Let's face it: Even a trashy frozen margarita tastes good at the height of summer. The mix of slushy booze and sugar is hard to beat.

But when that combination is in the hands of some of the country's top bartenders, the resulting drink is altogether transcendent.

At Washington, D.C.'s Estadio, boozy slushies--known as slushitos--have been on the list since the restaurant opened a few years ago. In one version, sherry is touched with shisito peppers; in another, strawberries blended with Campari replaces the sour mix, and the drink is garnished with basil (see the recipe).

And in New York, The Tippler has been pushing "lushies" for a nearly a year; Snow-Gronis dress the classic Negroni in beach attire.

With the revival of the frappé, a classic cocktail traditionally made with absinthe and crushed ice, the movement seems to be heading into a more refined direction. At Justice Snow's in Aspen, Colorado, an entire section of the menu is devoted to this icy treat.

And in the fall, Neal Bodenheimer, of New Orleans's Cure and Bellocq bars, will release a version of ojen with Tempus Fugit spirits. Ojen, an anisette liqueur, which has been off the market since 2009, is a classic frappé ingredient in the frappe.