It’s time to embrace the boozy slushy. I know, it’s the bane of mixologists and cocktail geeks everywhere. But you know the perfect remedy for that recent heat wave? A frozen cocktail. It’s worth the brain freeze.
You can find examples of slushy staples — margaritas and piña coladas — at Woodsky’s in Fremont. But you can find better and more creative frozen concoctions around town these days. (The boys behind the great cocktail bar Liberty will serve frozen drinks in a new, yet unnamed bar set to open soon on Capitol Hill.)
No one has more fun making frozen drinks than Bait Shop on the north end of Broadway. Its rotating slushy lineup includes a spiked version of Orange Julius and the best slushy deal in Seattle, a big $7 happy-hour tiki drink, the Painkiller, packed with a punch of rum, with pineapple, coconut, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and more rum.
Yes, the frozen-drink trade is on the upswing. Bartenders realize that the colder temperature throws off the alchemy of the cocktail — especially those that have high sugar or high alcohol content — and that most cocktails don’t translate well as icy drinks without tweaking the recipe.
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The secret is not to freeze all the ingredients.
At Tom Douglas’ new restaurant TanakaSan near Belltown, sake and lemon juice get poured into the slushy machine to make the base ingredient used for several cocktails.
After I ordered the Swizzle, the bartender poured the slushy sake into a glass and mixed in pineapple juice and Chartreuse. The tropical and herbaceous flavors would have been muted if all the ingredients had gone through the machine.
Capitol Hill’s Artusi makes some of the most sophisticated and balanced frozen drinks, including a take on the Bourbon Street favorite, the Hurricane, which they’ve dubbed Water Off a Duck’s Back. Their version comes with rum, passion fruit, lime and a bit of saffron herbal liqueur. Before serving the drink, the bartender adds bitters and grates some long peppers to tame the sweetness. That add-on rounded out the drink nicely, the best slushy cocktail in Seattle.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle