12 Traditional Cocktails That Deserve A Frozen Twist

A nice cold cocktail on a hot day can be a great way to cool down and relax, but to keep things even cooler, frozen drinks are the way to go. When a heat wave hits, commonly frozen cocktails like margaritas and strawberry daiquiris can be a solid choice. Most bars and restaurants have them, and people are accustomed to turning to them when the temperatures start to rise. But what about other favorite mixed drinks? What if you could transform, well, pretty much anything into a delicious frozen cocktail? 

Many bar favorites aren't typically served frozen. But that doesn't mean you can't shake things up and try something new. Several well-known cocktails have obscure, but no less desirable, versions of themselves as frozen or blended. So, in the spirit of experimentation, break out the blender and try giving one of these refreshing cocktails an even cooler twist by making it frozen. Below are some good places to start.

Moscow Mule

With spicy, bubbly ginger beer, tart lime juice, vodka, and a mint garnish, a Moscow mule is a refreshing drink. Served in its traditional copper mug, the cold metal helps further cool things down. A frozen twist on a mule, it would seem, would be ideal.

Because Moscow mules employ ginger beer (which is carbonated), caution must be exercised in the blending process. Putting ginger beer in a blender could cause pressure, leading to the top popping off and creating a sticky mess. To avoid this, either add ginger syrup to the blender instead of ginger beer, or blend the lime juice and vodka with ice and top the mixture with ginger beer after pouring it in a glass. Either way, it's guaranteed to be a tasty and, fun spin on a classic. To further help the flavors blend together smoothly, freeze some lime juice in an ice cube tray.

Espresso Martini

The espresso martini is having a moment, and deservedly so. Although the drink was invented in the '80s, it has enjoyed a significant resurgence in popularity over the past several years. It's no surprise; the espresso martini is a fun, caffeinated cocktail that can keep the party going all night long with its mixture of espresso, vodka, and coffee liqueur, and a frozen espresso martini is the perfect drink for summer nights.  

Given that frozen coffees and coffee frappé drinks are common on coffee shop menus during the summer, frozen espresso martinis feel like a natural fit for a frozen cocktail makeover. To keep the drink from getting watered down, try freezing espresso in advance in an ice cube tray. To speed up the process more and avoid having to make hot espresso shots, use cold brew concentrate, which when not diluted, has a strong concentration of coffee flavor, similar to espresso. Instant espresso or instant coffee will work in a pinch, and gives a finer degree of control over the final taste profile when compared to store-bought cold brew concentrate. Also experiment with adding flavored coffee syrups like caramel or mocha, designing custom-flavored drinks. 


The cosmopolitan cocktail, or cosmo for short, brings a number of elements to the table that make it a perfect candidate for a frozen transformation. Featuring vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice, the cosmo already has a fruity, citrusy vibe. The drink feels classic with a certain amount of sophistication, while also maintaining an element of fun with its bright pink hue. Play up the fun even more by giving the cosmo a frozen twist.

Cosmopolitans are not traditionally served over ice, but making them frozen doesn't mean watering them down. A great way to keep frozen cosmopolitans from getting too watery is to freeze cranberry juice in an ice cube tray and use that as the ice when blending up the drink. Freeze the lime juice in the recipe as well to make for a perfect, frosty blend of flavors. Storing vodka in the freezer will keep frozen fruit juices from thawing sooner, making for a colder finished beverage. 

Old fashioned

The old fashioned, consisting of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water or simple syrup, is one another classic cocktail, having been invented back in the 1880s. Its very simple ingredient list makes it both boozy and easy to make. So why not take its classic flavors and incorporate them into a frozen beverage?

Because old fashioned cocktails typically  have water in them to dissolve the sugar — and are served over ice — use regular ice when blending up your frozen old fashioneds. But this will still make for a very strong cocktail, since there is no non-alcoholic base to the drink like juice or soda. Because old fashioneds are traditionally served with an orange peel as a garnish, many people add frozen orange juice to a frozen old fashioned. This may not align exactly with the traditional recipe for an old fashioned, but it still captures its flavor essence while making the drink a bit easier to keep frozen and consume. 

For those who enjoy a frozen old fashioned, try a frozen take on a mint julep. Like an old fashioned, a mint julep features whiskey and simple syrup, this time with mint instead of bitters, and served over crushed ice. For a frozen version, simply add the same ingredients into the blender and enjoy. 


The mojito is a classic Cuban cocktail typically consisting of white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint. Designed to combat the heat of Cuban summers, a mojito harnesses those ingredients in an effort to cool things down. So, why not take those cooling powers a step further with a blender?

Mojitos are usually served over ice, so use ice cubes when blending. Freezing lime juice before adding it to the mix can help the flavors blend together into smooth frozen goodness. Just be sure to leave the soda water out of the blender, so the pressure from the bubbles doesn't build up. Instead, use some regular water or more ice. Still looking for that fizz? Wait until the rest of the ingredients have been blended and then top off the drink with some soda water. Easy to make and easier to drink, this bright and refreshing cocktail is a perfect addition to a hot day on the patio.

Whiskey sour

When making a whiskey sour from scratch at home, ingredients typically include whiskey, a lemon, simple syrup, and an egg white, with orange slices and a maraschino cherry for garnish. Using a frothy egg white in the cocktail traditionally gives the drink a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel. Unfortunately, egg whites don't work quite as well when making frozen drinks. 

Order a whiskey sour at a bar, and the bartender will often use pre-made sour mix and whiskey. That pre-made sour mix can be used at home, blending with ice and whiskey to make a frozen version. 

