glass. We suggest sipping it poolside, serving it at your next backyard barbecue or simply whipping up a glassful at the end of a long, hot day.

The Essentials

Cachaça
Lime juice
sugar

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