Iced tea? Lemonade? Cucumber water? Puh-lease. These refreshing drinks have nothing on a boozy summertime slushie. While turning your favorite classic cocktails into frozen treats may seem like a bar-exclusive luxury, John Roberts, bartender and owner of The Bushwick Country Club and The Starlight, shows us how simple it is to make these hot weather cocktails within the comforts of your own home. All you really need is some ice…and lots of it.
A few important Roberts-approved tips and tricks before you get started:
- A slushie machine is an amazing investment, but not necessary. The constant rotation obviously helps to keep the drink’s temperature and consistency stable, but you can create quick, on-the-go alternatives with a basic blender.
- Use inverted sugar. The sweet ingredient works as an antifreeze to maintain an ideal viscosity. This helps to achieve the desirable “fluffy crystals” in a slushie, as opposed to larger ice chunks.
- Opt for alcohols with higher proofs (as if this is ever a bad thing). Like inverted sugar, it will also help to act as an antifreeze when blended.
- Ice is going to be primarily responsible for finding the perfect balance in taste and texture. Start with equal parts of the ingredients and add a bunch of ice. If you want the drink stronger, add more booze. If you want the drink more diluted, add more ice.
- Don’t fear the use of carbonated beverages. They can maintain their bubbles if they’re not overpowered by the alcohol content. Here’s where ice can work to your advantage again. Rather than adding more of a specific ingredient to tone flavors down, simply add more ice.
Ready to give things a go? Feel free to try one of Roberts’ quick and easy recipes in the video above (Jim Beam and Coke, Sweet Tea and Vodka, Mint Julep, Frozen Negroni) or give one of our frozen cocktails or summertime slushies a shot.
You’ll want to sip with caution, though. Brain freeze is no joke.