Your backyard is full of your closest friends. Music is streaming from an outdoor speaker and your homemade guac is a total hit. Everyone seems to be having a good time. And yet, you know that something’s missing.
If you want to take your summer parties to an even chiller level, frozen drinks are a no-brainer. And before you balk at the idea of creating a perfectly blended, refreshingly cool, and supremely creamy frozen drink, take a moment to read these tips and recipes. With reusable drink bags, a premium blender, and lots of ice, the task is easier than you might think.
First, Gather Your Materials
The key to the perfect frozen cocktail is quality supplies. With sub-par materials, you could end up making some common mistakes. To avoid drinks that are too icy, too watery, or too thick, invest in these supplies:
A Premium Blender
Not all blenders are created equal. That said, price doesn’t always equal quality. Some of the best blenders on the market can be purchased for less than $300. As far as brands go, you should be safe with a product from Vitamix, Ninja, or Blendtec. These machines won’t leave you with large ice chunks at the bottom of your glass.
When you are shopping for a blender, look for products that are high-powered with sharp blades and a high-capacity mug. Blenders that can hold 72 – 90 oz are perfect if you plan to mix drinks for a big group. If you have the money to spend, you might even consider a true frozen beverage machine.
Reusable Drink Bags
Make life easier by pre-blending your drinks. Buy reusable drink bags, fill each with a serving of your beverage, and then throw them in the freezer. That way, your guests can grab a drink when they want it and you won’t be stuck in the kitchen. You can even choose to invest in reusable straws so guests can drink right from the bag.
A Quality Ice Maker
Of course, to make the perfect frozen cocktail, you need ice—and lots of it. A countertop ice maker really comes in handy when you’re making enough drinks to satisfy a big group.
There are several quality products to choose from, but your best bet will be an ice maker that creates nugget ice. If you can’t find one in your price range, be sure to find a machine that can produce crushed ice at the very least.
Crafting the Perfect Frozen Cocktail
Once you have compiled the above-mentioned materials, the next step is to start blending. Below, you’ll find three tasty recipes to help you get started.
Recipe #1: Frozen Gin and Tonic
If a gin and tonic is your go-to beverage, try this frozen twist on the old classic. For each cocktail, you will need:
- ¼ cup of gin
- 1 lime wedge or slice of cucumber
- 2 tablespoons of tonic syrup
(Multiply these ingredients by however many guests you plan on serving.)
Combine the ingredients into a sealed container and store them in the freezer for several hours. Then, pour the mixture into your blender and add ice. For a perfectly slushy cocktail, use 12 ice cubes (or 1 cup) of ice per serving. Be careful not to over blend. You’ll end up with a runny beverage. Finally, garnish the drink with the lime wedge or slice of cucumber.
To keep the gin from melting, the cocktail should be enjoyed immediately. Or, you can use reusable drink bags to keep the cocktail perfectly chilled. Your guests will be thrilled to open the freezer and find their favorite frozen drink ready to go.
Recipe #2: Frozen Sangria
If you and your party-goers prefer wine, frozen sangrias are the delicious choice. This recipe is sweet, fruity, and versatile. Check it out.
For ingredients, you’ll need the following:
- 1 chilled bottle of dry red wine (this will help to keep the sugar content down)
- 3 cups of mixed frozen berries
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1 can of club soda
- ½ cup of orange-flavored liquor
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
Blend these ingredients with your high-powered blender. Start the blender on low to break up the mass of frozen berries. Then, garnish with a sprinkling of berries or an orange slice. For a sweeter vs. tartar taste, add or reduce the sugar accordingly. And if you prefer your cocktail thicker, freeze the beverage before serving.
Sangrias are a flexible cocktail, so be sure to play with this recipe until you find the perfect blend. You can throw in grapes, lemons, and even pears according to your tastes.
Recipe #3. Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
To provide for any sober or underage guests you are hosting, try this non-alcoholic frozen drink option. It is the perfect frozen treat on a humid summer evening. And who knows? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is so tasty, you might decide to keep it all for yourself.
To get started, compile these ingredients:
- 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate
- 5 cups of frozen strawberries (or 1 container of fresh berries)
- Lemon slices to garnish
Blend and freeze the ingredients until ready to serve. For a creamier drink, add 1 cup of whole milk or a non-dairy substitute. Also, keep in mind the versatility of this recipe. Swap out the strawberries for blueberries, raspberries, or a blend of all three. Your guests will love this frozen treat.
Throw Your Coolest Party Yet
Summer is the perfect time to throw a backyard get-together—but the days can get long and sticky. To keep your guests cool and your party cooler, keep an array of frozen drinks in the freezer. By blending your cocktails beforehand and storing them in reusable drink pouches, you can keep everyone sated and enjoy the party yourself.
Of course, creating a drink that is perfectly blended can be tricky. But with the right supplies, you should be good to go. Invest in a high-quality blender and you will be crafting drinks like a pro in no time.