As a child, the start of summer always meant one thing: frozen ice pops! Now that I’m an adult, my love for sweet chilly treats hasn’t changed much, save for one small detail… alcohol. Whether on the beach or in your own backyard, I’ve found that the best way to beat the summer swelter are frozen cocktails melting in your hand. That first whir of the blender is the classic sound of laid-back days in the sun and fun-filled nights with friends and family.
But, we didn’t always have ice and blenders, you know. Prior to the 1800s, liquor was typically served tepid. Europeans believed that the warmth of the drink would draw the heat from our bodies and make us cool. However, in 1806, Boston businessman Frederic ‘The Ice King’ Tudor had his own ideas. He concocted the brilliant plan to ship the ice from Massachusetts lakes and rivers to warmer climates, like the Caribbean. Thus, the frozen drink was born.
The first slushy drink was called “The Smash”. A simpler take on the Mint Julep, it incorporates sugar, water, bourbon, and fresh mint served over crushed ice. After making its appearance in the mid-1830s, it peaked in popularity between the 1840s and 1860s. That’s when America’s obsession with frozen cocktails really took off.
Daiquiris: The Essential Summer Frozen Cocktail
Today, the term “frozen cocktail” is synonymous with The Daiquiri. Served either blended or over crushed ice, the Daiquiri comes in virtually any fruity flavor you could think of and is mixed with rum and sugar for the perfect summer blend.
The first version of The Daiquiri was invented in Cuba by Jennings Cox in 1896. It was said that after running out of gin at a cocktail party, Cox stirred up a mixture of punch, limes, and brown sugar with rum and christened it the “Daiquiri,” which was a nearby port town where the U.S. first invaded Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
Between the 1920s and 1930s, Constantino “Constante” Ribalaigua Vert perfected the drink with shaved ice and the whir of an electric blender. And the frozen daiquiri was born.
Over the years, the daiquiri has seen many transformations, but by the 1940s and 1950s most people agreed, the frozen daiquiri is the perfect drink to be shared beside a body of water, be it beach or pool.
Variations of the Daiquiri:
- La Florida Daiquiri Number 2: Constantino Ribalaigua Vert’s orange-accented daiquiri adds dashes of Curaçao and orange juice to the original.
- Hemingway Daiquiri: Another Constantino variation, here grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur join the drink’s base ingredients.
- Don’s Special Daiquiri: Don the Beachcomber’s tikified daiquiri is sweetened with passion fruit syrup and honey instead of sugar.
- Nuclear Daiquiri: This is one of the most famous recent daiquiri variations, and one that has been very popular in the U.K. for years. Late bartender Gregor de Gruyther’s modern classic daiquiri riff calls for green Chartreuse, over-proof rum, and falernum in place of sugar.
Can I Make a Daiquiri Without a Blender?
The Daiquiris we know today are typically blended with ice to a smooth, frosty finish, however, no blender? No problem! The classic rum daiquiri is a very simple drink and is just as refreshing as its frozen counterpart. To make a classic daiquiri all you need is:
2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces white Cuban or Cuban-style rum
Add sugar and lime juice to a cocktail shaker, and stir to dissolve sugar. Add rum. Fill shaker with ice and shake like hell. Strain into a cocktail coupe. *Recipe courtesy of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry
Our Favorite Frozen Drinks From Around the World (Besides Daiquiris)
Frozen drinks are more than just Daiquiris! Here at DrinkableGifts.com, we all have our own favorite frozen classics.
- Pisco Sour from Peru – CEO Dmitriy Peregudov’s Favorite Frozen Drink
- The pisco sour is the national cocktail of both Peru and Chile, where pisco brandy is made and loved. It’s a mix of Pisco, sugar, limes, egg whites, and bitters, served over ice.
- Margarita from Mexico – Blog Writer Shannon Youngblood’s Favorite Frozen Cocktail
- Similar to the Daiquiri, the Margarita can be served either frozen or on the rocks. It incorporates tequila, triple sec, fresh limes, and simple syrup.
- Pina Colada from Puerto Rico – Director of Marketing Carmen Monroe’s Favorite Frozen Drink
- The piña colada is a cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut or coconut milk, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice.
- Sangria Slush from USA – Marketing Project Manager Sempronia Hobgood’s Favorite Frozen Cocktail
- Combine frozen berries, red wine ice cubes and chilled brandy mixture in a blender and mix until frothy.
- Frozen Mudslide from USA – Blog Writer Toni T.’s Favorite Frozen Drink
- Made with Irish cream, coffee liqueur, vodka, and vanilla ice cream. Whip it up using a blender in minutes. Heaven!
You Know How to Have a Deliciously Boozy Summer with Frozen Cocktails, Now What?
- Send their favorite rum for frozen cocktails.
- Master the wonderful world of whiskey: Whiskey 101: How To Navigate The World Of Whiskey
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Toni T. is a writer, mother, amateur makeup artist, and coffee addict — not necessarily in that order! A lover of all things vintage, she’s an encyclopedia of useless 80’s trivia and adores a bold red lip. She is a second-generation Greek American with dreams of traveling abroad to see the land on which her ancestors walked but, for now, she resides in the ‘burbs of New Jersey with her husband and children.