What’s better than an icy, slushy, frozen drink to cool you down this summer? How about a frozen cocktail for a little ice and fire? Any one of these is the perfect thing to make for a relaxing Labor Day weekend.
You might prioritize different things during hot weather sipping sessions: low alcohol if you want to drink all day, low carbs if you’re anxious about bathing suits, staying on theme with seasonal fruit drinks…but when the temperatures soar, refreshment is the name of the game, and these slushy frozen cocktails have you covered.
They’ll probably give you a little nostalgia buzz, too, if you were one of the many kids for whom the defining beverage of your childhood summers was the 7-Eleven Slurpee. A mixed drink is the defining beverage for being an adult, and when it’s hot out, you can combine the two.
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So in the spirit of those long-ago summers, and your all-grown-up love of a boozy drink, we give you 11 slushy cocktails that should get you through the rest 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, so make a quick batch of that before you begin, and keep a stash in your fridge for the next month or two.
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Smoothies are great and all, but slushy cocktails are our summer crush.
Pro-tip: 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.
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.
Most people like their margaritas one of two ways: on ice or blended. This is a top-shelf way to make a frozen margarita, using 100-percent agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau. Get our Slushy Blended Margarita recipe.
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.
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.
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You'll want wide straws for your frozen drinks, but invest in some reusable options for enhanced eco-friendliness (and style, to be honest).
Related Reading: The Best Reusable Straws for Every Drink
When cherries are 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.
Now here’s a frozen cocktail that’s not very sweet, but you’ll still want to play with it. It sings of a sophisticated summer, so go all in and buy a bottle of Campari for it. Get our Slushy Negroni recipe.
This is such a classic for those who want to celebrate with a sweeter version of the summer stalwart frozen marg—like a strawberry daiquiri except with tequila and lime instead of rum and lemon. Get our Frozen Strawberry Margarita recipe.
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.
Starting with frozen pineapple means your drink won’t get watered down by too much ice—and the fruity, tropical flavor will be even better. The dark rum floats on top for a boozy kick, but this is still a refreshing summer sipper. Get our Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri recipe.
11. Slushy Sangria or Frosé
If you prefer to stick with wine in the summer months and the sticks put you off of wine popsicles, slushy frozen sangria is the way to go. Or try the Shantay, You Frosé recipe from Chowhound Editor-at-Large Joey Skladany’s new “Basic Bitchen” cookbook!
Related Reading: Slushy Beer Cocktails Are Another Cool Way to Chill Out This Summer