In the heat of summer, there’s only one way to feel refreshed — with an ice-cold glass of booze. Specifically, you’ll want a frozen cocktail, whether that’s a classic margarita or the ever-trendy frosé, and Austin bars and restaurants have a ready supply of these chilly drinks.
Here’s our updated guide on where to go to find all the most delicious frozen potions, in a follow-up to this round-up from last summer.
King Bee Lounge, 1906 E. Twelfth St. The East Austin cocktail bar has elevated the frozen drink to an unexpectedly complex elixir fit for royalty. King Bee’s frozen Bee’s Knees — featuring gin, lemon and Good Flow Honey and garnished with a bright tropical flower — has been on the menu since the beginning.
The bar also offers a typically seasonal additional frozen cocktail, and most recently, that’s the irresistible frosé, a $7 pretty-in-pink, strawberry-filled slush garnished with a tiny umbrella.
Loro, 2115 S. Lamar Blvd. What do you get when two James Beard award-winning chefs, Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin, collaborate on an Asian smokehouse together? Not just quality Asian dishes. Drinks at Loro include two frozen options: a Frozen Gin & Tonic and a Mango Sake Slushie. Yellow as sunshine, the mango cocktail tastes like all the flavors of the tropics were blended together and chilled into a drink that will transport you to the South Pacific.
Hank’s, 5811 Berkman Dr. The newly open Windsor Park restaurant, bar and coffee shop has already become one of Austin’s most Instagram-friendly places thanks in part to a casual West Texas aesthetic and to cocktails like the Frozen Paloma — a tequila and grapefruit mixture — and Frosé. Hank’s version of the frozen wine drink might be the loveliest shade of pink you’ll ever see in a glass: a vibrant desert rose.
Vivo, 6406 N. Interstate Hwy. 35. Margaritas at this Tex-Mex spot at the Linc complex are as boozy as ever. Order a frozen margarita either as is, with lime juice and simple syrup, or with flavors like prickly pear, mango, strawberry and blood orange. Those are an additional 75 cents and worth every penny.
Juliet Italian Kitchen, 1500 Barton Springs Rd. On a beverage menu that focuses on Italian cocktails like the low-alcohol Aperol Spritz, diners at the charming Italian-focused eatery will also find a featured $10 frozen cocktail. It’s often frosé, but Juliet has created frozen Negronis and other ice-cold drinks, too. Sip one on the patio during the KUTX Live Jazz Series every Wednesday evening.
Odd Duck, 1201 S. Lamar Blvd. One of Austin’s very best restaurants, Odd Duck is a very consistent bird when it comes to one thing — its seasonal menus. The beverage program changes every few months and offers a new frozen cocktail each time. For these sweltering summer months, seek liquid respite in the Fro-groni, featuring Ford’s gin, Campari, Carpano Antica, grapefruit and mint.
Spokesman, 440 E. St. Elmo Rd. Though primarily focused on beer and coffee, this South Austin cafe tends to have something for every palate and recently introduced frozen drinks, or what Spokesman is calling “Spokesicles.” The Pank Drank is a beet-filled twist on frosé. Prefer a taste of the tropics? Go with the Mango Island, containing Prosecco, mango, pineapple and that special secret addition.
Nickel City, 1133 E. Eleventh St.: This East Austin bar was recently named one of America’s best bars by Esquire magazine, and there’s a reason it made the storied list. Nickel City is laid-back, the quintessential neighborhood hangout, but boasts a drinks menu that’s hard to top. Two of the cocktails are classics Nickel City has repurposed into frozen perfection.
The Irish Coffee and Hannah’s Hurricane are both served frozen in branded plastic cups for $9 — but you’ll pay a dollar less when it’s more than 99 degrees outside. Thanks to the relentless summer sun beating down on Austin, you’ll have lots of chances to enjoy that discount over the next couple of months.
Holy Roller, 509 Rio Grande St. A certain pink-hued frozen cocktail might be dominating menus all over Austin, but at the all-day punk-rock brunch spot Holy Roller, another color has taken up residence in the frozen machine. The Electric Lemonade is a bright, vibrant blue because of Combier Le Blue, a fruit liqueur, that joins vodka and lemonade for an easy-drinking summer sipper.
The Cavalier, 2400 Webberville Rd. Taking over the short-lived East Austin location of the Dog & Duck Pub earlier this year, the Cavalier has proved to be a worthy replacement by pairing Southern comfort dishes with a disarmingly simple cocktail menu. There’s only one frozen drink, but it’s a doozy. Made with mezcal, strawberry puree and lemonade, Red Headed Stranger is a nod to the one and only Willie Nelson.
The W Austin, 200 Lavaca St. It’s a constant pool party at the downtown hotel’s outdoor Wet Deck, which is open to the public with weekday passes and at the Soundwave event each Sunday. The music-themed frozen cocktails, four in total, will certainly guarantee festive fun in the sun, from the margarita-like Bidi Bidi Bom Bom to the tropical Mango No. 5 and It’s Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Rounding out the ice-cold cocktails is the boozy Le Freak Frozé.
Foxhole Culinary Tavern, 13995 North Highway 183. People living in the suburbs north of the city don’t have to go far for proper frozen cocktails. The Cedar Park-area restaurant has what may well be one of the all-time best frosés in town, as well as a frozen lemonade. The Foxhole Frosé, a mix of rosé, lemon, basil and strawberry, is lightly fruity without being too sweet.
Austin Eastciders, 979 Springdale Rd. A cidery with a frozen cocktail? You bet. Eastciders’ Collaboratory tasting room has brilliantly combined its popular Ruby Red Grapefruit Cider with agave wine and grapefruit bitters to create a cider slushie, called the Palomanzana. Best of all, the refreshing $8 drinks come served in an Eastciders can.
Seven Grand, 405 E. Seventh St. When a whiskey bar installs a frozen machine along its extensive back bar, you’d better believe whiskey, lots of whiskey, is going into it. The resulting frozen cocktail is a Scotch piña colada that — as strange as it sounds — is actually really good. Perhaps that’s because Monkey Shoulder Scotch blended with pineapple and coconut results in a far less sweet version of the traditionally rum-based beverage.
Haymaker, 2310 Manor Rd. Make sure you’re at this East Austin sports bar on Fridays. Not only are frozen margaritas on special for $2 that day, but starting at 4 p.m., Haymaker also offers boozy snow cones as part of its weekly Sno Cone Happy Hour. The ones with booze are $3; the ones sans alcohol are completely free.
The Roosevelt Room, 307 W. Fifth St. This downtown bar with arguably the most extensive classic cocktails program in Austin is celebrating a recent expansion of its hours of operation by introducing the Frosevelt Frosé. It’s on special for $10 on Sundays, when the cocktail den is now open from 3 p.m. to midnight.
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This post has been corrected to reflect the Frosevelt Frosé is $10.