San Francisco’s typically belated summer has arrived, with variable but recently sweltering temperatures. When a cold beer or chilled glass of wine won’t do, here are 16 icy alcoholic beverages, blended and crushed for maximum refreshment. Warning: Consumption of frozen beverages may lead to brain freeze.Read More
Chill Out with These 16 Boozy Frozen Beverages
Heat-beating drinks and where to find them
1. The Dorian
The Dorian, est. 2015, provides a large, Victoriana-inspired atmosphere for dining and drinking in the Marina. And with the heat taking hold, they’ve started to serve “Frosé,” a blended combination of watermelon, rosé, vodka, lemon, and mint. To adapt a popular saying, it’s “frosé all day.”
2. Palm House
Palm House has been relaxing with a taste of the tropics since before sister restaurant The Dorian, and it started the party with its house slushies. Those come in rotating flavors like prickly pear and, for an added kick, with a dash of rum on top.
3. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
For timeless kitsch in San Francisco, is there really any comparison to the Tonga Room? Cool off in the historic tiki bar at the Fairmont Hotel with revamped classic drinks like the Fog Cutter and more contemporary cocktails like the Adult Swim, advertised as “more refreshing than a dip in our pool.” Please opt for the drink, rather than the dip: There is no lifeguard on duty.
4. The Treasury
One might not expect this classy den in the Financial District to serve a rotating slushy, but therein lies the fun. Their current blend of the more and less refined is Reyka vodka, strawberry, fino sherry, and lemon.
5. Pagan Idol
The team behind Rickhouse built this town’s new-er tiki temple. and it’s further evidence that the form isn’t going anywhere. Frozen drinks like their Mai Tai float, Bird of Paradise, or off-menu Pina Colada put the bar’s blenders to use, and there are bowls aplenty for sharing.
6. Pacific Cocktail Haven
Barman Kevin Diedrich’s cocktail oasis serves plenty of spirit-forward drinks, but there’s a touch of tiki in some of the options served over crushed ice. The Swizzle my Nizzle (Olmeca Altos Blanco Tequila, passion fruit, vanilla, lime, habanero, bitters) is sure to transport drinkers somewhere with a light, tropical breeze.
7. The Zombie Village
Another tiki hideaway, this one in the Tenderloin and also from the Bourbon & Branch/Pagan Idol team, Zombie Village serves lots of cooling cocktails to temper imagined tropical winds. Don’t miss the coco pandan — but how could you, when it’s the one with a lychee and coconut popsicle sticking out?
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8. Smuggler's Cove
A Hayes Valley hideaway of national acclaim, Smuggler’s Cove has a treasure trove of rums and a massive menu that doubles as a history of Polynesian pop and historic tiki bars. For a smooth, fully blended frozen refreshment, the Smuggler's Rum Barrel is a popular option. Pay extra to keep the barrel-shaped mug as a souvenir.
9. Trademark & Copyright
This neighborhood bar with dual personalities, one with a sports focus and the other with an emphasis on cocktails, teamed up with custard maker Frozen Kuhsterd for a line of boozy frozen desserts. Called FK Reserve, the fanciful options include matcha strawberry boozy milkshakes made with Kikori whisky.
10. Wooden Nickel
San Francisco, CA 94103
This friendly neighborhood dive separates itself from the rest with its solid food like burgers and San Diego style California burritos, plus frozen drink machines sloshing around margaritas and piña coladas. Get one, or both with a swirl.
11. The Ice Cream Bar
Paper-hat wearing “soda jerks” scoop ice cream and, for the 21+ crowd, mix boozy shakes at this retro Cole Valley establishment. Try the Dublin Honey (Guinness stout, caramelized honey ice cream, Valrhona chocolate syrup, and a float of Graham’s 10 year tawny port), or for something lighter and more refreshing, the Sunday Morning (seasonal fruit sorbet, Mumm Napa Brut Prestige sparkling wine).
12. The Morris
The Morris, from sommelier and mad genius Paul Einbund, is a tribute to wine and dishes like smoked duck. It’s also the home of the Chartreuse slushy, an herbaceous, refreshing adaptation of a fun-time frozen drink but made with a particularly esoteric and delicious liqueur produced by monks.
13. Alba Ray's
A New Orleans-inspired restaurant wouldn’t hold water without the Big Easy’s classic drinks. Fortunately, Alba Ray’s has them just right. Get some refreshing — and powerful — Hurricanes and frozen daiquiris at the front bar or at the table with your meal. Sadly for weeknight revelers, they’re only open for brunch these days, but that means the hurricanes are bottomless.
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14. The Beehive
Refreshing blended ice concoctions at this popular Valencia Street watering hole include the “Strange Love,” with Ketel One, raspberry, riesling, Cappelletti, Montenegro, and lime. On warm days, the Beehive opens the windows onto the street, but if that doesn’t cool things down enough, consider the Strange Love a new form of air conditioning they’ve invented.
Foreign Cinema’s sister bar Laszlo, located next door, has been known to sling a frozen cocktail or two, including more spirit-forward options than are typical like a frozen Negroni. Bar manager Nicky Beyries freshens up her menu frequently, so stop in to check for her latest frozen concoction.
The slushie machines at this funky, Korean-style Mission eatery are doing some very important work: Mixing drinks like a Blackberry mojito, a yuzu margarita, and POG (pineapple orange guava, of course).
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