For most of us, there’s something nostalgic about the sing-song chime of an ice cream truck or that first refreshing lick of shaved ice after a day at the beach. It’s no wonder the kid in all of us has fallen in love with the latest libation trend: boozy milkshakes, spiked snow cones, poptails (cocktail popsicles), and other intoxicating frozen treats.
A coastal summer destination known for its frozen margaritas in various flavors, Michael’s Harborside in Newburyport offers three outdoor decks and a new 16-seat waterfront bar. Michael’s marketing coordinator Brianne Records says people gravitate toward these fun, frozen cocktails, like the colorful Miami Vice, a piña colada mixed with a strawberry daiquiri.
When it comes to bringing out the blender at home, Records advises using plenty of ice. “While you don’t want your drink to be watered down, the ratio of ice to mix is key for the perfect drink consistency that will hold up in the heat, but yet be mixed enough to drink easily through a straw.” Beyond the blender, bartenders and home cooks are also using popsicle molds and ice cream makers to create cocktail hour concoctions. Salem resident Jessie Cross is the creator of the food blog The Hungry Mouse (thehungrymouse.com) and author of Slushed! More Than 150 Frozen, Boozy Treats for the Coolest Happy Hour Ever (Adams Media). She shares her top tips for freezing up a round of drinks:
5 Tips for Adults-only Frozen Treats
1. Always use good-quality liquor. If you don’t like it in a glass, chances are you’ll hate it in ice cream.
2. Alcohol keeps liquid from freezing, which means you can’t overdo it. You can add about 1/4 cup of 80-proof liquor or 1 1/2 cups of beer or wine per quart of ice cream.
3. Try these flavor combos: Blueberry/basil/gin, coffee/cream/Kahlua, cherry/vanilla/Triple Sec
4. Making fruit-flavored concoctions? Try roasting the fruit first to deepen the flavor.
5. No ice cream maker? No problem. Freeze your boozy mixture in a lasagna pan and whisk every 30 minutes until frozen. It will be denser than machine-made ice cream, but just as delicious.
Michael’s Harborside Mudslide: Makes 1 serving
- 1 oz. Stoli Vanilla vodka
- 1 oz. Kahlua
- 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 1 scoop ice cream (4 oz.)
- 1 c. crushed ice
- Chocolate syrup for garnish
Tipsy Witch Granita Infused with Rosemary & Lemon
Tipsy Witch Granita Infused with Rosemary & Lemon: Makes about 1 quart
Recipe by Jessie Cross
- 2 c. water
- 1 c. sugar
- 5 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- Zest from 1 large lemon
- 1 c. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c. Strega liqueur
Put the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat. Toss in the rosemary and lemon zest. Cover the pot. Let the syrup infuse, covered, until it cools to room temperature, about 60 minutes. Strain and discard the solids. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and Strega. Pour into a shallow, freezer-safe dish. Freeze for an hour. Stir the mixture with a fork to break it up. Return to the freezer. Check and rake with a fork every 30 minutes, until the entire mixture is icy and frozen. Quick tip: If you don’t have fresh rosemary (or are having a granita emergency), substitute 3 tablespoons of dried herb.
Recipe excerpted from Slushed! More Than 150 Frozen, Boozy Treats for the Coolest Happy Hour Ever. “Rosemary-infused simple syrup, fresh lemon zest and juice, and Strega (an Italian herbal liqueur made in Benevento with 70 ingredients, including saffron, mint, and fennel. Strega is also Italian for “witch”) make this taste like an herbal Italian ice. This recipe is inspired by my friends here in Salem, which is an absolutely magical place to live. If you don’t have a bottle of Strega on hand, this would also be amazing made with St. Germain.”