Unabashedly bearing the best of both seasons, this drink is the ultimate power move. Imagine the best of summer mixed with fall’s greatest hits in one epic drank from New Orleans restaurant Willa Jean that’s quickly turning frosé into distant memory.
Behold the boozy cider slushie.
As co-owner and chef Kelly Fields explains, “Chai tea, Gingeroo and bourbon work together to create not only the warm physical sensation when drinking, but also partner up to deliver those really warm, cozy spices and aromatics." But since Fields managed to slushify the cider, you don’t have to wait until the weather cools to enjoy it. Her frozen concoction warms up your palate for fall, while cooling you down in summer’s lingering heat.
Fields, who made waves last summer when she introduced New Orleans to frosé, drew inspiration for this recipe from childhood trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains. “Every October, my family would meet in Asheville, North Carolina, right when the leaves were turning, and we’d drink cider,” Fields recalls. “My goal was to create a cider drink that felt warm but was still cool and refreshing.”
The aroma wakes up the senses, and the spicy kick comes after the frozen booze hits your tongue, giving the drink a dangerously addictive quality—as frozen drinks tend to do, this one goes down real easy. See for yourself. But don’t say we didn’t, ahem, warm you.
On the heels of frozen rosé’s crazy success, we’re guessing this boozy cider slushie will be nothing short of a big hit in the Big Easy. Make the recipe at home to tide yourself over until winter, when Fields says we can expect “some version of a Creamsicle.” Bring it on.
Boozy Cider Slushie
Recipe adapted from Willa Jean, New Orleans, LA
Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus freezing time
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 15 minutes, plus freezing time
4½ cups apple cider, divided
1 cup bourbon
1 cup ginger beer
¾ cup cold chai tea
¼ cup lemon juice
Pour 3 cups of the apple cider into an ice tray and freeze until solid, 4 to 6 hours. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend into a smooth slushie consistency. Divide between glasses and serve.