Sitting right next to the definition of refreshing is the frozen drink. It is the antidote for the warmer days ahead, an ideal marriage of ice and flavor. Sure, we love a good snow cone and a cup of shave ice, preferably from a roadside stand in Hawaii. But some of the finest frozen drinks are cocktails, from icy Martinis to slushy Piña Coladas. You get the one-two punch of cool texture and a bit of a buzz. And, on particularly warm days, you get to turn down your core temperature a bit.
For the record, you can make just about any drink into a frozen cocktail. You simply need good crushed ice (made at home or procured from a store or even a fast food joint like Sonic) and, often times, a little more sweetness to balance out the added water content. Here are the best frozen drinks to whip up in 2021.
The julep jumps to mind when you think of a good frozen cocktail. And now, it’s a great time to mix one (or a few) up. It’s a cocktail that fares exceptionally with ice cream.
- 2 scoops vanilla or mint chocolate chip ice cream
- .75 oz mint honey syrup
- 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- Q Kola
- dark chocolate for garnish
Method: Scoop ice cream into tall glass. Pour syrup and bourbon over ice cream andg top with Q Kola. Garnish with paper straw, large mint sprig, and grated dark chocolate.
- 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- .5 oz simple syrup
- .5 oz white Crème de Cacao
- .25 oz Crème de Menthe
- mint leaves for garnish
- powdered sugar for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients except Crème de Menthe in cocktail shaker. Shake to chill and pour over crushed ice. Float Crème de Menthe on top of ice and garnish with mint bouquet and powdered sugar.
The Jungle Bird is a beautiful tiki drink evocative of palm fronds and turquoise saltwater. The frozen incarnation of the drink is arguably its best form, setting its many flavors to a backdrop of snowy goodness. This recipe works great if you have an ice cream maker and even if you don’t, use a food processor or a mixer on a lower setting.
- 4.5 oz pineapple juice
- 3.5 oz water
- 2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- 1.5 oz dark rum
- 1 oz Campari
- pineapple leaves and pineapple wedges for garnish
Method: Bring pineapple juice, water, lime juice, and demerara sugar to boil over medium heat in saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves and cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Add pineapple juice mixture, rum, and Campari to ice cream maker. Churn until slushy, 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with pineapple leaves and pineapple wedges.
We love margaritas of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. The frozen riff is a classic within the category, and can be tweaked in any number of ways, whether it’s mezcal in place of tequila or the addition of fruits like mango or grapefruit. Below, you’ll find a few ultra-refreshing options
- 4 cups cubed watermelon, frozen
- 3 z lime juice
- 3 oz tequila
- 1 can Reed’s Zero Sugar Real Ginger Ale
- watermelon slices, for garnish
Method: In a blender, add watermelon, lime juice, tequila and 6 ounces ginger ale (1/2 can). Blend until watermelon is incorporated. Add remaining ginger ale (ice if thicker consistency is preferred) and blend until smooth. Pour and serve.
This tasty take can be blended together with ice for a Slurpee-style beverage or done as is, with the clever and complementary addition of a like-minded popsicle. It’s created by Jose in Dallas.
- 1.5 oz Casa Dragones Blanco
- .75 oz agave nectar
- .75 oz fresh lime juice
- .5 oz fraise des bois
- 4 fresh strawberries
- mint for garnish
- mini popsicle for garnish (frozen cucumber juice, lime juice, and tequila)
- house-made “Miguelito” for rim
Method: Muddle three strawberries with three mint leaves. Add remaining ingredients and shake, strain, and pour on the rocks. Garnish with mint, the remaining strawberry, and the cucumber, lime, and popsicle.
You can turn a Mojito into a frozen delight with relative ease, and to delicious results. This recipe from Bobby Flay is straightforward and highlights the ever-satisfying combo of mint, lime, and rum. It’ll take you poolside, if only mentally
Method: Combine simple syrup, lime juice and mint leaves in a blender and blend until combined. Add the rum and crushed ice and blend until frothy. Pour into 2 rocks glasses and garnish with mint sprigs.
Inspired by the Frosé, or frozen Rosé, this French adaptation utilizes the raspberry notes of Chambord. The cranberry and lemon juice add brightness round out the liqueur nicely. Try playing around with the pink wine you use to see what end of the spectrum you prefer. For something lighter, try a Provence-style Rosé. For more heft, opt for a bigger wine, like one of these.
- 5 oz Rosé (frozen)
- 1.5 oz Chambord
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- .5 oz fresh lemon juice
Method: Add ingredients into a blender with a handful of ice. Mix ingredients until ice is fully incorporated. Pour into a pretty glass, garnish with lemon peel, and serve.
The swizzle is a tropical masterpiece, often hit with a generous amount of ice pellets, making it frigid and ready to best the hottest of days. Swizzling refers to churning the drink with your wand of choice. These three options are a great intro to the style, including the Queens Park Swizzle, a deeper, slightly richer and more nutty version of the tasty Mojito above.
High Sierra Swizzle
- 1.5 oz Source One Vodka
- 1 oz orgeat
- 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz Shelter Distilling Passion Fruit Liqueur (or similar)
- 2 dashes Blackstrap bitters
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Method: Fill a glass with crushed ice and add vodka, lemon, liqueur, and orgeat syrup. Using a swizzle stick or long bar spoon, swizzle drink until the outside of the glass begins to frost. Top with additional crushed ice and finish with bitters. Garnish with fresh mint.
(Created by Phil Ward, Death & Co.)
- 1.5 oz Siembra Azul Blanco Tequila
- .5 oz Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
- .75 oz lime juice
- .5 oz cane sugar syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Method: Dry shake all ingredients, then pour into a pilsner glass filled with crushed ice. Swizzle until cold and garnish with a lime wheel. Serve with a straw.
Queens Park Swizzle
- 2 oz Angostura 7-Year Rum
- 1 oz demerara syrup
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 12 mint leaves
- 8 dashes Angostura Bitters
Method: Build in a highball glass. Muddle mint leaves in lime juice and simple syrup then fill glass with crushed ice. Pour in rum and swizzle well until glass if frosted. Pack with more crushed ice and top with bitters.
(Created by Polite Provisions)
- 1 oz Appleton Signature Blend Jamaican Rum
- 1 oz Plantation Barbados 5yr Rum
- 1 oz Hamilton 151 False Idol Blend Rum
- .75 oz Velvet Falernum
- .5 oz Grenadine
- .5 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- .25 oz absinthe
- 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Method: Combine ingredients in shaker tin. Fill shaker 1/4 full with crushed or cracked ice as well as a couple larger cubes. Shake, and empty contents into tall glass (tiki if you have it). Add crushed ice to the top, garnish with mint sprigs and swizzle stick.
This drink combines tequila with Jarritos, the tasty sodas from Mexico. It’s super tropical and the candied nature of the guava drink is ideally offset by the tequila and lime juice. We suggest throwing in as much crushed ice as your vessel can handle.
- 2 oz 1800 Silver Tequila
- 4 oz Jarritos Guava
- 1 oz coconut cream
- .75 oz. fresh lime juice
Method: Shake tequila, coconut cream and fresh lime juice in a shaker with ice and strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Top with Jarritos and garnish with a lime wheel.
- 1 oz Aylesbury Duck Vodka
- 1.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 1 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
- 3 scoops vanilla or coffee ice cream
Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a Collins glass and serve with a straw and spoon. Garnish with grated dark chocolate.
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