Food & Drink

Frozen Drinks to Help Cool Off This Summer

From adult slushies to icy margs, blended beverages are plentiful at local bars.

Sure, you could go for a drink on the rocks or a cold can of Boh, but when temps really start to peak, there’s nothing quite like a frosted glass filled with a boozy slushie. In the spirit of supporting the breadth and creativity of our local drink scene, we gathered a list of seasonal blends to help patrons cool off this summer. If frozen is your thing, here are a few sips to explore:

Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar: The swirling slushie machines behind the bar at this Hampden fixture churn out a rotating roster of refreshing cocktails this time of year. (Think: the “Melon-choly Hill,” made with white rum, melon liqueur, fresh melon juice, vanilla, and lime, or the mezcal and strawberry syrup-infused “Crystal Ball.”) Sample one of the frozen drinks on the sunny back patio while digging into a pulled pork plate or the famous Pimento Piggle sandwich.

Bowley’s on the Bay: When it comes to its frozen drinks, this dock bar in Middle River is all about the classics. Take in the views (and try to avoid a brain freeze) while enjoying summer piña coladas, strawberry daiquiris, mango margaritas, mudslides, or a nostalgic Orange Dreamsicle.

Cafe Dear Leon: The raved-about Canton cafe recently introduced a drink special to help patrons beat the heat. The non-alcoholic “Brazilian Lemonade” infuses fresh lime juice, coconut water, and a touch of creamy condensed milk into an icy concoction garnished with lime slices and fresh mint.

Drift Bar: This Lighthouse Point Marina newbie—an aptly named floating dock bar—is an oasis for frozen cocktail lovers. Available in individual sipping sizes—or 20-oz. globes and 40-oz. fishbowls for sharing—the blended beverages include a margarita, banana daiquiri, coconut mojito, Orange Creamsicle, and the “Drift Apart,” which fuses light and dark rum with orange, pineapple, and cranberry juices.

Dutch Courage: In addition to its gin, punch, flight, and non-alcoholic options, the pages-long beverage menu at this Old Goucher favorite has a section dedicated to it’s signature frozen “Frosties.” The creative concoctions include the “Blue Banana” (coconut rum sourced from Washington, D.C.’s Cotton & Reed, crème de banane, orange bitters, lime, caramel, and a dehydrated banana chip) and the gin-forward “Napoleon Complex,” which combines Pimms No. 1, ginger wine, lemon, strawberry, mint, and cucumber.

Ellie’s Tavern: Ever since taking over the former home of Cardinal Tavern earlier this year, Ellie’s has made a name for itself in the Canton community for its comforting dishes, rotating drink specials, and specialty cocktails. Among them are house frozé made with rosé wine, strawberry vodka, and rossi ammaro, as well as the locally inspired “Orioles Magic Creamsicle,” a festive blend of orange vodka, vanilla simple syrup, orange juice.

Game On Bar + Arcade: Spins on childhood faves are plentiful at this retro hangout in Federal Hill, which offers old-school games like Duck Hunt, Galaga, and NBA Jam. Aside from the Jello shots and 21-and-over Capri Sun pouches, Game On features spiked slushies with fitting names: “Level One” and “Level Two.” The former fuses Deep Eddy’s orange vodka with St. Germain, pineapple, and Red Bull, while the latter combines vodka, rum, orange juice, and blue curaçao.

Papi’s Tacos: All three locations of this taco joint in Fells Point, Hampden, and Towson offer their margaritas on the rocks or frozen. Chow down on chips and salsa while sipping one of the tequila and house sour-infused margs in flavors such as mango, guava, watermelon, and pineapple chile. You can also kick it up a notch with an added Grand Marnier or mezcal floater.

The Royal Blue: This Station North newbie is celebrating its first summer in style. Not only is the team offering its housemade “Frizzy Frosé,” but they are also swirling the frosé with a frozen piña colada to whip up their aptly named “Frozadas.” Grab one to beat the heat, and be sure to line your stomach with a smashburger while you’re at it.

Sagamore Pendry Pool Bar: A weekday pool pass to Fells Point’s luxe hotel on the waterfront is the ultimate summer staycation. Treat yourself by lounging at the open-air oasis while sipping a frozen Crush with Sagamore Spirit rye, agave, lemon, and blood orange. Or you can opt for the house frosé that mixes Whispering Angel rosé with vodka and strawberry puree.

Sally O’s: The colorful cocktails fit in perfectly at this buzzy Highlandtown haunt, which is decorated with vibrant wallpaper and tons of interior greenery. As temperatures continue to peak, go for the frozen pineapple white sangria (white wine, rum, pineapple juice, Prosecco syrup, citrus, and St. Germaine) or the strawberry basil margarita with basil-infused tequila, strawberry syrup, dry curaçao, and lime.

Snake Hill: Three words: frozen espresso martinis. That’s it, that’s the writeup. (We kid!) The Highlandtown bar recently debuted these trendy, caffeinated delights as a special, and who knows how long they’ll stick around. So be sure to swing by soon.

SoBeachy Haitian Cuisine: Forget splurging on plane tickets this summer. One sip of the island drinks from this Cross Street Market vendor, and Baltimore Farmers Market regular, will transport you straight to the Caribbean. Thirst quenchers include the Haitian rum punch, “Pink Rabbit” (watermelon, lime, and vodka,) and the famous “Gone Beyond,” a mix of pineapple, watermelon, lemon, and vodka that can also be served virgin.

Wet City: The famous slushies at this go-to watering hole in Mt. Vernon have come in dozens of different flavors throughout the years. (Everything from an icy watermelon pisco sour to a blended pineapple mezcalita.) Currently, the bar is offering its “Orange-Mango Dreamsicle Slushie,” crafted with white rum, Giffard’s vanilla liqueur, orange, mango, vanilla ice cream, and orange slices.