narwhal’s crafted frozen cocktails from left, elderflower gin fizz, golden mango margarita, thai collins and rhubarb paloma photo by carmen troesser

7 boozy slushies to slurp all summer in St. Louis

Summer tip: It’s impossible to be unhappy with a frozen drink in your hand. From a frosty classic cocktail to the equivalent of a 7-Eleven Slurpee, we’re not too good for an alcoholic slushie. You can’t get that beautiful, smooth, granular churning commercial slush machine texture from a blender, and the St. Louis bar scene is fully on board beyond the requisite margarita. Well, mostly.

“I didn’t want to do it,” said Público bar manager Nick Digiovanni. But chef-owner Mike Randolph insisted on a slush machine, and we’re so glad he did. The frosé sangria is of the same impeccable quality as the rest of Público’s cocktails. A rich fuchsia color, it’s made with grenache rosé, tequila and hibiscus-orange syrup for a slightly floral, barely sweet treat that tastes way more like wine than most frosés.

High-class doubters will feel equally comfortable with the slushes at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. The tea-based bourbon punch is a mild, balanced introduction, while the rotating seasonal is a place for bar manager Ronnie Walters to show off a little, like with the recent Aviation slush. It tasted just like the fresh, bright and muskily floral classic.

Westport Social and Porano Pasta are also on the classic cocktail train, the former with rotating options like a bright pink hibiscus paloma perfect for cooling down after a competitive game of shuffleboard. Porano offers a spot-on frozen Negroni to accompany its Italian eats.

But if you want one place to try the best of what frozen has to offer – classic cocktails, sweet dessert drinks, creative flavors – head to Narwhal’s Crafted in the Central West End. The frozen kingpin is so popular it just announced a second location. Be sure to order the Flight of the Narwhal to try three different flavors from the massive selection. The electric turquoise Thai Collins is a personal favorite with gin, curaçao and lemon infused with coriander and lemongrass for a fresh, Thai-spiced tropical refresher.

Start Bar’s selection falls more on the Slurpee side, which is not a bad thing at all. The strawberry rosé has more fruit than wine, and would be a crowd-pleaser if you’re interested in the Master Slush special: a 64-ounce slushie with four floater shots that comes with a pair of sunglasses.

If Start Bar leans 7-Eleven, Tropical Liqueurs is the QT of adult frozen beverages with a wide selection of super sweet, brightly colored drinks. Aficionados are already aware that the slushie destination recently opened in The Grove. The rum- and vodka-heavy menu is full of fun fruit flavors. Go for the Redbird, which tastes exactly like a Sonic cherry limeade. We give you permission to feel no frozen beverage shame.

Heather Hughes is managing editor, print at Sauce Magazine. 

Tags : Cocktails, Places