Austin: The Ultimate Local's Guide
Sure, you could take the time to fill a watermelon with Jell-O shots, OR you could head to Flatiron for a watermelon-infused upgrade on a classic frozen margarita. The Gander’s Watermelon El Jimador Slushie, made with house-squeezed watermelon juice, El Jimador Blanco tequila, lime juice, Aperol, and mint garnish is the perfect boozy watermelon treat, minus the whole DIY aspect.
Adding booze to a childhood dessert is kind of like finding sexual innuendoes in Disney movies, and the boozy sno-cone selection at Nolita favorite Pearl & Ash is the perfect way to feel like adult-you just discovered something 13-year-old-you never dreamed of. Though they're served in traditional paper cones, these gourmet sno-cones get enhanced with classy aperitifs. Flavors include grapefruit honey with Bonal; raspberry thyme with Byrrh; papaya ginger with Cocchi Rosa; and Cappelletti, which is similar to Campari.
Spiked with soju, a popular Korean spirit that goes down shockingly easy, Momofuku’s sweet Strawberry Rhubarb Slushie ($6) is as about as slurpable as its noodles. For a slightly less boozy option, opt for the Spicy Lychee Slushie ($6), made with white wine.
Offering the perfect two-for-one, the Lotus Eater ($12) at East Village mainstay Boilermaker does the trick of both cooling you down and energizing you. It's a caffeinated frozen concoction made with cognac, cachaça, fresh lime & orange juice, cold brew, coffee, and cinnamon, and it's best enjoyed alongside one of the bar's perfect burgers.
Now that Mother's Ruin features everyday brunch, there’s really no reason not to ditch work and spend a day drinking your way through its iconic, ever-rotating boozy slushy menu ($13). Expect flavors like the Spring in Your Pants Slushy, made with gin, lemon, and mint leaves; The Banana Hammock, which blends dark and light rum along with banana and coffee; and the OG: tequila with a sweet chili molasses swirl.
You could trek all the way out to the beach, or you could grab a day pass ($60) to relax by the pool at The Beach at Dream Downtown. Wintertime drinks get a summertime twist, like the frozen Moscow mule, made with ginger slush, Absolut Elyx, and lime juice, and served by the glass ($16) or by the pitcher ($68).
The sister restaurant to David Chang’s fried chicken concept has a new spiked 163 Iced Tea Slushie ($10-20), a frozen take on a Long Island iced tea that replaces Coke with Dr. Pepper, nixes the sour mix altogether, and uses top-shelf liquor for optimum booziness. It's basically everything you could want in one Tiki mug (also available in a smaller size at Fuku for $6), and may or may not make you feel like you're drinking at a college frat party... in the best way.
This upscale Midtown Italian steakhouse is doing a full sgroppino bar (sorbet topped with alcohol) this summer, upgrading your standard dessert offerings with homemade boozy sorbet in flavors ranging from cucumber mint to strawberry black pepper and more, for $12 a pop.
Perennial hipster hangout Skinny Dennis still serves one of the best frozen drinks in all of NYC: the Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee ($7). Dispensed from a slushy machine behind the bar, the ode to Willie Nelson is an ice-cold caffeinated drink made with coffee, coffee liqueur, milk, vanilla, and plenty of bourbon. Best of all, it's served in a classic diner to-go coffee cup (though you're still gonna have to drink it indoors...).
Upper West Side
While margaritas are a nice accompaniment to California-style tacos and queso, a beachy boozy slushy goes a long way when you're sweating through your clothes. The Frozen Paloma ($12) from Upper West Side Cali-Mex haven Playa Betty’s is made with tequila, grapefruit juice, and a pink peppercorn-salted rim -- and it's just strong enough to make you forget you're on Amsterdam Ave and not at the beach.
This Chinese-Spanish restaurant in Williamsburg is an unexpected purveyor of strong, boozy slushies, all of which you should get to know ASAP. Start with the rainbow-hued Suicide Colada ($12) which, despite the rather depressing name, will certainly give you life.
If you're stuck on the classics but still want to cool down, The High Line Hotel’s outdoor bar/restaurant is serving a refreshingly boozy Frozen Negroni ($15) made with Campari, Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, and Greenhook Ginsmiths gin. For a slightly less spiked option, go with the traditional Italian Sgroppino ($15) made with lemon sorbet, limoncello, vodka, and Prosecco.
