26 Popular Frozen Cocktails, Ranked Worst To Best

Spring is in full swing in much of the Northern Hemisphere. Our daylight hours grow longer every day, the last remnants of snow are melting into the softened earth, and bright green buds are bursting forth from barren trees. We all know what that means: Frozen cocktail season is approaching fast. It's time for sipping frozen margaritas at happy hour, waiting 30 minutes in line for tiny cups of $14 frosé at festivals, and dancing the balmy night away at Pensacola's Flora-Bama with a Bushwacker in hand. (If you know, you know.)

The world of frozen cocktails ranges far and wide. You've got your classics, sure — the frozen margarita, the piña colada, the frozen daiquiri, and so forth — but there's a whole host of adult slushies out there that draw on spirits like gin, brandy, crème de cacao, and other liquors that aren't typically first-in-mind when daydreaming about frozen drinks. They come in every color under the sun, and range in texture from creamy and milkshake-like to something resembling a snow cone. These days, just about any cocktail can be made frozen, so the sky's the limit here. From little-known vintage tiki cocktails to well-loved classic drinks, here are 26 popular frozen cocktails, ranked from our least favorite to ultra-delicious.

26. Blue Hawaiian

Not to be confused with the similarly named Blue Hawaii, the Blue Hawaiian is a highly sweet cocktail made with blue curaçao, vodka, rum, pineapple and lime juices, and a little bit of coconut milk. These neon-blue sugar bombs can be served frozen or on the rocks — it's all the same ingredients; just add a little extra ice for a frozen version. Keep in mind that while the Blue Hawaiian may appeal to those who don't enjoy a strong alcohol taste in their drinks, or simply those who enjoy the sweeter things in life, these are extremely saccharine and can be tough to swallow if you're not one for sugary frozen cocktails.

25. Frozen grasshopper

Thin Mint stans who enjoy a boozy kick will go nuts for the frozen grasshopper cocktail. Most frozen dessert drinks feature whiskeys, brandies, and bourbons, but the frozen grasshopper does away with the hard stuff and focuses instead on melding the flavors of crème de menthe and white crème de cacao blended together with ice, plain vanilla ice cream, and a splash of milk — and chocolate syrup drizzled on top for pizzazz. These bright green-hued medleys are a refreshing change from the chocolate and coffee-forward dessert drinks one typically sees, but be warned: If you're not a fan of the mint and chocolate combo, this ain't the drink for you.

24. Batida

Cachaça, a fermented sugarcane liquor, is one of the most popular spirits in Brazil. It's most famously used in Brazil's national drink, the caipirinha, but it's also featured in a little-known vintage cocktail: the batida. The drink, which can be served either frozen or over ice, is brilliant in its simplicity, consisting of only cachaça, coconut, condensed milk, and lime juice (though fruit is added in some recipes). The batida has a highly sweet, milky flavor with defined coconut notes, which makes it hit or miss depending on personal tastes. If either coconut or dairy are deal-breakers for you, you'll want to pass if you see this frozen cocktail on the menu.

23. Frozen fruit wine slushies

Frosé and friesling certainly have their place within the world of frozen cocktails, but what if you're craving a nice frauvignon blanc or a frordeaux? Good news: Frozen fruit wine slushies can be made with any wine you like, and as a lagniappe, you'll add some healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your drink by incorporating fruit. Simply toss your wine of choice and some frozen fruit in a blender, adding sweeteners, fruit juices, or herbs for more flavor if desired. Experiment with pairing different wines and fruits, like a jammy red with frozen cherries or chardonnay with frozen strawberries. Try them out for your next summer book club meeting or girls' night in.

22. Dirty banana

If mimosas and bloody Marys aren't your thing, the dirty banana might just hit the spot. This little-known beachy cocktail uses rum, banana liqueur, Kahlua, a bit of milk and cream, and a ripe banana for an easy-sipping, smoothie-esque drink. It's basically a smoothie with some unusual perks, so you can feel good about getting your buzz on while ingesting plenty of vitamins, potassium, and fiber from the banana. Banana liqueur can have a distinctly artificial taste, and that combined with the fresh banana can be A LOT, but if you're bananas for bananas and enjoy a kick of coffee and cream, give this frozen cocktail a shot.

