barb. For a bar known for its craft cock-
tails and beers, having a frozen machine
might seem a little ironic. But as Toste
explains, “We’re serious about what we
do, but the end result should be fun.”
The Right Mix
Serious bartenders all agree the key to
a good frozen drink is fresh ingredients.
Not only does a blender purée items
that would otherwise be a challenge to
use in a shaken or stirred drink, it ac-
tually combines them differently. Says
Carducci: “For the guest, it’s a com-
pletely different sensorial experience.
The body and temperature of frozen
drinks really change the way the ingre-
dients are perceived.”
Because you’re adding ice, dilution
is also an important factor to consider
when translating a recipe for the blend-
er. Haasarud advises: “If you just want to
cool it and aerate it, a few cubes of ice are
all it takes. However, if you want a drink
that is very thick and slushy, you may
need to add more sugar to help carry all
the flavors through the extra ice. Always
have extra sugar (or whatever sweeten-
ing agent you are using such as agave
nectar, honey, etc.) on hand.”
Another popular way to have fun
with frozen drinks is to use the blender
(or an ice crusher) to make adult snow
cones like Chiwawa, a Mexican restau-
rant in Memphis that offers customers a
shot of any spirit over snow cone flavors
like lemon or strawberry. Even celebrated
Chef Marcus Samuelsson is having fun
with snow cones at his Harlem restaurant
Red Rooster with Tres Leches and Cherry
Cola versions. Carducci is known for his
Snowgroni, a Negroni-inspired drink that
encapsulates the convergence of a classic
with the commercial. “We were obviously
being a little bit cheeky and stirring the
pot a bit, while still paying homage to the
drink and its origins,” he says.
Blender drinks—or anything fro-
zen on a stick or crushed in cup with
a splash of spirits—have an element of
novelty that works in a variety of estab-
lishments. No longer relegated to pool-
side, these light-hearted libations liven
up menus and add a fun twist to staid
classics. When done right, using quality
ingredients, frozen drinks have all the
pluses of a craft cocktail with none of
the pretense. And who can turn down a
Livin’ the High Life Margarita
By Kim Haasarud, Liquid Architecture
and the book
101 Blender Drinks
2 large grapefruit chunks, peeled to flesh
(no pith)
½ lemon, peeled to flesh (not pith)
1 lime, peeled (if possible)
2 oz. silver tequila
¾ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. Aperol
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 oz. Miller High Life beer
Combine all the ingredients, except the
beer, in a blender cup. Blend on High for
20 seconds without ice. Add the beer and 1
cup of ice. Blend on HIGH for 15 seconds,
then take it down to about 10% or lower
and blend for about 15 seconds. This will
alow you to have a cool, liquidy product
with a slight ice crunch.
Cantaloupe Campari Pops
Recipe by People’s Pops in Brooklyn
Cantaloupe, about 2 lbs., peeled and
¾ cup (6 fl. oz.) simple syrup (1:1)
¼ cup (2 fl. oz.) Campari
Cut the cantaloupe into large chunks and
purée in a food processor or blender. You
should have about 2 and ¼ cups (18 fl. oz.)
of purée. Transfer the puréed cantaloupe to
a bowl or measuring pitcher with a pour-
ing spout. Add the simple syrup until the
cantaloupe tastes quite sweet. Now dribble
in the Campari until you can detect its flavor.
Campari is less alcoholic than most spirits,
so this mixture can handle more of it, but it
has such a strong presence that you want to
be careful not to overdo it.
Pour the mixture into ice pop molds,
leaving a little bit of room at the top for
the mixture to expand. Insert sticks and
freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and
transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve
at once. Makes 10 pops.
Created by Jonathan Pogash,
The Cocktail Guru
1½ oz. Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka
¾ oz. Grand Marnier
1 scoop French vanilla ice cream (or
light ice cream or frozen yogurt)
¾ oz. heavy cream (can also use low-cal
substitute of choice)
Blend in a blender and pour into chilled
cocktail glass. Garnish with a candied
orange peel and freshly grated nutmeg.
The Tippler, NYC
By Tad Carducci
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