There is another, perhaps easier way to capture the flavors of a whiskey sour in frozen form with simple ingredients. Many frozen whiskey sour recipes, sometimes called whiskey sour slushes, use frozen orange juice concentrate and frozen lemonade as the icy base for the drink. This captures the flavors of the lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange garnish in a much more accessible, less complicated way, and makes cocktails for groups a breeze. 


Like its tequila-and-citrus cousin the margarita, the zesty Paloma makes a great frozen beverage option. There's just something about the tanginess of citrus and the sweet agave notes of tequila that lend themselves to a frozen summer drink. 

One important adjustment must be made, however, in the frozen version of a Paloma. While traditional recipes almost always use grapefruit soda, a blended version should use grapefruit juice instead to ensure that pressure from the soda's carbonation doesn't build up inside of the blender. It's a very real, and somewhat treacherous, concern when making drinks like these.

Grapefruit soda is generally sweeter than grapefruit juice, so make up for the difference by adding simple syrup or agave. Want to make sure the drink doesn't get watered down by ice? Consider freezing the grapefruit juice ahead of time, or perhaps freezing whole wedges of grapefruit to take the place of the ice cubes. 


Take summer brunch to the next level by trying out a new frozen mimosa recipe that's perfect for a crowd. A cocktail favored by brunchgoers everywhere, the mimosa is a classic mixture of orange juice and Champagne. Whether celebrating a birthday, Mother's Day brunch, or just a fun weekend brunch with friends, shake things up by making a frozen version at home.

To make the process super easy, start with a can of store-bought frozen orange juice. Once the juice is slightly thawed, crush it up, scoop into glasses, and pour Champagne on top. Stirring is optional; some may prefer the evolving flavor profile of the unstirred cocktail. 

Can't find frozen canned orange juice at the grocery store? Freeze some using an ice cube tray. For a fun addition, try adding different types of frozen fruits to a blender with frozen orange juice to make frozen mimosas of different flavors. Just remember to wait until after blending to top the mixture with Champagne. 

Aperol spritz

An Aperol spritz is an Italian wine cocktail made up of three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, one part sparkling water, and orange slices for garnish. It is commonly served as a light pre-dinner drink, or aperitif, in the early evening. As part of the aperitivo tradition, the Aperol spritz serves as a way to relax and unwind in the early evening. In fact, Aperol is believed to help "open up" the appetite ahead of the final meal of the day. Drinking an Aperol spritz in the summer is already common in the U.S., Europe, and beyond. Making a frozen version takes things to the next level.

Because Aperol will not fully freeze, and Prosecco and sparkling water both have bubbles in them, using frozen orange juice as the cocktail's base helps it maintain the perfect slushy texture. Blend the frozen orange juice and Aperol together in a blender, add the frosty mixture to a wine glass with frozen orange wedges, and then top with Prosecco and soda water as desired.

White Russian

Rather than light, fruity flavors, a White Russian serves as a summer cocktail exception, a creamy, boozy drink that dates back to the age of disco. It's made with just three ingredients — vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream — leaving lots of room for variation when it comes to crafting a frozen version.

Because a White Russian features heavy cream as its non-alcoholic base liquid, a frozen version is essentially a boozy milkshake. Stay directly faithful to the original recipe by freezing heavy cream in an ice cube tray, or simply use vanilla ice cream. Either will result in a similar flavor profile. 

If time isn't an issue, try mixing the vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream into an ice cream machine, then wait as it churns out a smooth, rich, boozy concoction. Another great thing about the dairy base on a White Russian is that plant-based milk alternatives can be easily substituted. Non-dairy ice creams (almond milk ice cream, oat milk ice cream, etc) can further transform a White Russian milkshake into a frosty beverage for those who can't stomach all that heavy cream.


A classic Negroni is a simple Italian cocktail featuring equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. The fact that the Negroni does not contain any non-alcoholic ingredients makes it a bit more challenging to make into a frozen cocktail. 

The key to turning it into a frozen summer drink is to add orange juice into the mix. Since a Negroni is traditionally garnished with an orange peel, it is an improvisation that keeps it in spirit with its source. Those looking to keep things more traditional can add regular ice into a blender with the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, but keep in mind that it will be diluted by the melted ice, and it won't stay frozen for too long since alcohol itself cannot freeze all the way through. 

One last fun idea for a frozen Negroni is to make it a Negroni sbagliato, a preparation method that has recently seen a rise in online popularity; replace the gin with sparkling wine to create a lower ABV drink. For this version, don't forget to add the sparkling wine at the end as a topper, to keep the bubbles out of the blender. 

Corpse Reviver

The Corpse Reviver is not one specific cocktail, but rather a series of them, invented in the mid-1800s. There are many different variations, but there are two main versions still popular today.  

Corpse Reviver No. 1 consists of cognac, vermouth, regular brandy, and Calvados (a French apple brandy). Corpse Reviver No. 2 contains equal parts gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, and Lillet Blanc, with a dash of absinthe added, and works best with dry gin. 

Both corpse reviver cocktails were originally created as a series of hangover relief recipes, intended for consumption the morning after drinking, metaphorically reviving a corpse. This makes them the perfect hair-of-the-dog remedy for Sunday brunch cocktails after a long Saturday night.  

Making frozen versions of them seems like a no-brainer, resulting in a lively, cool way to kickstart the morning-after. Since the Corpse Reviver No. 1 doesn't have any non-alcoholic ingredients in it, it's best to just blend the ingredients with ice. For the Corpse Reviver No. 2, freeze lemon juice in advance to help all the flavors come together in the frozen blend. Add frozen orange juice to enhance the orange flavor of the Cointreau. Whichever version of the Corpse Reviver you're going for, expect a delicious frozen result that will help you rise from the dead, and beat the heat.