5 Frozen, Boozy Ways to Beat the Summer Heat in Honolulu
These drinks are totally worth the brain freeze.
Tropical flavors; colors swirling in slow, mesmerizing circles; straws with little spoons at the end; sugary slush oozing out of the domed top. Those are usually the memories of childhood summers—or from last week, depending on your tastes.
But one of the latest cocktail trends has been taking our favorite frozen sips from hanabata days out of the convenience stores and into bar menus. Sometimes, it’s just throwing booze into a slushy machine and allowing it to do its magic. It can also set bartenders on a journey of experimentation, playing with pairings of classic flavors and tantalizing textures in this old-meets-new media.
Our take? It’s simply the best way to sip the end of summer away.
1. Custom Creamsicle Slushy
Photo: Courtesy of Piggy Smalls
The Piggy Smalls slushie offering rotates every few months to new and different flavors of frozen goodness. Recently, it’s been a perfectly summery orange-vanilla, with your choice of tequila, vodka, gin or rum. (Get the tequila.)
$11, Piggy Smalls, Ward Village, (808) 777-3588, thepigandthelady.com/piggysmalls/
2. Fruity Frosé
photo: Courtesy of blt market
Another summer day, another bar with a frosé on the menu. No complaints here. The BLT Market version is a blush-colored, blended beauty rocking a house-made strawberry simple syrup and Wairau River pinot noir rosé from New Zealand.
3. Irish Car Bomb Milkshakes
Photo: Taylor Ellis
Let’s not forget the beer—or the cream! Downbeat Diner offers a Guinness milkshake, with a shot of liquor, taking for a deliciously adult twist on your childhood self’s favorite way to drink away the summer. We chose whiskey, because, well, obviously.
$5 plus $3 a shot of call liquor, Downbeat Diner, 42 N. Hotel St., (808) 533-2328, downbeatdiner.com
4. Hemingway Daiquiri
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway’s habit of telling the bartender to “double the booze” even spilled over to the daiquiris served in the bars of Havana, eventually being adapted to the double-rum, maraschino liqueur cocktail we now call the Hemingway Daiquiri. Bevy has taken this classic cocktail and fed it into its slushy machine, with great (and boozy) results.
$13, Bevy, 675 Auahi St., (808) 594-7445, bevyhawaii.com
5. Pitaya Margarita and Frozen Sbagliato
Photo: Taylor Ellis
Encore Saloon switches up its slushies every week. When we visited, the pitaya margarita and frozen Sbagliato were on the menu. The dragon fruit’s pop of delightfully purplish-pink color and tart flavor laid to rest all our “why so serious?” doubts about these silly drinks. For the classic slushy combo, bartenders take the infamously bitter negroni drink, substitute the gin with prosecco and you have the Sbagliato. The name is the Italian word for “mistaken.” Drink lore is that the cocktail was created when a bartender somewhere grabbed the wrong bottle by mistake. Toss it into a slushy machine, à la Encore Saloon’s iteration, and you have your new pau hana favorite.
$10 each, Encore Saloon, 10 N. Hotel St., (808) 367-1656, encoresaloon.com
Psst: Word on the street is speakeasy Harry’s Hardware is rocking its own stash of top-tier cocktail concoctions in frozen form (think: spicy and refreshing Scotch Ginger Colada, or a creamy, boozy Grasshopper milkshake). We’d give you a peek, but this super-secret spot is just exclusive enough to warrant you seeing and tasting it for yourself.