Step aside, pitcher of Frozen Margaritas. Tequila is great, but sometimes you want a cleaner, meaner method of delivery for refreshment poured into your acrylic stemware. These vodka-based slushies provide that day-drinking buzz while giving other ingredients their time in the sun. If you’re baller enough to have a frozen drink machine installed in your backyard’s wet bar, you’re lucky enough indeed. Otherwise, fire up the blender for these oh-so-cool concoctions.
Montego Mule (DNV Rooftop Lounge, The Kimpton Donovan, Washington, D.C.)
DNV lead bartender Justin Golash’s homage to drinking on the beach in Jamaica uses a recipe for ginger beer that was his introduction into craft bartending. “It’s a great summer slushie because the heat from the ginger and ancho powder contrasts against the bright acidity of the lime juice, giving a very refreshing flavor,” he says. “Plus, it’s based on the Moscow Mule, which is a summertime classic.” To prevent waste, Golash freezes leftover lime juice after service to use for the drinks.
Sgroppino (Feroce, Moxy Chelsea, New York City)
Feroce beverage director Pietro Caldarelli mixes this cocktail tableside and says making it is just about as fun as drinking one. “The cliffs of Amalfi and village[s] on water cities of Italy are about as picturesque as summer can get,” he says. “This regional Italian frozen cocktail derived from Venice is the ultimate summer refresher.”
Triple Berry Chamomile Frosé (A.R.T. SoHo, Arlo SoHo, New York City)
“Frosé has been done over and over, so the true inspiration was finding a way to incorporate new flavors and offer our guests a new experience,” says Gary Wallach, the director of food and beverage at A.R.T. SoHo. “The berries pull out all the fruit notes in the rosé, making it a well-rounded cocktail.” The Kelvin mix is made with organic peach and strawberry juice and no artificial colors or corn syrup.