If You're Feeling Adventurous: Avocado Margarita at Nacho Borracho
Think avocados only belong in guacamole and on top of toast? Not so at Nacho Borracho. The Capitol Hill watering hole is equally loved for its row of slushy machines, which crank out frozen drinks year-round, as it is for Monica Dimas's tacos. And if you're looking for a frozen drink more reminiscent of a smoothie than an ICEE, the avocado margarita has come to answer your prayers. Besides avocados (duh), the drink has the usual margarita components—tequila, citrus, triple sec—plus a super secret ingredient. You'll just have to try it to find out.
If You're Feeling Indulgent: Drunken Sailor at Hot Cakes
Admit it, we all crave a Dairy Queen Blizzard from time to time. And with nary a DQ in the city, we're lucky to have Hot Cakes filling the big empty milkshake hole in our lives—and taking the creamy drink to another level. Enter the Drunken Sailor, which blends Bluebird vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, and dry-burned caramel with Jameson Irish Whiskey. What do you do with a drunken sailor early in the morning? Give him one of these, apparently, and throw some whipped cream and candied peanuts on top.
If You're Feeling Millennial (Pink): Frosé at The Belmont
Recently reborn as The Belmont, Revolution Wine took Seattle by storm when it first offered frosé two summers ago. Owners Carmen and Mark Brown had to buy a second freezer just to freeze rosé. Really. For good reason too—after lots of initial experimentation, the Browns have frosé down to an art. They freeze a Spanish blush wine, then add fresh-squeezed juice, Lillet Blanc, simple syrup, and more high quality rosé. Each drink is also made by scratch (rather than in a slushy machine), so you know your frosé is meant for you and you alone.
If You're Feeling Passionate: Mango-a-Go-Go at Copal
Don't get us wrong, mango is clearly the star of the Mango-a-Go-Go, but don't neglect the notes of passion fruit, which make their way into this cocktail in the form of puree and liqueur. Also noteworthy: This baby isn't going anywhere. Slushies are a perennial mainstay at Copal, not just during the summer, and rotate about every four to six months. That said, this orange, mango, passion fruit, and white rum combo is just the kind of drink meant for weather like this.
If You're Feeling Vegan: Piña Colada at No Bones Beach Club
So maybe most piña coladas are already vegan, but how many restaurants are offering up the tiki drink alongside vegan bites like beet poke and avocado tacos? At least one, thankfully: No Bones Beach Club. The laid-back Ballard spot makes its version with coconut milk, organic raw sugar, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. And a floater of Whaler's Original Dark rum, because even classics need an update here and there.
If You're Feeling Collegiate: Watermelon Fuzzy Naval at Screwdriver Bar
Can one feel collegiate in the absence of grueling finals or keggers? It turns out, yes. At Screwdriver, slushies are switched up regularly—frosé, the very popular Harvey Wallbanger, and more have made appearances. But check out the available-for-now watermelon fuzzy navel (on the left), which is an elevated take on the throwback drink. The basement bar and pinballs machines only add to the nostalgia.
If You're Feeling Tropical: Coconut Slushy at Ba Bar SLU and U Village
Order a coconut slushy at Ba Bar's South Lake Union or U Village locations and you'll be humming "You put the lime in the coconut" in no time. This slushy channels tropical vibes inside and out thanks to its coconut vessel. The ingredients hold up their end of the bargain too: fresh coconut juice, mango puree, rum, and—of course—lime. Now if only there was a way to magically transport Ba Bar to the beach...
If You're Feeling Punchy: Pineapple Pisco Punch at Rachel's Ginger Beer
Brand spanking new and wonderfully bright, the pineapple pisco punch at Rachel's Ginger Beer is a kick in the pants (in the best way possible). Founder Rachel Marshall loves pisco—a Peruvian spirit made from grapes—and decided to work with La Caravedo, a distillery that's been crafting the drink since 1684. Fresh ginger, lemons, and caramelized pineapple renders the slushy bright and acidic with a touch of sweetness, aka nirvana.
If You're Feeling Fresh as Flowers: Hibiscus Margarita at Bar Ciudad
Hibiscus margarita? Now that's a twist on a classic. A Bar Ciudad, bartender Mario Rodriguez soaks dried hibiscus flowers in tequila for at least a day to infuse the tart, fruity flavor, then adds triple sec and lime to make this much beloved margarita. Slushy flavors rotate, but this hit is on heavy rotation.
If You're Feeling Retro: Saturn Slushie at Navy Strength
In 1967, bartender J "Popo" Galsini invented the Saturn during a cocktail contest; decades later, it's one of the world's most popular tiki drinks, evening rivaling the mai tai. Navy Strength, which was just named Best New American Cocktail Bar, pays homage to the classic drink in slushy form, and the recipe stays true to the original—gin, lemon, and falernum, passion fruit, and orgeat syrups. The hype surrounding the original drink has extended to the slushy as well; according to co-owner Chris Elford, it's "fast approaching legendary status at our bar."
If You're Feeling Nostalgic: Supreme-Sicle at Supreme
Supreme throws it back in a very different way, updating a childhood classic: the orange creamsicle. The Supreme-Sicle is the most popular slushy at the West Seattle pizza bar, though flavors are never lacking thanks to four slushy machines. But how exactly does one turn a kid's popsicle into a grownup drink? By blending up whipped cream vodka, orange liqueur, orange juice, passion fruit puree, and half and half.
If You're Feeling Tiki: Lucky Colada at New Luck Toy
Buddhas, orca whales, girls in bikinis—you know you're in for a tiki drink the moment it's set in front of you at New Luck Toy. But that doesn't mean that the classic frozen drinks haven't received a modern update. The Lucky Colada, the bar's signature slushy, cuts back on the cloying sweetness of a traditional piña colada, blending dark and light rum, cream of coconut, coconut milk, coconut water, lime juice, chocolate liqueur, and Frangelico. The end result: a richer and rounder flavor profile (thank the hazelnut notes) that has many deeming it the best piña colada they've ever had.
If You're Feeling Fiesty: Rosesistance at Monsoon
Don't get us wrong, we love the original frosé, but it doesn't have to be the only frozen pink drink on the Hill this summer. Case in point: Monsoon's Rosesistance, which opts for pink vermouth in lieu of rosé. Pomegranate liqueur, grapefruit, and lemon round out the rest of the drink and pack a punch.