21. Frozen Moscow mule

Get your copper mugs ready; it's frozen Moscow mule season. Like a classic Moscow mule, these freezies use only three ingredients (vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice), so if you can't find a bar serving them up near you, just make 'em yourself. Freeze ginger beer in an ice cube tray, then toss the frozen cubes in a blender with vodka and lime.

Ginger beer isn't for everyone, but these are a real treat for those who enjoy it. Frozen Moscow mules offer the crisp coolness of a traditional mule with the added benefit of being extra cold and refreshing. Try experimenting with whiskey or tequila in place of vodka, or adding fresh herbs into the mix for a unique boost.

20. Miami Vice

If you like piña coladas but not so much getting caught in the rain, a Miami Vice just might be the drink for you. This frozen cocktail features rum, strawberries, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice for the best of both piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris. The strawberry daiquiri-esque portion of the drink is blended separately from the piña colada-inspired part, and the two sections are added to a hurricane glass in separate layers for an aesthetically pleasing visual effect. There's a fair amount of sweetness from the strawberries, but tart pineapple and creamy coconut complement it nicely. Miami Vices are guaranteed to make a splash at your next pool party.

19. Frozen mudslide

A mudslide on a hillside? Potential tragedy. A mudslide in a glass? Boozy dessert perfection. With Irish cream, coffee liqueur, ice cream, and bourbon or vodka, the mudslide resembles a frozen Irish coffee, but with coffee liqueur in place of espresso and bourbon or vodka standing in for Irish whiskey. The drink's name comes from the mudslide-like visual effect in the non-frozen version of the drink, in which chocolate syrup seeps through layers of cream and liqueur — which is harder to achieve when all of the ingredients are blended with ice. These adult milkshakes are common fixtures at restaurants, but it's a breeze to make a frozen mudslide at home, too.

18. Pearl Diver

We can't talk tiki bars without bringing up Donn Beach, the godfather of the tiki bar concept. Donn, who opened Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood at the tail end of Prohibition, had several signature drinks in his repertoire. One of the most unusual? The Pearl Diver, which combines gold and Demerara rums, orange and lime juice, and Angostura bitters with Beach's special Gardenia mix— a combo of butter, honey, cinnamon and vanilla syrups, and allspice. It's basically a frozen version of a hot buttered rum that uses similar (though arguably less extravagant) ingredients. The fatty butter creates a deliciously smooth texture, and the sugary quality of the rums combined with the gentle sourness of citrus helps the Pearl Diver go down like liquid gold. 

17. Frozen Negroni

The frozen Negroni is yet another frozen cocktail that doesn't rely on rum, vodka, or tequila like many of its popular counterparts. With an herbal, licorice-like taste and deep, dark fruit flavors, Negronis aren't for everyone, but a frozen version is a treat for those who enjoy the bitterness of Campari and the botanical qualities of vermouth. In addition to these, you'll find gin and orange juice in a frozen Negroni. Gin lends an intriguing, piney taste to the mix, while orange juice balances everything out. It's somewhat surprising to find the Negroni's sophisticated flavor profile in frozen form, but that's what makes this drink special.

16. Friesling

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of frosé... now it's friesling's time to shine. Friesling consists of riesling, which is typically a sweeter wine, frozen and blended together with ice and mix-ins like flavored liqueurs, fresh citrus juices, clear spirits, and simple syrup.

Depending on what's added to the riesling, the flavor can vary quite a bit. A flavored liqueur or syrup, like peach or grapefruit, will shift its flavor profile to the fruity side, while lemon or lime juice will make the drink more tart. Friesling is generally a sweet, highly enjoyable frozen cocktail to sip (or in this case, suck through a straw) on a balmy afternoon.

15. Frozen brandy Alexander

The original recipe for a brandy Alexander used a base of gin. If that sounds absolutely horrifying, you'll be relieved to know that the cocktail has since evolved, and if you order one today, you'll likely find cognac or brandy in gin's place. This drink is a fun one, and a frozen brandy Alexander, which swaps in ice cream for heavy cream for a wonderfully creamy texture, makes a delightful after-dinner drink on a warm summer evening. In addition to cognac and ice cream, dark crème de cacao stars in this recipe along with whipped cream and cacao nibs for garnish. Bon appétit!

