The Mixologist-Approved Method For Better Boozy Slushies

Warm weather means cold drinks are back in the spotlight, and frozen cocktails are a great way to cool off while you turn up. If you've ever tried making boozy slushies before, you probably know how hard it can be to get the right consistency. To help us understand what we should be looking for to make better boozy slushies, we reached out to Cody Goldstein, award winning mixologist, author, and founder of Brooklyn-based hospitality group Muddling Memories.

"I typically look for a good balance of alcohol that ranges from 80 proof (which typically won't freeze solid) to 20 proof (which has more sugar content and can help bind together the ingredients for a more icey consistency)," Goldstein told us. "Higher-proof spirits like vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey will have a much harder time marrying into the mix of ingredients and solidifying."

Even if the flavor is the main attraction, a soupy texture can ruin an otherwise delicious drink. Goldstein recommends "using ingredients like wine, liqueurs, and creams." That way, you're more likely to get a consistently creamy texture throughout, and the drink won't be too strong. Our creamy frozen watermelon cocktail fits the bill perfectly. When asked what his favorite flavor pairings were for frozen cocktails, Goldstein said, "It's all very subjective ... but a few of my personal favorites are watermelon and rosé wine, orange and mezcal, and coffee and rum."

Slushie cocktails need a proper balance

Despite being an advocate for low-proof alcoholic ingredients like wine and liqueurs for boozy slushies, Goldstein wasn't entirely opposed to reaching for higher-proof options. "A clear spirit (vodka, gin, or mezcal) will allow the other flavors to be in the forefront where a darker liquor (whiskey, vermouth, or amaro) tends to be more prominent in a frozen cocktail."

What matters, he said, is balancing the various ingredients. "Balance comes in the form of water, non-alcoholic mixer, and the spirit," Goldstein went on. "Finding the right balance to these three key factors will help you have a harmonious drink." There are a lot of popular frozen cocktail recipes out there and each one is going to use a different method to achieve the right balance, but Goldstein was confident in his approach. "My key to a great slushie cocktail is using the 5:2:1 method using 5 parts mixer, 2 parts water, and 1 part alcohol."

You can get as technical with your slushie cocktails as you like, the important part is finding something that provides the flavors you're looking for while achieving the texture we expect from a slushie. By keeping Goldstein's ideas of balance and proof point in mind, you can turn anything into a slushie –- even a frozen Shirley Temple (just remember to add booze for the adult version).