As this Texas summer heats up, Austin bars and restaurants are making sure that we can cool down with frozen drinks — and not just the most quintessential one of all, the frozen margarita, although there’s plenty of that, too. Here’s our updated guide on where to go to find all the most delicious frosty cocktails, following this guide from last summer.
First of all, frozen rosé, perhaps the inevitable result of the red-hot rosé wine trend, has returned bigger and better this summer at numerous places. You can find frosé at Hotel San Jose, where the Rioja rosé is mixed with lemon to contribute a bright, refreshing flavor, and at other places like Revelry Kitchen + Bar, EastSide Tavern and rosé-loving Whip In.
The pink drink has even made it out to the Hill Country, where it was recently $5 at Dripping Springs’ Proof & Cooper.
Of course, there are plenty of other frozen potions if rosé just isn’t your go-to summer sipper.
One of the most reliable places in town to find a good frozen cocktail is at the King Bee Lounge, which has not been able to take its frozen Bee’s Knees, with gin, lemon and Good Flow Honey and garnished with a bright tropical flower, off the menu since opening the East Austin bar with it in late summer 2014. That’s almost a full three years of the popular drink.
A second frozen option at the King Bee Lounge rotates out more regularly and is currently the summer-friendly Rum Runner with white rum, pomegranate, creme de banane, blackberry and lime.
On the other side of town, Odd Duck is also a reliable creator of frozen potions and regularly has one on the menu, changing it out, like the rest of the food and beverage program, with the seasons. For these scorching summer days, the restaurant has the beautifully green-hued Cool as a Cucumbrrrr, with vodka, cucumber, strega, lime and creme de violette.
New this year is the cold-as-ice cocktail at the newly revamped Austin Motel, which took over the Snack Bar space on South Congress Avenue to open the Fine Foods cocktail bar and accompanying food trailer Jo’s Burger Box. There, try the Cold Fashioned, a frozen version of the classic Old Fashioned, with rye, citrus simple syrup and bitters.
When the Deck Nine Observatory Bar opened above the Boiler Nine restaurant in the historic Seaholm Power Plant last year, beverage director Jason Stevens thought the open-air bar would be the perfect setting for a frozen drink and opened with one featuring Independence Brewing RedBud Berliner Weisse. This summer, he’s created the refreshing Rio Verde, with tequila, basil, grapefruit, chartreuse and lime slushy.
Urban winery Infinite Monkey Theorem hasn’t brought back its frosé just yet (although you should expect it later this summer), but visitors to the graffiti art-covered tasting room can try another wine slushy right now, made with Infinite Monkey Theorem’s moscato and merlot as well as simple syrup.
Just want the Austin favorite of a frozen margarita? Those are plentiful at places like Curra’s Grill, which has long made a vividly green avocado margarita, and Guero’s Taco Bar, where you can order the house margarita — excuse me, the Casa Margarita — frozen or on the rocks and with flavors like mango, strawberry, raspberry and sangria.
You can also count on good frozen margaritas at pretty much any eatery in the El Chile family of restaurants, like El Alma’s Piñarita with tequila-marinated pineapple purée and coconut milk or Alcomar’s Coco Tropical with pineapple juice, coconut milk, ginger liqueur, and a cinnamon and sugar rim.
How about a frozen drink sans alcohol? The downtown location of Houndstooth Coffee has just the beverage for you: the Frozen Japanese Iced Coffee. The baristas simply freeze up a batch of Houndstooth’s Japanese iced coffee, blended with cane sugar and garnished with blood orange and Luxardo cherries, and serve it in a tulip glass. Like last year, that’s not the only coffee cocktail available at the coffee shop.