Some people rely on air conditioning, pools and white linen clothing to help ease the pain of the summer sun’s death rays. But we prefer to chill ourselves from the inside out. Frozen cocktails are our summer mascot, and once the mercury soars, you’ll find us hiding in the comfort of a bar with a frosty slushie in hand. If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat in NYC this summer, look no further than these frosted cocktail meccas.
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The Bar: Diamond Reef | The Drink: Penichillin
This new Bed-Stuy bar from the cocktail dream team behind celebrated New York speakeasy Attaboy, feels like permanent summer—with a cocktail menu to match. It’s light, airy and bright, with vivacious colors and lots of turquoise—a far cry from Attaboy’s sultry shadows. Out of all their cocktails, their reinvention of owner Sam Ross’s modern classic, the Penicillin, cements the bar’s ethos. The Penichillin, uses the same heady mix of peaty scotch, lemon and honey-ginger syrup as the original, but is served frozen. Funky and smoky, with a rich, spicy heat, this slushie is so ridiculously chill it should be called the Jeff Spicoli.
The Bar: The Narrows | The Drink: Frozen Negroni
We can’t think of a better way to spend a balmy July evening than with a frozen Negroni in hand, relaxing in a sundrenched backyard. Every summer, you can do exactly that at this Bushwick cocktail stalwart. While the Narrows is dark and, well, narrow, on the inside, they have one of the lushest, most well manicured backyards in Brooklyn. Their frozen variation on the Negroni is not only the perfect consistency of slush, but the icy cocktail also retains the layers of bitter herbaceousness of the original stirred drink.
The Bar: Uncle Boon’s | The Drink: Frozen Beer
Whoever created this deliciously simple concoction should be awarded with a Pulitzer Prize (they have those for cocktails, right?). We’ve raved about this authentic New York Thai restaurant’s out-of-this-world food before, but their frozen cocktail deserves its own mention. First, they take bottles of light, crisp, Chang Thai Lager, put them in a mechanical-bull-esque barrel packed with ice and shake things up. When the gyrations cease, the bottled beer is served as a shaken, frosted slush. Our first thought was, where can we buy one of these sacred machines?
The Bar: Caracas Rockaway | The Drink: Frozen Sangria
If you’ve spent any time in the Rockaways, you know that the perfect summer beach refreshment is at this arepa-slinging beach shanty. Caracas’s surprisingly boozy Sangria slushie looks like a sunset and tastes like perfection. Dripping with fruity flavor, the frozen cocktail has a bright citrus tang, rich red wine density and grapey sweetness. One sip instantly quells the heat from hours spent bathing in the sun.
The Bar: Glady’s | The Drink: Dark N Slushie
It only makes sense that one of the best slushies in Brooklyn hails from one of the best Jamaican restaurants in the borough. A variation on the classic Dark and Stormy, Glady’s Dark N Slushie is laden with dark rum and sinus-clearing ginger syrup. The ice-cold, refreshingly limey frozen treat is the only way to alleviate the pangs of pain caused by their fiery habanero-drenched jerk pork (their equally-as-delicious Painkiller will also do the job). At only $6 a piece, we could drink so many of these that our brains would be permanently frozen.
The Bar: Skinny Dennis | The Drink: Willie’s Frozen Coffee (aka That Coffee Thing)
This honky tonk bar isn’t just one of the best places in Brooklyn to catch live country music, they also serve one of the best frozen cocktails we’ve ever tasted. Made with cold brewed coffee from Oslo, bourbon, coffee liqueur, brandy and more bourbon, and topped with crunchy coffee grinds, Willie’s Frozen Coffee is the ultimate upper-downer drink. One sip from this refreshingly frosty drink will fill you with caffeine and chill you out at the same time. The only thing that would make this cocktail better is if we could get it in a to-go cup—oh wait, it already comes in one.
The Bar: The Rusty Knot | The Drink: Frozen Mojito
Wait, there’s a Mojito that takes less that 5 seconds to pour and doesn’t earn you those wicked death stares from the bartender when you order them? We’ll take two, one for each hand, please. Minty, fresh and even cooler than the original, this drink is so damn good it should be served in buckets. With a deep nautical vibe, amazing jukebox, pool table and spine tinglingly cold AC—you’ll know where to find us hiding when that first 100-degree day hits this summer.