The Best Frozen Cocktails in Philadelphia

Frosé is just the beginning.

frozen cocktail
Photo courtesy of Bloomsday Cafe

Philly gets hot in the summer. All the concrete absorbs the sun and the whole city turns into a sticky, stinky mess. There are, of course, the lucky few who escape down the shore, but for the rest of us, a constant stream of icy treats are essential for summer survival.

Water ice helps, as does ice cream, but sometimes we need something a little stronger, which is where the frozen cocktail comes in. Whether you’re bringing a flask and spiking your water ice (not a bad idea!) or hitting an actual bar, we’ve rounded up the chilliest, most refreshing drinks in the city, for when the heat is simply too much.

Frosé has become a bit of a cliché in the last couple of years. It’s easy to associate it with fussy, not-very-good bars that cater more to Instagram than to your tastebuds. Not so at Garage, where the vibes are extremely relaxed, the drinks are affordable and delicious, and the frosé is there for you with no irony whatsoever. This is the place to learn why people got so obsessed with it in the first place.
How to book: Walk in only

Bloomsday
Photo courtesy of Bloomsday Cafe

You won’t find this frozen beverage on the cocktail menu. Instead, it lives on the dessert menu for dinner service, which makes this an excellent time to remind yourself of the classic quote, “life is short, eat dessert first.” In this case, we recommend eating dessert alongside an order of spicy wings—it may seem like an unorthodox combination, but it works because the bubbly prosecco and sweet scoop of water ice come together for a super refreshing combination.

Available for Reservations

Blue Corn has a ton of excellent cocktails (a rarity in Philly where the majority of Mexican restaurants are BYOBs) but the restaurant’s selection of frozen drinks is what keeps us coming back over and over. In the summer, they make a melon pina colada with seasonal fruit, which really puts it over the top. If it’s not melon season, opt for the classic piña colada, which comes in a hollowed-out pineapple.
How to book: Walk in only

Dizengoff, the fast-casual hummus spot from hummus master Michael Solomonov, might not initially seem like a spot to hang out and drink, but it’s actually an excellent option for day drinking. The frozen lemonnana, typically an Israeli lemonade served as a slushy, can be made boozy for just 4 bucks—that’s $8 for a delicious, blended cocktail spiked with your choice of gin, vodka, or whiskey. They also serve a couple of beers and ciders, so there’s something for everyone.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Sunset Social
Photo courtesy of Sunset Social

Honestly, we would drink warm beer at Sunset Social if it meant we got to take in the breezy rooftop views of Center City. Luckily, it won’t come to that. You could have ice cream and a cocktail separately, or mash them together in Sunset Social’s boozy banana split, which comes with vodka, crème de cacao, and banana liqueur all poured over a scoop of ice cream.
How to book: Walk in only

Emmy Squared
Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared

You probably know that Emmy Squared does over-the-top Detroit-style pizzas with toppings like Nashville hot chicken, baked potatoes, and tons of cheese. What you may not have known is that they also have a seasonal rooftop where you can order most of their menu—the waffle fries are the ultimate drinking snack—including a couple of bonus cocktails. Opt for the frozen pomegranate margarita, which will help you almost forget you’re in the sweatiest, hottest part of the summer without a beach in sight.
How to book: The rooftop is walk in only

Drunken lassi at Veda

Rittenhouse Square

There’s nothing better when eating Indian food than pairing it with a mango lassi. It’s a classic blended beverage made with super-ripe mango and dahi (or yogurt) that helps cool the palate when you’re eating spicy food. At Veda, they take it a step further and add dark rum and a chili powder rim.

Available for Reservations

If you’ve ever wished your local watering hole had a frozen cocktail, it might be time to move closer to Triangle Tavern. All summer, the bar spins a couple of slushies—past favorites include piña colada, hibiscus zinger, mojito, and even mint julep. This might also be a good time to remind you that to-go cocktails are still allowed in Philly.
How to book: Walk in only

Maddy Sweitzer-Lamme is a freelance food writer and restaurant reporter based in Philadelphia. Find her drinking martinis, eating pasta, and baking extravagant layer cakes on Instagram or find her work in publications like Philadelphia Magazine, Eater, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and more.
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