When most people think of frozen cocktails, the words brain freeze, sugar headache and hangover usually come to mind. Forget those syrup-laden, artificial ingredient drinks of the past. Our local mixologists have taken the concept and transformed it into the slushie cocktail, with an array of fresh and house-made ingredients to make your mouth water this summer. Here are a few of the best in the city:
Monkey's Junk by Anthony Schmidt, Fairweather. Inspired by the famous piña colada with a clever twist, this cocktail might be your favorite summer dessert. Concocted with cacao nib-infused aged rum, house-made coconut syrup, ripe pineapple juice and "over-ripened banana," all the tropical ingredients are blended and garnished with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
Frosé, The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn. Lounge by the pool and bask in San Diego's glorious sun with this frozen rosé cocktail. Made with a sorbet-based infusion of dry French rosé and simple syrup, the Frosé is served in a martini glass and topped with edible flowers. It's wine elevated.
Meister of None by Eric Giger, Sycamore Den. Head to the dark side with this inventive cocktail containing Dark Horse cold brew coffee, Jagermeister, aged rum, honey, hand-whipped cacao cream (made with heavy cream and Scrappy's chocolate bitters), and topped with grated cinnamon.
Slush-a-Roni and Champagne Slushies, Soda & Swine. Fans of traditional cocktails will love this frozen twist on the classic negroni. Made with gin, Gancia red bitter, fresh orange and Italian vermouth, it's a must try on a hot afternoon. Champagne Slushies take your traditional mimosas and bellinis to the next level. Look for a rotating menu of seasonal flavors alongside classics peach and pomegranate, all made with fresh fruits, house-made gomme syrups, various bitters and fortified wines.
And for the traditionalists:
Piña colada by Steven Tuttle, Kettner Exchange. So it's not technically frozen, but trust me on this one, you won't miss the difference. It's shaken to a perfect whipped consistency, and it is just as refreshing and glorious as its colder cousin. It's made with Hamilton's Demerara Rum, fresh pineapple, house-made coconut syrup and lime, and garnished with a pineapple wedge and fronds.
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.