Frozen Drinks are a great way to overcome the heat of summer. As we roll into July, it’s time to consider giving the overheated crowds what they want. It’s easy to toss out lemonade or iced tea as an option, but if you really want to set yourself apart and create die-hard fans that last beyond the summer months, put some extra thought into your frozen drink selection.
When making your list of recipes, Chantal Martineau from Food Republic encourages making drinks that people will recognize and crave and offers tips on how to keep them top notch:
“Do make the classics: piña coladas, frozen margaritas. But make them properly. Piña coladas are made with lightly aged rum, pineapple juice and coconut milk. Not a crass ‘Piña Colada mix.’ Same goes for margaritas, which should ALWAYS be made with fresh lime juice and good tequila. And skip the triple sec and opt for Grand Marnier instead.”
While it’s important to make timeless drinks that everyone will know and recognize, originality will set you apart from all the others that serve traditional frozen drinks and can be the catalyst that creates loyal fans of your restaurant.
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Want some ideas to spark your imagination and help you stand out in the summer crowd? We’ve got you covered.
Let’s split this into ideas: with alcohol and without alcohol.
Frozen Drinks with Alcohol:
Bartenders are often finding new and exciting ways of mixing liquors to keep patrons intrigued and coming back for more. But will frozen drinks be viewed as too childish to go over well with adults? Kate Krader of Food & Wine doesn’t think so. She states:
“Things change. Blenders (and even their supercharged counterpart the slushie machine) have been installed at several top bars around the country. The groovy lounge Mother’s Ruin in New York City has a Daily Slush. At Liholiho in San Francisco, the frozen drink menu includes the crowd-favorite, rum-based frozen Skipper. Even the epic speakeasy PDT in Manhattan is into it.”
It seems that people are getting a bit adventurous with their drinks, and it’s letting bartenders explore their wild side. While there are sure to be some misses, the hits they discover can sweep the nation.
Here are a few recipes from some creative mixologists:
Halekulani Melon Daiquiri
Food & Wine shared a recipe for Halekulani Melon Daiquiri, which they based off a drink by Dale DeGroff, a mixologist from the Rainbow Room in New York City. The sweetness of cantaloupe and simple syrup combine with amber rum and orange bitters, tied together with lime juice and mint to create a complex array of flavors that unite for a fresh and unique daiquiri.
Spiked Frozen Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate
Feel like tropical drinks are overdone? Enter the Spiked Frozen Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate. Hot chocolate with heavy cream gets a kick from cayenne pepper and cinnamon and blended with ice and tequila to turn this winter favorite into a summer treat. The recipe can be found on The Well Floured Kitchen.
Christina Lane, of Dessert for Two, shared the recipe for a favorite she discovered at the California state fair.
“I had never heard of the glorious thing that is called ‘wine slushy,’ and so I stood in line over and over again to try all of the flavors. It was so quintessential California, and so perfect on that hot day.”
This one is as easy as it is addictive. White Zinfandel and frozen mixed berries. You can get creative with the wine and fruit choices, but for Christina’s favorite mixture, follow the recipe on her blog.
These are just a few examples of creative ideas for frozen, blended drinks. If you’re searching for the right equipment to make these on a commercial scale, take a look at our selection of commercial blenders or drink mixers.
Frozen Drinks without Alcohol:
Looking for creative frozen drinks for customers of all ages? Here are a few unique options that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
With more vitamin C than oranges, kiwis can add nutritious value to the sweetness of frozen drinks. Add lemon juice, honey, and honeydew melon, and you’ve got a delicious drink that won’t bog you down with sugar.
You can find the recipe on Good Housekeeping.
Mad Mad Martian Juice
Here’s a drink from Recipe.com that can satisfy the green smoothie craze that is taking over the health-conscious community, while still satisfying the taste buds of those with a sweet tooth.
Take your pick of mint, basil, or tarragon then toss in some simple syrup and some water to stretch the massive flavor from the herb you chose. Add lemon or lavender sprigs to enhance the display and provide aromatics.
Mad Mad Martian Juice is refreshing, unique and can be made a few different ways, so you can test which herb you like the best and make it your own.
Virgin Mango Margaritas
Looking to serve classics like the margarita, but don’t have your liquor license? Not to worry, use this easy recipe from Ree Drumond of Food Network to put a kid friendly twist on an adult favorite.
It’s as easy as blending mango chunks, sugar, and lemon-lime soda with a little ice. Simple drinks like this are a great way to add frozen drinks to your menu without breaking the bank with long lists of ingredients.
Beat the Heat
Summer is here. Pools are opening, shorts and flip-flops are everywhere, and just as pumpkin fever hits everyone in the fall, frozen drinks will be in high demand before you know it. Take a look through the recipes above for inspiration, and start building a frozen drinks menu to give your customers what they want this summer.
If you need equipment to make your frozen drinks, check out our blenders here. If you’re making large amounts and dispensing it throughout the day, we have your back. Our cold beverage dispensers can be viewed here.