Voted best season of the year for more years than anyone can remember, summertime is the ideal time to max out the chill with this year's tastiest trend: slushy frozen cocktail mash-ups. What does that look like, exactly? Well, instead of having to decide between, say, a super-refreshing frozen coconut cocktail and a fruity blender drink, why not simply layer them in the same glass? Having the best of both worlds is an idea whose time has come and, best of all, frozen drinks are practically an invitation to play around with fresh seasonal fruit, one of the greatest things about summer living. If you have a good blender and a fridge full of local fruit, the only limit is your imagination.
Pink Whippet Strawberry Lemonade
Inspired by both the classic greyhound cocktail and that whipped-drink craze that's trending on social media, this creamy frozen strawberry lemonade is cool and decadent-a great combination. Try the Pink Whippet Strawberry Lemonade.
To make 1 serving: In a blender with 4 ice cubes, add 1½ oz (45 mL) vodka, 2 oz (60 mL) strawberry-flavoured soda, 2 oz (60 mL) heavy cream, 1½ oz (45 mL) fresh lemon juice, 1 oz (30 mL) condensed milk and three ripe strawberries. Blend on high speed until smooth and slushy with no ice chunks, about 90 sec. Pour into a highball glass. Top with 2 oz (60 mL) whipped cream and your biggest, brightest fresh strawberry.
Zero-proof it: Forget the vodka; instead, increase the lemon juice to 2 oz (60 mL) and the strawberry soda to 3 oz (90 mL).
Bartenders keep finding new ways to reinvent the Shirley Temple, everyone's favourite zero-proof cocktail, including this version, a colour-changing frosty riff on the trendy Dirty Shirley. Try the Slushy Shirley.
To make 1 serving: In a blender with 6 ice cubes, add 1½ oz (45 mL) dark rye whisky, 3 oz (90 mL) ginger beer, ¾ oz (23 mL) lemon juice and ¾ oz (23 mL) maple syrup. Blend on medium speed until smooth but not liquified, about 60 sec. Pour into a white wine glass; drizzle with 1 oz (30 mL) black cherry juice (it will seep through the slush). Garnish with 1 sprig fresh thyme.
Zero-proof it: Omit the rye and use an extra 1½ oz (45 mL) ginger beer (or ginger ale, if you prefer) for a total of 4½ oz (135 mL).
Cucumber Gimlet Slush
This refreshing twist on a gimlet is made with citrus sorbet and cucumber for a bright and fresh flavour profile. Try the Cucumber Gimlet Slush.
To make 1 serving: In a blender with ice, add 1½ oz (45 mL) gin, ¼ cup (60 mL) seeded peeled cucumber, 2 tbsp (30 mL) citrus sorbet and 1 oz (30 mL) fresh lime juice. Blend on high speed for 45 to 60 sec. to ensure no ice chunks. Strain into a glass. Garnish with 1 sprig mint.
Zero-proof it: Swap out the gin and use a total of 3½ tbsp (52 mL) citrus sorbet in the recipe instead.
With just the right hit of salt and spice to balance out the cool watermelon, this fresh combo drink is destined to be the drink of summer. Try the Watermelon Beergarita.
To make 1 serving: In a blender with 4 ice cubes, add 1 oz (30 mL) tequila, ¼ cup (60 mL) cubed fresh seedless watermelon, 1 oz (30 mL) fresh lime juice and ½ oz (15 mL) agave syrup. Blend on medium speed until smooth but not liquified, about 45 sec. Pour into a margarita glass rimmed with Tajín seasoning or other spiced salt. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and fresh basil on a pick. Top with 3 oz (90 mL) light Mexican beer.
Supersize it: Make this a pitcher drink that can serve four by multiplying everything, except the Tajín, by four. Pour into rimmed and garnished glasses, topping with the beer tableside.
Zero-proof it: Use a non-alcoholic beer instead of a Mexican lager, and sub in 1 oz (30 mL) Panache ginger beer in place of the tequila.
Peach Bourbon Slush
This icy cross between a mint julep and a whisky sour is an homage to the cool whisky drinks enjoyed on warm evenings spent on the front porch in homes all over bourbon country. Try the Peach Bourbon Slush.
To make 1 serving: In a tumbler, muddle 1 sprig mint with ¼ oz (7 mL)maple syrup, coating the entire inside of the glass. In a blender with 4 ice cubes, add 1½ oz (45 mL) bourbon, ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh peeled peach, ¾ oz (23 mL) fresh lemon juice and ¾ oz (23 mL) maple syrup. Blend on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 60 sec. Garnish with a peach wedge and 1 sprig mint.
Zero-proof it: Swap out the bourbon for Compliments lemon iced tea instead.
Cherry Miami Vice Cocktail
This twist on the Miami Vice cocktail (a piña colada and daiquiri mash-up) takes a little bit of extra effort, so save it for weekends when you want to have some fun and take your cocktail skills up a notch. Try the Cherry Miami Vice Cocktail.
To make 2 servings: Since you're going to make a couple of cocktails at almost exactly the same time, it's important to prep all the ingredients before you start to blend: Begin by grilling 2 pineapple spears; then, squeeze 2 oz (60 mL) juice from a lime and hull 3 large ripe strawberries. In a blender with 5 ice cubes, add 1½ oz (45mL) rum, 2 oz (60 mL) cherry juice, 1 oz (30 mL) of the lime juice and the 3 strawberries; blend on medium until smooth but not liquified. Divide between 2 hurricane glasses until they're half full. Blend 5 ice cubes, add 1½ oz (45 mL) rum, 1 oz (30 mL) lime juice, 1 oz (30 mL) coconut milk, 1 oz (30 mL) heavy cream 2 tbsp (30 mL) pineapple coconut ice cream or sorbet; blend until smooth, about 45 seconds. Carefully pour into the 2 glasses so that the piña colada is layered on top of the cherry daiquiri. Garnish with maraschino cherries on a pick and the pineapple spears.
Zero-proof it: Leave out the rum . Use a total of 2 oz (60 mL) lime juice and a total of 3 oz (90 mL) cherry juice in the daiquiri mixture, and add 1 oz (30 mL) pineapple juice to the piña colada mixture.
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