The New Icee Age

The next gen of frozen cocktails moves well beyond the margarita machine. It’s time to treat yourself to this delicious deep-freeze trend.

Photos by Todd Huffman

Remember the joy of chasing down and catching  the ice cream truck? The new era of frozen drinks evoke that same uninhibited delight in the form of spiked slushies, buzz-inducing ice pops and potable Sno-cones.

And these boozy brain-freezers are not super sweet-and-sticky affairs from your youth, but satisfy the sophisticated palate (think: Campari-sicles). To chill your guests out properly, here’s your crib sheet—along with six can’t-miss recipes—to crafting your own spirit-soaked novelties this summer. 




Break out the blender to churn out these two top-shelf “lushies.” 

Screaming Greenie
Recipe courtesy The Tippler, New York City

1 ounce Pernod absinthe
2 ounces Finlandia vodka
8 basil leaves
½ ounce lemon juice
1¾ ounces simple syrup
½ cup ice cubes

In a blender, combine all the ingredients except a single basil leaf and blend to a slushy consistency. Serve in a Champagne cocktail glass. Garnish with the lone basil leaf. Serves 1.

Frozen Ginger Julep
Recipe courtesy Alex Rein, Kelvin Natural Slush Co., New York City

4 ounces Bourbon
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup spiced ginger syrup (recipe above)
8 cups ice cubes
4 mint sprigs

Combine all the ingredients except the mint sprigs in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour into stemmed or silver julep cups garnish each with a mint sprig. Serves 4.

Ginger Syrup in a Snap 

In a small pot, simmer ½ cup water and ½ cup granulated sugar until combined. Add one 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped, 8 cloves and 1 star anise and continue to simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, then strain. Chill the syrup before using.


Your childhood Snoopy Sno-Cone is all growed up.

Blackberry Moonshine Sno-Cone
Recipe courtesy Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Atlanta

½ ounce moonshine (unaged whiskey, such as Hudson Corn Whiskey)
½ ounce Absolut Berri Açai vodka
1 tablespoon simple syrup
2 tablespoons blackberry purée (put a handful of fresh blackberries in a mixer and purée        for 5 seconds)
Blackberries and a mint leaf

Combine all the ingredients except the berries and mint in a cocktail shaker with ice, give it 2−3 gentle shakes and strain over shaved ice in a Sno-cone cup*. Top with blackberries and mint leaf. Serves 1.

Sidewinder Fang Tiki-Cone
Recipe courtesy Daniel Warrilow, general manager & bar director, Son of a Gun, Los Angeles

1 ounce Smith & Cross rum, or another Jamaican rum
1 ounce Atlantico Private Cask, or another molasses-based rum
1 ounce passion fruit purée
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce orange juice
Lime peel curl

Combine all the ingredients except the lime curl in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake gently. Pour over crushed ice in a Sno-cone cup* (or Martini glass). Garnish the glass with the lime peel curl. Serves 1.

Summer Crush 

How to create shaved ice in a hurry? You have two options: Break up cubes in the blender, or place them in a plastic Ziploc bag (or clean towel) and pulverize them—along with your stress—with the flat side of a meat mallet. Take that!



Say hello to your new favorite summer word: Booze-cicle.

Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
Recipe courtesy The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

6 gelatin sheets
8 cups coconut cream
5 cups simple syrup (4 cups for mix; 1 cup for the garnish)
2 cups pineapple juice
6 ounces Don Q Coconut rum
1 cup pineapple chunks
Toasted coconut flakes

Follow the instructions on the box to soften and bloom the gelatin sheets (typically, you’ll need to soak them in a bowl of cold water for 5−10 minutes).

Mix together the softened gelatin sheets with remaining ingredients, except the coconut flakes. Pour into Popsicle molds, and insert wood or plastic sticks. Freeze until the pops are solid. While you wait, about 3 hours,  prepare your garnish.

Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet and roast at 200˚F until light brown (about 10 minutes). Remove and let cool. Once the ice pops are frozen, dip the end of the pop in simple syrup then coat with toasted flakes and refreeze—or eat away! Serves 12. 

Cantaloupe & Campari Ice Pops
Adapted with permission from People’s Pops, by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell and Joel Horowitz (Ten Speed Press)

1 cantaloupe (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
6 ounces simple syrup
2 ounces Campari

Cut the cantaloupe into large chunks and purée in a food processor. You should have about 2¼ cups of purée.

Transfer to a bowl or a pitcher with a spout and stir in simple syrup until the mixture tastes quite sweet. Add the Campari a little bit at a time until you can detect its flavor.

Pour the mixture into ice-pop molds, shot glasses or ice-cube trays, leaving a little bit of room at the top for expansion. Insert food-grade Popsicle sticks and freeze until solid, 4−5 hours. Unmold and serve. Serves 10.

Pick Up Sticks
Those arts and crafts Popsicle sticks are likely not safe for holding your potable pops. Be sure your wood says “Food Safe” on the label. 

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