Everything’s Coming Up Frozen

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A few years ago, sophisticated cocktailers would have gasped at the idea of premium, slushified spirits. The great frosé (frozen rosé) craze of 2017 changed all that, giving frozen cocktails a cool new image. So cool, in fact, that even wineries got on board. Now, with summer upon us, the frozen trend is getting another warm welcome in 2018.

 

Frozen cocktails have come a long way from sugary, neon-colored margaritas poured from a slushie machine. Adult slushies have become healthier and are made with natural flavors and high-quality ingredients. And that makes them a big hit with customers looking for something different, and maybe just a little nostalgic. After all, who doesn’t associate slushies with a more carefree time?

 

With a growing preference for the glacial, no menu is complete without visually stunning frozen delights that make us wish it were summer all year. That’s why bars and restaurants nationwide are breaking out the blenders (or adding slushie machines) to concoct spectacular twists on beloved classics. Just type in “bars and restaurants with frozen cocktails” into the Google machine and you’ll find “best of” and top whatever lists at trendy locales from New York City to Portland.

 

SO WHAT TASTES GOOD FROZEN? AS IT TURNS OUT, PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING – VODKA, GIN, WHISKEY, WINE, MEZCAL, SAKE, EVEN BLOODY MARYS. THE MORE CREATIVE THE BETTER. 

 

Notable examples from foodnetwork.com include:

 

Some even toe the line between cocktail and dessert, like the wildly popular Zombie Unicorn Shake at Zombie Burger in Des Moines, made with Fruit Loops–flavored vodka, vanilla ice cream, homemade marshmallow cream and topped with Fruity Pebbles.

 

Adult slushies, sparkling sorbets, boozy popsicles—the point is, anything goes, as long as it’s naturally delicious. That’s the key to the modern frozen cocktail’s prestige, which can command premium prices of $12 or more. Artificial anything and mixers with high fructose corn syrup simply won’t do, especially with health- and quality-minded millennials.

 

WHETHER YOU’RE MAKING FROZEN DRINKS TO ORDER OR SERVING PREMADE ICY LIBATIONS FROM A MACHINE, REMEMBER THIS: YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN. 

 

Do your rooftop or patio patrons (or anyone looking to beat the heat) a favor this summer and make something extra cold and extraordinarily satisfying.