The rooftop at this Columbia student hangout is known for its frozen slushy margaritas ($8) customizable with fruity mix-and-match flavored syrups including mango, passion fruit, raspberry, strawberry, hurricane, banana, and peach. The best time to get them? After 11pm for $5 late-night happy hour.
Frozémonade – frozen lemonade blended with rosé, naturally -- offers the ultimate summer cooldown, ideally enjoyed in this Williamsburg hangout’s brand-new backyard (alongside some seafood dishes like ceviche and fish & chips).
Alongside an impressive list of large-format drinks served in buckets, this new Thai spot inside Baby’s All Right is doing the Pink Baby ($8), the perfect tart summer treat, made with frozen grapefruit lemonade, mate, and vodka. Visit for happy hour from 6-8pm when it's only $3 -- significantly better than actual airport bar prices.
For the perfect summer combo, chase down a healthy serving of late-night buffalo shrimp with a frozen Disco Lemonade Slush ($10) spiked with vodka and triple sec at this beloved Park Slope comfort food spot.
This McCarren Park-adjacent dive is known for its frozen margarita ($7), which is sweet, with just a little bit of tartness, thanks to an ample pour of tequila and absinthe. The only downside? Since they started cracking down on letting people take them to go (park drinking!), you’ll sadly have to settle for drinking indoors.
Sangria will always be a staple summer drink, but you'll forget all about the standard kind once you've tried the frozen variety at this Chelsea tapas bar. Choose from red, white, and rosé and pair it with some tortilla Española.
This popular Bushwick dive is serving up a seasonal Hibiscus Watermelon Slush ($10) topped with a plastic palm tree for good measure. Made with hibiscus flowers, house-made cucumber-infused vodka, silver nettle tea, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and puréed watermelon, this is the epitome of a vacation-worthy frozen cocktail.
Stop at the bar at this Harlem soul food go-to and order the Frozen Dark & Stormy ($12), a frozen take on the classic, made with Blackwell Rum, ginger, and Kelvin’s all-natural citrus. Then take down half a bird with some potatoes, collards, and cornbread.
Bushwick Country Club encourages you to skip the polo shirts and get dirty playing recycled-PBR-can mini golf. While you play, opt for one of the spiked slushies, including Sweet Tea Vodka and Jim Beam & Coke ($7). They're all poured right from the machine, movie theater-style. Don't miss the complementary cheese puffs, either.
Alongside dishes like bake & shark, Pearl's, Williamsburg’s new Trinidadian spot, serves a resort-worthy frozen slushy named The Frozen Rude Boy ($12), made with frozen lime juice, ginger slush, and a generous pour of dark rum.
The Gansevoort’s new signature frozen cocktail, Frosé ($15 on Fridays, $19 not on Fridays), is sure to be the most overly Instagrammed drink of the summer. Rosé sorbet is topped with sparkling rosé and garnished with fresh berries. It’s available poolside and on the surf-themed rooftop, Drift.
This rock 'n' roll BBQ bar offers a trifecta of boozy slushies ($8) including a stellar frozen whiskey sour -- available as a flight for $12, with a side of bourbon (obviously).
Bridging the gap between boozy milkshake and spiked slushy is 67 Burger’s beer milkshake ($6.50), which blends vanilla ice cream with Kelso beer. Should the combo scare you off, frozen piña coladas and mango daiquiris are also here to help you cool down.
This Crown Heights Caribbean spot turns the Caribbean Dark & Stormy into an arctic Dark ‘N Slushie ($6), made with black rum, ginger, and lime. Another frozen option, the Greenwich Sour Slush ($7), made with bourbon, spiced orange syrup, and a red wine float, is a wine cooler/cocktail mash-up that'll swiftly erase everything you thought you knew about wine coolers.
This Tex-Mex restaurant in Astoria is home to one of New York’s best mash-ups: the Sangrita ($5 at happy hour). Part frozen sangria, part margarita, it's an unlikely (and most importantly, cheap) boozy slushy combo that somehow totally works -- and is also available during weekend bottomless brunch, should you require multiple.
Astoria (& Upper East Side)
While indulging in some seriously good Thai food at this Astoria/Upper East Side spot, be sure to grab a frozen lychee slush ($10) packed with syrup, vodka, and triple sec. It’s a sweet treat that pairs well with spicy noodles.