5 Spiked Summer Slushies
This summer’s hottest drinks are playing it cool, with ice balls that turn cocktails into slushies as they’re sipped; flaky, spirited granitas made from farmers’ market produce; and push-pop libations that are perfect for grown-ups. So, skip the usual mojito or margarita at your next summertime soirée, and instead blend, freeze or purée a batch of these beat-the-heat-treats.
—Kelly A. Magyarics
Recipe courtesy Daven Wardynski, executive chef, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, FL
Wardynski’s inspiration for this boozy concoction was his childhood summers in Michigan. He remembers devouring an orange push pop while admiring his family’s new in-ground pool. “I thought, ‘Life doesn’t get any better than this,’ ” he says. Mix this cold concoction up at home and feel the same way.
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces whole milk
⅓ cup sugar
¼ of the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup puréed banana
1 ounce Ron Zacapa Rum
6 push-pop holders
Whisk the egg yolks in a large metal bowl and set aside. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla seeds to a simmer, then remove from heat. Slowly add the heated mixture to the egg yolks a few tablespoons at a time, whisking continuously to avoid cooking the eggs. Add the coconut extract, banana and rum, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into push-pop holders and place in the freezer until firm. Makes 6 pops.
Recipe courtesy Jeff Hammett, bar manager, Swift’s Attic, Austin, TX
Hammett’s refreshing slushie cocktail gets an exotic touch with the addition of kaffir leaves. Rather than becoming diluted, the longer it sets, the more flavorful the drink becomes. At your next summertime fête, set out all the ingredients (keep the ice balls in a cooler) and let guests mix their own.
For the ice balls
1 pint fresh strawberries
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 cup toasted coriander simple syrup (recipe below)
Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour the mixture into 6-ounce ice-ball molds, and freeze until solid. Makes 8 ice balls.
For the toasted coriander simple syrup
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½ cup sugar
Toast the coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add the seeds, sugar and ½ cup water to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, let steep for 10 minutes and strain out solids.
For the cocktail
1 prepared ice ball
1 ounce Tequila Santo Azul Silver
2 ounces chilled Prosecco (Hammett uses Rive Della Chiesa Prosecco)
Place an ice ball in the bottom of a chilled cocktail glass. Top with the Tequila and Prosecco, and stir gently.
Recipe courtesy Cindy Busi, worldwide director of beverage, Hard Rock Café, Orlando, FL
New on the casual-dining chain’s summer menu is this sweet-and-spicy milkshake that appeals to chocoholics with its doses of crème de cacao, chocolate syrup and Guinness. Bacon crumbles sprinkled on top of whipped cream lend a savory, salty crunch.
“Ice cream is always a big hit on those hot summer days,” says Busi. “Why not kick it up a notch?”
2 ounces Guinness Draught
1 ounce Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum (or Captain Morgan Spiced Rum)
½ ounce dark crème de cacao
½ ounce chocolate syrup
½ ounces Monin Salted Caramel Syrup
2 scoops Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream
Whipped cream, for garnish
Caramel syrup, for garnish
Chocolate syrup, for garnish
Extra-crispy bacon crumbles, for garnish
Add all ingredients except the garnishes to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large milkshake glass, and top with whipped cream, drizzled syrups and bacon crumbles.
Recipe courtesy Andrea Dulac, head bartender, Logan Tavern, Washington, DC
“I wanted to make a drink that tasted just the way summer felt,” says Dulac. Mission accomplished. The flaky, fluffy vodka-based granita, made with fresh watermelon and basil leaves, gets mouthwatering fizz from sparkling wine and tonic water. The granita also works wonderfully with gin or white rum.
For the watermelon basil granita
4 cups fresh watermelon, cubed
15 fresh basil leaves
1 ounce lemon juice
7 cups simple syrup
2½ cups vodka
Purée the watermelon, basil leaves, lemon juice and ½ cup water. Add the simple syrup and vodka, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a metal baking pan or large, metal-rimmed baking sheet, and freeze at least 10 hours or overnight. When ready to serve the granita, scrape with a fork and fluff to get a shaved ice consistency.
For the cocktail
1¼ cups watermelon basil granita
1½ ounces chilled tonic water
1½ ounces chilled sparkling wine
Fresh basil, for garnish
Add the granita to a chilled Collins glass. Top it with tonic water and sparkling wine, and stir gently. Garnish with a basil leaf and a straw.
Recipe courtesy of Zac Young, executive pastry chef, David Burke Group, New York City
As aesthetically pleasing as it is aromatic, this frozen sip is a perfect way to end a summer meal. “Dessert cocktails are the best of both worlds, and are great for the indecisive diner who doesn’t know if they want something sweet or another drink,” says Young.
Serve it to top off a dinner on the deck and experiment with different sorbet flavors—lemon would also play nicely off St-Germain’s floral notes.
St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, for rinse
½ cup assorted berries
1 scoop blueberry sorbet
3–4 ounces rosé Champagne
Lemon peel, for garnish
2 rolled wafer cookies, for garnish
Pour a small amount of St-Germain into a large chilled coupe glass, swirl to coat the inside of the glass and then discard. Place the berries in the bottom of the glass, followed by a scoop of blueberry sorbet. Top with rosé Champagne, and garnish with the lemon peel and wafer cookies.
- 2Coconut Banana Push Pop
- 3Strawberry Fields
- 4Twist & Shout
- 5Watermelon Basil Granita Slush
- 6Pink Bubble Float