When it gets super hot in NYC (see: OHMYGOD RIGHT NOW), there are really only two things you can do: 1) Put your head directly into one of Trader Joe’s open-top freezers and pretend like you’re looking for something you dropped, and 2) down these 11 frozen drinks, all currently worth the brain freeze.
1. Comfortably Southern
Sweetwater Social (address and info)
The Comfortably Southern, a frozen, bourbon-y specialty (Veev Açai spirit, pureed peach, white tea, lemon juice, white pepper) is THE reason to visit the low-key Sweetwater Social. Its new cocktail list, an ode to baseball cards, is the OTHER reason to visit.
2. Frozen margarita
Salvation Taco (address and info)
For those who prefer their margarita in a purer state, the frozen one served up at Murray Hill retreat Salvation Taco (Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, agave, freshly squeezed lime juice, guajillo chile salt) will do the trick. Also important: rooftop.
3. Frozen Painkiller
The Happiest Hour (address and info)
Everyone’s rightfully talking about Slowly Shirley, the sexy boîte below it, but there are a number of reasons West Village go-to The Happiest Hour remains a place to linger. One of them is the presence of a slushy machine, from which unfurls creations like the Frozen Painkiller. In this twist on the Tiki classic, rum is paired with crème de Pêche de Vigne liqueur, coconut, lime, and orange juices. One will not be enough. (Two might be though.)
4. Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee
Skinny Dennis (address and info)
If Skinny Dennis was open for breakfast, we’d begin our mornings with Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee, the Williamsburg saloon’s heavenly slushy in which bourbon meets joe (specifically from local roaster Oslo). But we can’t, so instead we recommend it for the wee hours, when fatigued revelers crave stamina most.
5. “Extra special” gin & tonic
Extra Fancy (address and info)
Simple gin & tonics are the ultimate summer quencher, and at Williamsburg hangout Extra Fancy, the classic cocktail can be savored in “extra special” frozen form. Melding Hendrick’s gin, cucumber, lime and quinine syrup, it’s a cooling contrast to the late-night menu’s much-welcome Szechuan fried chicken.
6. Frozen Dark & Stormy
Miss Lily’s 7A (address and info)
There’s a rum bar at the East Village outpost of Caribbean-inspired Miss Lily’s -- better known as 7A -- and it leads to drinks like a frozen Dark & Stormy that unites Gosling's dark rum and Kelvin’s natural ginger slush. Bonus: if you decide to give into that hankering for jerk chicken wings before 7pm, the cocktail is only $7. Yup.
7. Frozen Moscow Mule
The Beach at Dream Downtown (address and info)
The Moscow Mule -- that sexy-kitschy cocktail with the vodka, lime, and ginger beer sipped from a copper mug -- gets a frozen upgrade at The Beach at the Meatpacking District’s Dream Downtown with vodka and an all-natural ginger slush.
8. Frozen kalimotxo
Huertas (address and info)
You could walk up to the window of East Village Spanish hotspot Huertas and spring for a non-boozy horchata slushy made with chufa (that’s a tiger nut, by the way, which sounds cool), cinnamon, and lemon zest. But you SHOULD instead head inside for the frozen kalimotxo. The red wine and cola mix is sure to keep you there for at least one round of boquerones.
9. Blood orange frozen margarita
El Vez Burrito Bar (address and info)
Battery Park City
Brookfield Place has helped make condo-heavy Battery Park a significantly more alluring destination, while El Vez Burrito Bar has helped make it a significantly more frozen boozing-friendly destination thanks to its blood orange margarita (La Pitaya blanco tequila, lime, blood orange, agave nectar), which makes day drinking (and Frito Pie-ordering) inevitable.
10. Frozen Negroni
Alta Linea (address and info)
Aperitivos are the star of Alta Linea -- the newcomer presiding over the courtyard garden of The High Line Hotel -- which means before you start digging into an alfresco mound of crispy artichokes with salsa verde, you can cool off with a frozen Negroni starring fresh-squeezed orange juice that was created in tandem with Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
11. Loco en el Coco
JIMMY at the James (address and info)
JIMMY, that poolside hideaway atop the roof of SoHo’s James New York, is where you’ll discover the extra freeze-y Loco en el Coco (Ilegal mezcal, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, coconut, pineapple, lime), the epitome of icy-hot.
