There may be few things better than sipping a cool drink on a shady patio as Atlanta heads into the dog days of summer. Bartenders around the country have been breaking out the blender this season in favor of boozy slushies and frozen drinks. No, not those sugar-laden, store-bought mixers topped off with cheap booze and blended within an inch of their lives. (Re)consider the frozen cocktail at one of these six metro Atlanta bars who've given the maligned drink a much-needed update in the form of classic cocktails, wine and even an Irish coffee riff.
Beverage manager Jose Pereiro is on trend with his oft-ordered fr osé cocktail. The frozen concoction is what happens when r osé meets a slushie machine. While frosé may be THE drink of the summer both in Atlanta and around the U.S., it’s Pereiro’s spin on the rum-based classic Cuba Libre made with white rum, Atlanta's own Coca-Cola, Angostura bitters and fresh lime juice that’s likely to turn the heads of cocktail lovers when it debuts this weekend at the Marietta fish house in East Cobb.
The Avenue East Cobb, 4475 Roswell Road, #1410, Marietta. 770-635-7641, driftoysterbar.com.
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Said to have been created somewhere around 1941 as a marketing ploy by vodka giant Smirnoff and Los Angeles pub Cock n’ Bull, the Moscow Mule is credited for catapulting vodka and vodka-based cocktails onto American bar menus. Made with spicy ginger beer, vodka and lime (often served in the iconic copper cup,) Buckhead bowling lounge The Painted Pin gives its guests the option of ordering the refreshing classic as intended or in slushie form.
737 Miami Circle NE, Atlanta. 404-814-8736, thepaintedpin.com.
Grain’s cocktail program is the carefully crafted creation of beverage director Jonathan Turner who loves to mix his drinks with equal parts sarcasm, the classics and science. The small but mighty bar located in the heart of Midtown on West Peachtree has recently updated their cocktail menu for the summer which, of course, includes frosé. But Turner gets cheeky and old school with the Orange Jubilee slushie made with MD 20/20 orange jubilee and High West bourbon.
856 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta. 404-881-5377, grain-bar.com.
Located at the corner of 5th and Spring in Tech Square on the edge of the Georgia Tech campus, the newly-opened Canteen has already become a popular dining spot for students and Midtown office workers. The micro-food hall from the owners of West Egg and The General Muir as well as Krog Street Market’s Fred’s and Yalla is housed in the former Spence space. The Canteen’s Square Bar serves up beer, wine and, best of all, frozen cocktails like the classic margarita with tequila, Curacao and lime, whiskey and Cheerwine with lemon and yes, frosé, all served from the back bar’s three slushie machines.
75 5th St. NW, Ste 170, Atlanta. thecanteenatl.com.
Anyone who has ever visited New Orleans knows frozen drinks are synonymous with the Crescent City. So, when Bon Ton married New Orleans-style cooking with classic Vietnamese dishes, frozen cocktails were a must-have on the drinks menu. Beverage manager Tyler Blackgrave and his team along with owner/barman Eric Simpkins devised two clever frozen concoctions: the refreshing Frozen Ward Six Cup (aka Frozen Pimm’s) with vodka “Pimm’s”, cucumber, fruit and ginger and a slushie version of Simpkin’s hot cocktail the Vietnamese Irish Coffee with Jameson, coffee brandy, chicory, sweetened condensed milk, cream and nutmeg.
674 Myrtle St. NE, Atlanta. 404-996-6177, bontonatl.com.
S.O.S Tiki Bar
What frozen drinks list would be complete without the mother of all guilty pleasures, the Pina Colada? But the tropical classic on the menu at S.O.S Tiki Bar in Decatur isn’t some at-volume blender drink served from the swim-up bar at a Sandals resort. This frozen cocktail is fresh with a capital F. White rum, coconut milk, pineapple, lime and tiki bitters frozen to the core make the Pina Colada here both delightfully sweet and deceptively boozy. For fans of high octane Navy rum, order up the Pain Killa, S.O.S's frozen version of the modern tiki classic the Painkiller which, while similar to the Pina Colada, additionally contains OJ and nutmeg.
340 Church St., Decatur. 404-377-9308, vicsandwich.com.