This Daiquiri Won’t Make You Look Lame

Frozen drinks don’t have to be full of neon dye and cheap liquor. We got top bartenders to give us their favorite recipes for icy—and classy—blended cocktails.

Anna Beeke

Anna Beeke

The icy cocktail—starting with the mint julep—was once a symbol of wealth and class. Then came the invention of the blender, and by 1940, frozen daiquiris were being offered up at bars for 50 cents a pop.

In the years since that civil age, the blender has become a ubiquitous household appliance, popping up on every wedding registry and countertop in America. College kids down Styrofoam cups filled from a wall of what amounts to spiked slushies in glow-in-the-dark colors and flavors like wild berry blast. One South Carolina bartender referred to the trend of blended drinks as “the worst affront to polite society in all of the history of everything."

But what’s old is new again. And thankfully for the grownups, frozen cocktails are having a moment. Forget the sickly-sweet neon slushies of 70s-style Tiki bars, these boozy summertime indulgences are now legitimate cocktails—welcome not just poolside—but in some of the city’s most fashionable bars. Several talented mixologists who are making it their mission to elevate the slushie shared their favorite recipes with The Daily Beast.

Miguel Hererra

Horchata Milk Punch

From Alex Raij of El Quinto Pino in New York.


(6 servings )


1 liter Chufi, horchata beverage (available through Despaña brand foods)

2 tablespoons liquid glucose

9 oz high quality brandy, dark rum or Armagnac


Gently warm glucose without simmering and whisk in chufi. Chill mixture. In a square cake pan, freeze the chufi for 2-3 hours, then scrape into crystals with a fork. Repeat scraping every hour until you have a snowy homogenous granita or “granizado/raspado.” Divide among six tumblers or rocks glasses and float (top with) the brandy. Serve with two swizzle straws in each.

Anna Beeke

Frozen Dark 'n Stormy

From Battery Harris in Brooklyn, NY.


Makes one drink  


1 cup ice 

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum

1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice

1 oz Five Spice Ginger Reduction (see recipe below) 


In a blender, add ice, rum and lime juice and crush until smooth. Pour into glass and top with Five Spice Ginger Reduction. Garnish with mint leaf and serve immediately.  


Five Spice Ginger Reduction

3 tsp ground allspice

3 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tsp powdered ginger

3 tsp ground black pepper

3 tsp jerk seasoning (found at Caribbean grocery stores)

2 tsp sliced fresh ginger (or more as desired) 


Roast the powdered spices in a dry pan on high heat, stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside. Make a simple syrup with equal parts water and Demetrius sugar, add sliced ginger and let boil until thickened. Add toasted spices, stir, and set aside to allow spices to infuse the syrup. Chill until ready to use.

Nights and Weekends

Watermelon Margarita

From Nights and Weekends in Brooklyn, NY

2 liters Plata tequila

1 liter triple sec

1 seedless watermelon, cubed and blended

1 pint lime juice

1 pint simple syrup (1:1 water and sugar)

8 quarters water

This recipe is for a frozen machine, but works in a blender, too. Just keep the ratios.

PAMA liquor

Independently Blue

From Dale DeGroff, aka King Cocktail, author of The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail.


1 ounce Pama

1 ounce 100% blue agave blanco tequila

2 ounces sweetened lime juice (two parts simple syrup to one part fresh lime juice)


Blend with a cup of cracked ice till thick. Garnish with a lime wheel.

PAMA liquor

PAMA Daiquiri Freeze

From Lynn House, brand ambassador for PAMA, previously the Chief Mixologist and at Blackbird Restaurant in Chicago.

Glass: Frozen Margarita

Garnish: Melon Ball Spear


1 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

1 oz white rum

1 oz fresh lime juice

½ oz  simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender with one cup ice. Blend on high speed for 50 seconds and empty contents into chilled glass and garnish.

Evan Sung

Frozen Beer

This one is as refreshing as it is easy.  Though New York’s, Uncle Boon’s uses a beer slushie machine brought over from Thailand, you can freeze your brews, too, by pouring beer into a shallow dish and popping it into the freezer, stirring every half hour or so until it’s slushified.