14. Sgroppino

Remember those lemon Italian ices you squeezed out of cardboard tubes as a kid? The Sgroppino is the 21+ version. It's a playful, tart, and sweet cocktail that can be made on a budget, and while you won't find it on many restaurant menus in the U.S., it's a breeze to make at home. All you'll need is vodka, chilled prosecco, and lemon sorbet — no ice is required, as the lemon sorbet will provide a lovely, creamy, slushy texture on its own. Sgroppinos are usually served in wine or champagne glasses and may feature mint sprigs or lemon peels as garnishes. They're cute, they're classy, and they should make an appearance at your next home brunch.

13. Missionary's Downfall

Donn Beach, the aforementioned creator of the Pearl Diver, is credited with inventing many of the tiki cocktails we know today, including the zombie, the rum julep, and a lesser-known drink known as the Missionary's Downfall.

The Missionary's Downfall is a nuanced frozen cocktail with moderately low alcohol content. Crème de pêche (a liqueur made from peaches) and pineapple chunks provide a bright but delicate base, while honey syrup adds sweetness and fresh mint sprigs lend a lovely herbal aftertaste to the drink. The Missionary's Downfall may not be in vogue nowadays, but maybe it's time for a comeback.

12. Bushwacker

If you've ever spent a spring break lounging on the white sand beaches of Pensacola, you've probably had a Bushwacker. The Bushwacker is an alcoholic milkshake featuring the coffee aspects of a White Russian along with creamy coconut, white crème de cacao, and rum. Unlike several other cocktails on this list, the Bushwacker is always served frozen.

This cocktail has a rich, creamy texture similar to a Frappuccino, while Kahlua (or similar coffee liqueur) adds a caffeine kick. Popular garnishes include shaved chocolate, a maraschino cherry, or a floater of 151 rum. It's a pretty dessert-forward drink, which can make it tough to have more than one... but that one is sure to knock your socks off.

11. Sicilian slush

Gin and Campari fans, rejoice. The Sicilian slush is a tasty alcoholic slushy made with gin, Campari, fresh lemon and orange juice, and simple syrup for a refreshing, citrusy cocktail that'll have the 21+ crowd reliving their glory days.

With a glowy orange hue reminiscent of a Florida sunrise, these blended cocktails have a bright flavor from the citrus balanced by the piney aromatics of gin and a light bitterness from Campari. Depending on how much Campari is used, a faint trace of nutmeg or clove may be perceptible in the finished product. The Sicilian slush is a great way to shake things up if you've grown weary of frozen daiquiris and margs.

10. Frosé

Boozy slushies have had quite a bit of time in the limelight for the last few years, and one of the most popular frozen cocktails is frosé. The name is a portmanteau of "frozen" and "rosé," but there's a little more to this cocktail than just wine blended with ice. Frosé recipes contain rosé, of course, but many recipes blend the wine with fruit (strawberries are popular for their pink and red coloring) for added flavor. Sometimes another type of wine is added, or clear liquor for an added kick. While frosé came in dead last in our survey regarding readers' favorite frozen cocktails, we'll take an icy glass of the stuff anytime.

9. Mango castaway

If you're craving the creamy coconut heaven of a piña colada but pineapple isn't your jam, a mango castaway might just hit the spot. The mango castaway uses mango rather than pineapple for a juicy, tropical flavor and favors both coconut rum and aged rum in place of coconut milk and unaged white rum — all blended together with condensed milk. The result is effectively a mango piña colada. It's creamy and a little bit tart, and depending on the type of aged rum used, may also carry a hint of caramel, wood smoke, and baking spices on the palate.

8. Saturn

Most of us think rum, vodka, or tequila when discussing frozen cocktails, but plenty of other spirits can be used to spice things up. The Saturn presents an excellent example. This tiki classic has a gin base and is made with passionfruit juice, orgeat syrup, falernum, and lemon juice for an intriguing flowerlike profile. The Saturn gets its name from the garnish, which is made up of a lemon peel ring secured to a cocktail cherry with a toothpick in mimicry of planet Saturn's famous rings. The cocktail was originally blended, but nowadays, you may find it served over crushed ice. Either way, the unique elements and delicious taste of this drink make it a must-try during your next tiki bar visit.