1. Sweetwater Social643 Broadway, New York
2. Salvation Taco145 E 39th St, New York
3. The Happiest Hour121 W 10th St, New York
4. Skinny Dennis152 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
5. Extra Fancy302 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
6. Miss Lily's 7A Cafe109 Avenue A, New York
7. The Beach at Dream Downtown355 W 16th St, New York
8. Huertas107 1st Ave, New York
9. El Vez Burrito Bar259 Vesey St, New York
10. Alta Linea180 10th Ave, New York
11. JIMMY at The James15 Thompson St., New York
Sweetwater Social is a Greenwich Village hotspot from an all-star team (Justin Noel of 1534 and Tim Cooper, Shaun Rose, and Udi Vaknin from GoldBar). It's got delectable cocktails inspired by subway stations, a sexy vault-like vibe, and superb game options (foosball, anyone?).
April Bloomfield's all-day restaurant in Midtown is doling out high-end Mexican street food plates in an insanely decorated space. The menu features plenty of traditional and inventive tacos, available three-per-order or as a more formal dinner, and shareable fusion plates like sticky rice tamale and meatballs with manchego cheese. The Murray Hill restaurant is a hit during the after-work hours, especially when the rooftop is open.
Brace yourself: there is no actual happy hour at The Happiest Hour. But don’t fret, the Happiest Burger more than makes up for it, really. The double-patty, double-cheese, California-style burger is better than an In-N-Out Double Double and comes topped with a similar Russian dressing as the West Coast fast-food fave. The bar's resort vibes shine in its cocktail selection, which includes the Frozen Painkiller, a twist on the Tiki classic that pairs rum with crème de Pêche de Vigne liqueur and coconut, lime, and orange juices.
On the corner of Metropolitan and Berry, Skinny Dennis is a straight-up honky tonk bar in Williamsburg. The divey spot has 18 draft beers (most of which are domestic), a variety of whiskey, and a very addicting bourbon-and-brandy frozen coffee creation. Old-school country jams play from a jukebox all night long, and there are often live performances from local bluegrass and country musicians.
Williamsburg's Extra Fancy serves fried, grilled, and raw seafood, like fish & chips and lobster bisque fries, plus a notable secret sauce-topped burger. It's open late -- until 2am every night -- and its special late-night menu will have you covered should you ever get a midnight lobster roll craving. The brick-and-wood interior is reminiscent of a New England seafood shack, albeit a hipster one.
This East Village corner oasis for Caribbean food and rum cocktails is hard to miss, with a yellow painted brick exterior and bright blue storefront leading into a dizzying dining room where pops of red and turquoise abound. Miss Lily's is the place to go for jerk chicken (and salmon, pork, and corn), Jamaican speciality stews with oxtail, curry goat, or vegetables, and sides like charred pineapple slaw and sweet plantains. The island-appropriate cocktails are deceptively strong, and the frozen dark & stormy is a must-order.
On the second floor of the Meatpacking District's Dream Hotel is its outdoor pool and grill, The Beach. Aside from the glass-bottom pool, the deck lounge includes a full-service bar, two private cabanas, and chaise lounges. The indoor/outdoor restaurant serves upscale snack bar food all day long. Luckily, you don't have to be a hotel guest to hit up The Beach -- all-day pool passes are available for purchase, and the restaurant is open to the public.
Executive Chef Jonah Miller is behind this Basque-inspired Spanish spot, which brings a four-course, beverage-paired "menu del dia" to the East Village with eats like pork shoulder w/ turnip and Hudson Canyon tilefish with smoked garlic.
With a few "burritos especiales" and a design your own option, this burrito bar caters to anyone. It's only open on weekdays from 11am-4pm, but really that's all you need to grab a burrito for lunch. But don't neglect the dessert menu: their soft serve ice cream comes in two flavors -- chocolate and horchata (!!). Plus you can top it with fun things like churro stars or candied pepitas.
From the team behind L’Apicio and dell’anima, Alta Linea takes al fresco dining to the next-level in the garden courtyard of the High Line Hotel. The emphasis is on Italian aperitivi, aka pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers, so expect an all-Italian wine list, negronis, and aperol spritz. The food menu revolves around small bites like bruschetta, burrata, and grilled vegetables, but there are also a few entrées.
Inspired by 1970s New York and classic pubs, JIMMY is an intimate rooftop escape with sleek upholstered seating, working fireplaces, and warm wood floors. Located on the roof of The James Hotel in Soho, the bar boasts unparalleled 360-degree views of the city skyline. Grab a chaise lounge poolside in the summer or sip the mezcal, honey, lemon, and smoked sea salt Pure & Simple indoors when the weather turns cold.