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This frozen strawberry rhubarb cocktail is the perfect summer drink

Ash Haussermann, Beverage Director at Boulton & Watt, shares their hit summer cocktail with The Manual.

Boulton & Watt
Boulton & Watt storefront. boultonandwatt/Instagram

With the heat of summer in full force, refreshing frozen drinks are one of the best summer cocktails to enjoy. For Ash Haussermann, Beverage Director at Boulton & Watt, “making frozen cocktails at home is much easier than people anticipate.”

For summer drinks, Haussermann has two seasonal frozen cocktails on the Boulton & Watt menu: Cookout Star and Nice Manners. Refreshing and sweet, these drinks have been a hit, especially Nice Manners, a sophisticated rhubarb cocktail that’s sweet with strawberries and honey and complex with Bleu de Mer Rose.

“I was actually a bit surprised by how popular it became in the bar, and its popularity maintained even during the hottest or rainiest weather,” Haussermann said. “Seems like Nice Manners will be a popular repeat slushy for us at Boulton & Watt for some time (at least summertime).”

The best part? These frozen summer cocktails are straightforward to make at home. All you really need is a sturdy blender, ice, seasonal fruit, and plenty of fresh inspiration.

Cookout Star cocktail.
The Cookout Star cocktail at Boulton & Watt. Hunter Lu/The Manual

How to make the best frozen cocktails

Any number of classic cocktails can inspire some of the best-frozen drinks, but there’s also plenty of room for innovation. For Haussermann, the key to the best drink recipes for summer is utilizing the freshest ingredients of the season, such as rhubarb, strawberries, and melons.

“Before I craft a menu, I actually make a list of all the flavors I’d like to see incorporated in one way or another at the beginning of the season,” said Haussermann. “These insights are mostly personal, but I do draw inspiration from the city through requests I hear in the bar as well as things I see happening throughout the city. I’m constantly inspired by the amazing community around me in other bars, farmers’ markets, parties, and festivals.”

A good frozen cocktail requires the best blender and ice — think slushy. For ice, the best ice is pebble ice, which will give your drink a better texture. But for Haussermann, a great piece of expert advice is balancing the ice ratio with sweetness.

“Never be afraid of making your cocktail a little richer (see: sweet) because the dilution of the ice/water will do a lot of the balancing work for you,” Haussermann said. “Should you (for some reason) have a slushy machine at home, I recommend doing your research on the best dilution ratios (I try for 25% – 30%) and pick up a refractometer (just a fancy kaleidoscope) to get your slushy solution to the proper Brix measurement (I recommend 17% to 20%). Water and sugar are your friends when it comes to a slushy machine. And keep your fingers crossed; a lot of bartending is just trial and error.”

Nice Manners cocktail
Nice Manners. Hunter Lu/The Manual

Nice Manners

“I wanted to deliver a refreshing but full-bodied “f-rosé” for the summer playing on my favorite flavors: fresh strawberry & rhubarb,” said Haussermann. “While a classic frozé is crisp & delicious, I felt that the cocktail could use a little more depth and body. By creating more of a rosé sour (lemon, honey, vanilla) and adding body with a rhubarb liqueur and fresh strawberry puree, Nice Manners becomes more of a frozen cocktail than a frozen wine.”

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces Bleu de Mer Rose
  • 3/4 ounce Giffard Rhubarb Liqueur
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla bean syrup
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • 2-3 ripe strawberries
  • 2 ounces water
  • 6-8 ounces pebble ice (or freezer ice)

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with fresh rhubarb slices & mint (or just a strawberry, since you’re likely looking at a pack of them as we speak).
  3. Then put on your best sunglasses, crank up your latest favorite jam, and enjoy the sunshine.

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Hunter Lu
Hunter Lu is a New York-based food and features writer, editor, and NYU graduate. His fiction has appeared in The Line…
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