7. Frozen Bellini

The peach lover's answer to a mimosa is the Bellini. Made with prosecco and peach puree, these beauties are traditionally served mimosa-style (not blended and without ice), but the frozen version of a classic peach Bellini is a fun twist — plus, you'll use frozen peaches, so there's no need for pesky peach prep. Frozen peach Bellinis temper the sweetness of prosecco with delicate peach flavor to magnificent effect. Just toss frozen peaches, prosecco (use another sparkling wine if desired), a dash of sugar (or honey or agave), and some ice cubes into a blender and process until your desired texture is achieved, and you're good to go.

6. Frozen daquiri

The difference between traditional and frozen daiquiris is vast. Classic daiquiris are made with only lime juice, white rum, and sugar shaken with ice. While the ingredients may seem similar on the surface, frozen daiqs are a category of their own. In fact, the city of New Orleans is so crazy about them that there are entire franchises of drive-through daiquiri shops. Yep, you read that right! Just don't stick your straw in your cup until you get home. With frozen fruit or flavoring, simple syrup, lime juice, and rum, these powerful boozy drinks are peak summer vibes. Like frozen margaritas, these babies come in a plethora of flavors: Amaretto pineapple, banana, mango, and frozen strawberry daiquiris are all popular options.

5. Frozen Aperol spritz

Aperitifs seem to be growing in popularity, and one drink that's slowly climbing its way to the top of cocktail lists is the Aperol spritz. On the surface, it's fairly simple, made with just Aperol, prosecco, and soda water; but the zesty, herbaceous, smooth flavor of Aperol helps it stand out from the crowd. The most basic iteration of a frozen Aperol spritz involves the traditional ingredients blended with ice — Aperol doesn't freeze completely, so ice is needed to accomplish a fun slushy-like texture. To shake things up, consider using frozen fruit in place of some or all of the ice, or using flavored soda water to achieve a unique taste.

4. Frozen mojito

The birthplace of the classic mojito cocktail is murky, but the general consensus is that this popular drink consisting of muddled mint, lime, rum, simple syrup, and club soda originated in Havana, Cuba. Mint is the element that makes this cocktail a cut above the rest, adding a cool, refreshing touch to citrusy white rum and sour lime. Traditionally, mojitos are served on the rocks, but all it takes to make a frozen version is a cup or two of ice and a blender — as a bonus, blending eliminates the need for pesky muddling. If you're looking for a non-traditional frozen drink, frojitos are sure to hit the spot.

3. Frozen Irish coffee

There's nothing like a piping hot mug of coffee with whiskey and Bailey's to warm the bones on a cold day. Conversely, a frozen Irish coffee is a perfect cocktail to cool you down on a hot one. Frozen Irish coffees contain Irish whiskey, Bailey's, Kahlua, espresso, and a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream blended together like a milkshake — make sure to garnish with some crushed coffee beans for a little extra zest. These cocktails are fun brunch fare, but they also make for a yummy dessert. These decadent cocktails are a popular offering at Irish bars, especially in the summertime — in fact, we named the frozen Irish coffees at Erin Rose in NOLA the best frozen cocktail in the state.

2. Frozen margarita

Margaritas can be served frozen or on the rocks, but when summer hits and you're drenched in sweat after just minutes outside, you're gonna want to go frozen. Frozen margaritas contain the same ingredients as their unblended cousins (tequila, lime juice, sweetener, and often orange liqueur) — they're just tossed in a blender with ice as an extra step.

Classic frozen margaritas are lime-flavored, as lime juice and tequila are the primary ingredients, but there are thousands of flavors available for upgrading your frozen marg. Popular choices include strawberry, mango, and pineapple, but we challenge you to take things up a notch by adding unusual fruits or veggies (cucumber, jalapeño, dragonfruit), herbs (basil, mint, thyme), and flavored simple syrups.

1. Piña colada

There is absolutely no drink out there that rivals the vacay vibes of a refreshing frozen piña colada. With pineapple, coconut, rum, and a juicy maraschino cherry to top it all off, these frozen beverages are a tropical vacation in a glass. The sweet, tart taste of pineapple is balanced perfectly by rich, creamy coconut milk. Piña coladas are cruise ship and beach bar favorites, but they're just as easy to whip up at home. (And you won't have to shell out $16!) Most piña colada recipes call for white rum, but experimenting with dark rum and even flavored rum can lead to some fun twists on the classic cocktail. For a virgin version, just leave the rum out altogether.

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