Our Favorite Boozy Popsicles, Slushies, and Floats
Freeze your brain and melt your inhibitions with one of these delicious frozen-drink recipes for adults
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If you want good nutritional advice, read no further. But if you want a fantastic way to cool down and exercise your liver, listen up: Boozy slushies and popsicles are what you need after a hot summer workout.
They’re cold. They’re refreshing. They make use of those popsicle molds you bought six years ago but never actually pressed into service. So grab your blender and an ice cube tray, and get ready to beat the heat with these boozy frozen treats.
Whisky Orange Julius
Let’s call this one what it is: a spiked smoothie. This recipe is courtesy of Amanda Beckwith, who does much of the mixology for the Virginia Distillery Company. The final product is fruity, creamy, and totally refreshing.
- 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 cup milk of your choice (Almond or coconut milk work well. Use a sweetened variety if you like your beverages sweeter.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sugar or 3 tablespoons honey (Adjust the recipe as necessary for your personal tastes.)
- 4 ounces Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky
- 8 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in blender, adding the ice last. Blitz until smooth. Pour and enjoy.
Blueberry Lemonade Ice Pops
Remember back in the day when soccer practice ended with fluorescent-colored ice pops? Well, thanks to Grant Somerdyk, general manager and head bartender at Tiki, a bar in Philadelphia, ice pops are back. Somerdyk says ice pops—you know, those squeezable plastic tubes of frozen sweet liquid that you slurp directly from the pouch—are the perfect vessel for booze, since alcohol freezes at a lower temperature than water. Depending on how potent your recipe is, that lower freezing point can result in popsicles that don’t firm all the way up. But with an ice pop, it really doesn’t matter.
- 1 cup blueberry vodka
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
Combine all ingredients and stir. Pour the mixture into ice pop bags (available on Amazon). Freeze until solid.
Blue Oak BBQ’s Root Beer Float Daiquiri
Adulthood gets a whole lot better when you finally admit to yourself that you actually love kid-friendly foods like chicken nuggets and root beer floats. This recipe, from New Orleans barbecue joint Blue Oak BBQ, is more interesting than the floats of your childhood, thanks to the addition of fresh lime juice and whiskey. One note: From a texture standpoint, this is more milkshake than float. We promise you’ll still love it.
- Root beer (enough to fill an ice cube tray)
- 16 ounces milk
- 8 ounces melted vanilla ice cream
- 4 ounces soda water
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 8 ounces of your favorite whiskey
Start by freezing an ice cube tray full of root beer. Add the frozen root beer cubes to a blender, then add the milk, ice cream, soda water, lime juice, and whiskey. Blend until smooth. If you want a thinner consistency, you can always add more root beer.
Justin Harter’s Bloody Mary Popsicles
Justin Harter is the creator of City Sticks, a New York City–based haute popsicle company. He says just about any popsicle flavor he sells can be made with alcohol. For those of you who don’t dig sweets, this is the perfect alternative.
- 14.5-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 3 ounces vodka (Harter likes New Amsterdam 80 Proof.)
- 3 tablespoons Valentina Mexican hot sauce (If you can’t find this brand, use what you love.)
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 4 ounces Clamato
- 2 ounces V8 vegetable juice
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Six 5-inch pieces of celery
Add the tomatoes, vodka, and hot sauce to a blender and mix until smooth. (If you like a spicier bloody mary, add more hot sauce). Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and mix gently until combined. Divide the mixture into six popsicle molds and insert celery stalks instead of popsicle sticks (adjusting the length to fit the mold). Freeze for 24 hours.
The L.A. Jackson Frosé
On humid summer nights at the swanky Thompson Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, guests saunter up to the bar, called the L.A. Jackson, and ask for something super refreshing. For bartender Mario Salas, that drink is the Frosé—or a frozen rosé.
- 5 ounces rosé
- 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1.5 ounces strawberry syrup
Mix all ingredients together, then pour mixture into an ice cube tray. Allow to freeze until solid, then whir the cubes in a blender. Recipe makes one glass.
The Wyo Wild Sloshie
If you’ve recently visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you probably noticed that the entire town (and most of Wyoming, really) is obsessed with “sloshies,” or booze slushies. This sloshie is courtesy of Gavin Fine, a local restaurateur who plans to serve it (and a bunch of other beer sloshies) at his new Roadhouse Pub and Eatery.
- 1.5 ounces Wyoming Whiskey
- 2 ounces Roadhouse Brewing Co. Dreaded Beast (If you can’t get your hands on this, another American imperial stout will do.)
- 1 ounce Wyoming molasses water (This is a local concoction, but it’s basically simple syrup made with molasses in place of the sugar.)
- Snake River Brewing Co. cold-brew coffee (Again, you can sub another brand if you can’t get your hands on this one.)
- Ice to blend
Fill a glass with ice. Add the whiskey, stout, and water, then top with cold brew. Dump the entire thing in the blender and blitz it. “Add cream if you’re a city slicker,” Fine says.