Eating + Drinking

Cold Cocktails: Our Favorite Frozen Drinks for NYC’s Scorching 2019 Summer

Cheers to chilling!

Photo courtesy of the Polynesian

Seasonal drinks are designed to reflect our needs; fall and winter sippers are crafted to warm us up on frigid nights, while spring and summer cocktails are meant to cool us down. And right now, a spine-chilling, brain-freezing frozen libation is just what we need. Here’s what and where to drink for the rest of the summer.

Frozen Penichillin at Diamond Reef 

The Atlantic Avenue tiki bar resembles a Mad Men set…if Don Draper ever had an urge to drink something with an umbrella sticking out of it. Since the owners (Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross) come from the Lower East Side cocktail gem Attaboy, your cold drinks are also in experienced hands. I’ve always found scotch to be a seasoned drinker’s liquor, but their Frozen Penichillin with strong hints of lemon and honey is accessible to all. 1057 Atlantic Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Photo by Scott Heins/Gothamist/Courtesy of Diamond Reef

Amaro Shaved Ice at Au Cheval

There’s a good chance you’ll be waiting a while for a coveted table at this Chicago transplant, chronically packed to the max with burger fiends. In the meantime, head downward to Au Cheval’s red-washed waiting area, where the team is churning out bone-chilling libations made for heat waves. Our personal preference is an herbaceous take on the tropical shaved ice, drizzled with the bittersweet Italian liqueur known as amaro. Warning: Should you choose to drink too many, you might miss your table being called upstairs. 33 Cortlandt Alley (between White and Walker Streets), Tribeca

summer cocktails
Photo courtesy of Au Cheval

Mezcal Colada at Paper Daisy

While St. Mark’s Place isn’t the bohemian escape it was back in the day, the East Village stretch is still an excellent location to people-watch on a hot summer day. What better way to do just that than on the sidewalk with a boozy drink in hand? Cocktail crafter extraordinaire (and Mother’s Ruin alum) Thomas Flynn is behind the bar at this newish haunt, shaking and stirring up whimsical drinks inspired by seasonal ingredients and whatever he’s craving at the moment. Lately he’s been into the flavors of Puerto Rico, and his update on the piña colada—including passion fruit, Ilegal mezcal, and a bit of absinthe—is an evocative, liquid ticket to San Juan. 41 St. Mark’s Place (between First and Second Avenues), East Village

Frozen Aperol Spritz at Eataly’s Serra Fiorita

The Eataly empire’s rooftop is the ultimate countryside-like escape from Manhattan without leaving the concrete jungle. Your first step to vacation bliss? Finding the discreet elevator to the 14th floor, then ascending the white marble stairs to the airy, greenhouse-inspired space. To add to the bucolic Italian ambience, the controversial drink of the season is blended with Flor Prosecco and an organic Kelvin Slush mix to make it summer ready. 200 Fifth Avenue (at West 23rd Street), Flatiron

Photo courtesy of Eataly USA

A Blue Hawaii at the Polynesian

High above the humid midtown streets is Major Food Group’s tropical oasis, where self-proclaimed cocktail “pirate” Brian Miller concocts boozy sunshine in a glass. Most of the libation list taps into tiki’s origins, finding inspiration from old-time haunts like Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber and reinvigorating their recipes for today’s drinking audience. The Technicolor Blue Hawaii, however, is a true-to-form rendition, with sweet pineapple juice and cane sugar syrup, coconut cream made in-house, two types of rum, and a generous splash of blue Curaçao liqueur. 400 West 42nd Street (between Ninth Avenue and Dyer Street), Midtown

A Black Pepper Moscow Mule at Ramona

The double-decker Greenpoint space is already a looker, with gold accents, dramatic columns, abstract jigsaw tabletops, and Bettie Page–esque illustrations throughout. Its cocktails are also (unsurprisingly) showstoppers in their own regard, particularly one of the frosty varieties. Ramona’s version of the extra-gingery Moscow Mule kicks it to a higher gear with the additions of freshly cracked black pepper and a fistful of mint stabbed into a thick lemon slice. 113 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

Photo courtesy of Ramona/Facebook

Condor Collins at Intersect by Lexus

Repeat visits to this Meatpacking District culinary hub are almost mandatory, seeing as it switches concepts every season or two. Swinging by the haute Chelsea spot for the summer is Room 09, a Chilean rooftop speakeasy that’s been noted as one of the best in the world. You’ve probably seen its Aperol-filled clown fish vessel swimming around your ’gram feed, but its brilliant version of the Tom Collins hits the mark on both flavor (gin, licorice-y green Chartreuse, creamy tzatziki, and bubbly soda water) and presentation (a glass shaped like a cracked bird’s egg). 412 West 14th Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenues), Meatpacking District 

Photo courtesy of Intersect by Lexus/Facebook

Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee at Skinny Dennis 

This Williamburg honky-tonk saloon (named after a bygone country bassist) is the kind of place you’d take Texas transplants if they’re feeling homesick; the weekly live country music, taxidermied animals mounted on the reclaimed wood walls, and overall Americana vibes will surely make them feel like they’re not in Kings County. The reason a native New Yorker would saddle up to the bar here, though, is for Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee. Served in a paper Greek coffee cup most commonly found at your local bodega, the sweet slushy will surely knock your cowboy boots off if you’re not careful. You may not taste the bourbon, brandy, and coffee liqueur underneath the Oslo coffee grinds and hint of vanilla—but trust us, they’re there. 152 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

As always, we promise to save you a seat at the bar.