Easy Frozen Cocktails to Make in a Bag
When summer’s doing that dog-days thing, you can crack a cold one—or you can quench your thirst for kitsch with a frozen, fruity cocktail made in a zip-top bag.
Ice, ice baby
Two years ago, a Kansas City, Missouri, frozen cocktail bar called Snow and Company closed. Sigh. Thankfully, cofounder Jerry Nevins had published a cookbook, leaving behind a torch we now pass along to you—the fine art of making boozy slushies in plastic bags. The technique is explained here; our recipes are on the next slides.
GEAR That’s a joke. You don’t need gear! Just a regular zip-top bag. Make individual drinks (our recipes are singles) in quart-size bags, or batch up in a gallon-size bag for serving at a party.
METHOD Remember the ice cream-in-a-bag you made as a kid, shaking it around until your fingers froze? You won’t find that kind of hard labor here. Just combine the listed ingredients for each recipe, then throw the bag in the freezer. The next day, massage it to soften and break up the mixture. Tip into a glass. Done.
BLING A frozen drink without a garnish is just—delicious. But if you happen to have glitzy picks, pineapple leaves, flamingo stemware or paper umbrellas on hand, now’s their time to shine.
A few helpful things we learned while creating these recipes.
SAY FREEZE Sugar and alcohol both inhibit freezing, so it takes longer than you might think for these mixes to firm up. We got the best results by freezing overnight.
BEAT THE HEAT They may be slow to freeze, but they melt fast—especially in the sun. We recommend chilling the glasses; or serve in double-wall stemless wine glasses.
DRINK GREEN Making slushies in plastic bags isn’t eco-friendly. Check your guilt by washing and reusing the bags. And skip disposable straws. The ocean thanks you.
Rhu-Berry Gin Punch Slushie
Gin can be dry, piney, aromatic or any other style a distiller chooses. Go for a floral-tasting gin for this fruity slushie.
Smoky Peach-Bourbon Slushie
Coat the rim of a chilled glass with smoked sea salt and garnish this slushie with fresh basil and peach chunks on a decorative pick.
Red Sangria Slushie
Make this slushie with a big, bold red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. It will have better color and a more well-rounded flavor than with a lighter red.
Spiked Blue Lemonade Slushie
You might associate it with college-era bar-hopping, but blue curaçao is actually more than 100 years old. Its orange flavor plays nicely with lemonade in this citrusy slushie.
Garnish this twist on a classic tequila cocktail with some fringe: Peel a wide strip of grapefruit peel with a vegetable peeler, then snip along its length. Groovy!
Piña Colada Slushie
If you like piña coladas, you'll know that rimming the glass with chili seasoning is a rebel's move. Feel free to revert to a classic maraschino cherry garnish.