Remember those things you weren’t allowed to do as a child? Well, if you want dessert before dinner, no one can stop you now. You can take ice cream from strangers. Being an adult lets you do things only grown-ups can do, with a whole childhood’s worth of inspiration to give you ideas. Take the cocktail. It’s the defining beverage for being an adult, and when it’s hot out, you can combine it with the defining beverage of your childhood summers, the 7-Eleven Slurpee, and nobody will tell you no.
If you chill the liquors before using them, your slushies will stay frozen longer. But if you don’t have the time, just be sure to drink them before they melt.
In the spirit of those long-ago summers, and your all-grown-up love of a tall one, we give you nine slushy cocktails that should get you through the last days of summer. Make sure the ice-maker’s switched on, pull out the blender, and brace for the ultimate brain freeze. Most of these recipes call for simple syrup.
1. Slushy Cheehu Cocktail
Here’s a tropical drink with less-common fruits (lychee and guava), plus maraschino liqueur, which is nothing like those neon-red cherries in jars. It’s got an adult flavor: bitter. Get our Slushy Cheehu Cocktail recipe.
2. Slushy Blended Margarita
Most people like their margaritas one of two ways: on ice or blended. This is a top-shelf way to make the second version, using 100-percent agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau. Get our Slushy Blended Margarita recipe.
3. Slushy Dark & Stormy
Grab a few ginger beers that are reasonably sweet, such as Reed’s Premium Ginger Brew or Bruce Cost Ginger Ale. But please don’t pour it into the drink until after you blend the rest of the ingredients — unless you want to create a more realistic storm in your kitchen! Get our Slushy Dark & Stormy recipe.
4. Slushy Mojito
Mojitos are like all that’s awesome about Miami in one cup. Blending it with ice just means you raised the bar at this South Beach party. Buy the freshest mint you can find. Get our Slushy Mojito recipe.
5. Slushy Strawberry Vodka Lemonade Cocktail
Make a lemonade even better with, no, not iced tea (that would be an Arnold Palmer), but with fresh strawberries and vodka. Get our Slushy Strawberry Vodka Lemonade recipe.
6. Slushy Cherry Old Fashioned
While cherries are still in season, grab a pint and make this frothy, fruity concoction that’s got adulting in it too with rye whiskey. And yes, you can put a cherry on top. Get our Slushy Cherry Old Fashioned recipe.
7. Slushy Negroni
Now here’s a frozen cocktail that’s not very sweet, but you’ll still want to play with it. It still sings of summer, so go all in and buy a bottle of Campari for it. Get our Slushy Negroni recipe.
8. Frozen Strawberry Margarita
This is such a classic for those who want to celebrate with a sweeter version of the classic, like a strawberry daiquiri except with tequila and lime instead of rum and lemon. Get our Frozen Strawberry Margarita recipe.
9. Slushy Pimm’s Cup
Pimm’s keeps it easy: In a blender, combine 1 1/2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1, 1 ounce gin, and 2 cups ice cubes. Blend on high 15 to 20 seconds. Pour it into a tall glass and garnish with a strawberry. Serves 1.
— Photographs by Chris Rochelle of Chowhound. Head photo is our Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri.