Before you dust off the kitchen appliance, here are some handy tips to help you in making perfect frozen cocktails with a blender.
Frozen cocktails tend to get a bad rap for being sugar laden, brain-freeze inducing, watered down drinks that are not taken seriously by discerning drinkers.
Yet keeping in line with the current trend of the return to fun drinking, more bars are putting slushified versions of classic cocktails on their menus. If it’s good enough for esteemed Australian bartender Sam Ross to put the Penichillin, a slushie version of his modern classic the Penicillin cocktail on the menu at Diamond Reef in NYC, there’s no reason why frozen cocktails couldn’t be balanced adult libations that put the fun back into drinking.
This week, we’re running a Frozen Cocktail week on the website and on instagram starting with top tips for making perfect frozen cocktails with a blender.
10 Tips for Making Perfect Frozen Cocktails with a Blender
- Always use quality spirits, modifiers and ingredients when making a slushie or frozen cocktail. A good many bartenders would tell you, “crap in, crap out”.
- Where possible, pre-chill the liquid cocktail mixture in the freezer for 3-4 hours. The combination of alcohol, sugar and citrus won’t freeze but the lower temperature yields a better consistency.
- If you’re using fruit in the frozen cocktail, use frozen fruit or preferably, cut the fresh fruit into small pieces and freeze it ahead of time. You’ll need less ice when blending which means less dilution and a more pronounced fruity flavour.
- Use crushed ice or cracked ice instead of ice cubes. Not only is it easier on your blender, it will give a better texture and blend faster.
- To make crushed ice, all you need is a rolling pin (or a mallet) and an old tea towel (or a thick plastic bag). Put the ice cubes in the bag or wrap in an old tea towel, and take out your frustrations on the ice until it is crushed to bits. You can make crushed ice ahead of time and keep it in a container in the freezer.
- When you’re ready to make the frozen drink, add the chilled liquids first. Follow by the frozen fruit (if using ) and add ice last.
- Use a high-powered blender if possible. Start blending on the lowest setting then build up speed if required.
- Always start with less ice and add more as needed to thicken the mixture. You can always add more ice but it’s a lot more difficult to adjust the drink when you have too much ice and dilution.
- Serve the drink in chilled glasses to help slow down dilution and decrease the amount of ice melting, particularly on a hot and humid day.
- Unlike a slushie machine that’s designed to handle volume, when using a blender, it is best to make a maximum of 2 drinks at a time.
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