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Chill out with these frozen cocktails

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

Just in time for the hot summer ahead of us, starting with a crackling Memorial Day, Snow & Co has published “Sloshies: 102 Boozy Cocktails Straight from the Freezer.”

In here, you may find just the thing to cool down the guests at your cookout or chill friends sitting by the pool.

Way back in the day, we had whiskey sour slush and, of course, frozen daiquiris or frozen margaritas. Or any number of things whizzed in a blender with alcohol, ice and some sort of mix. Even now, wine slushies are popping up at certain North Carolina vineyards, such as Cauble Creek in Salisbury. Don’t drink too fast, though — it can really go to your head.

So, drink these concoctions slowly and resist the urge to slurp them all up in 5 minutes.

Snow and Co. is a Kansas City bar specializing in frozen drinks.

As you begin to read the book, author Jerry Nevins is quick to offer advice for “Brain freeze first aid.”

This could apply to non-alcoholic frozen drinks and ice cream, too.

“When you drink something cold quickly, the blood vessels in your upper palate constrict, sending pain signal to the surrounding nerves. The quickest way to avoid the headache? Drink slower.

“But that’s easier said than done (and much less fun). Here are a couple of common remedies:

“• Press your tongue against the roof of you mouth. The pressure will warm your palate back up and restore blood flow.”

“• Tilt your head back for about 20 seconds to increase blood flow to your palate.”

If you’ve experienced brain freeze, you may know the tongue trick doesn’t always work, because your tongue is frozen, too.  Drink slowly, if possible.

There’s a method to making these cocktails, too. Certain steps will give you a smooth, delicious, well-flavored drink.

For home bartenders, all you really need is some resealable plastic bags and maybe an immersion blender. You should have an immersion blender anyway because it’s so useful when making creamy soups, or for pureeing beans in a pot of chili to thicken it, etc.

You’ll also need measuring cups, and a jigger or marked shot glass would be helpful when measuring ounces, along with something like a Mason jar for storing simple syrups.

Should you become obsessed with these frozen delights, you could splurge for a $300-$400 ice cream maker with a compressor inside. These make lovely frozen drinks. A simple ice cream maker — the one that requires you to freeze the insert overnight — doesn’t work as well. It takes too long to chill the product and it won’t get slushie enough.

Freezer bags are probably in your kitchen anyway, along with a strainer, and measuring cups. And you don’t need fancy serving glasses, unless you want to pretty it up.

Basic syrups are among the easiest and most useful recipes you can make, and can be used in all matter of other recipes. A simple syrup of sugar and water is a great way to sweeten your iced tea or lemonade.

For 2 1/2 cups of simple syrup, all you need is 1 1/2 cups cane sugar and 1 1/2 cups water. Mix the sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Wait until all the sugar has dissolved, then cool the syrup and store in a Mason jar or any sealed container and keep in the refrigerator.

You can also make simple syrups with agave or honey. You’ll need equal parts agave nectar and water, 1 /12 cups of each. For the honey, it’s 2 cups of honey and 1 of water.

So, on to the recipes. Nevins calls for specific brands, many of which can be substituted. In some cases, the name brand is the only one available, so you might have to search a little for very specialized things — if you go by the book.

The recipes here you should be able to make with interchangeable brands.

Whiskey Smashed

2 3/4 ounces water

9 ounces simple syrup

7 1/4 ounces mint simple syrup

6 ounces lemon juice

6 3/4 ounces lime juice

8 3/4 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (or any bourbon)

Place the ingredients in a medium-sized metal bowl and stir.

Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place it in the freezer until frozen, about 4 hours. Alternatively, pour the liquid into a compressor-style ice cream maker and proceed per manufacturer’s instructions.

When you’re ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.

Makes at least 4 drinks.

To make mint simple syrup, add 5 Tbsp. dried mint to the water and sugar. Strain before using.

Citrus Blitz

1/2 ounce water

8 1/4 ounces simple syrup

3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

14 1/4 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (2 large, approx.)

14 1/4 ounces pineapple juice (prepared is fine)

Place ingredients in a medium-size metal bowl and stir.

Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place it in the freezer until frozen, about 4 hours. Alternatively, pour the liquid into a compressor-style ice cream maker and proceed per manufacturer’s instructions.

When you’re ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.

Makes at least 4 drinks.

Purple Rain

13 3/4 ounces simple syrup

3 1/4 ounces Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon Blueberry Infused Moonshine

6 1/4 ounces Chambord liqueur (raspberry liqueur)

17 ounces whole milk

Place the simple syrup, moonshine and Chambord liqueur in a medium-sized metal bowl and stir.

Add the milk to the bowl slowly, using an immersion blender to emulsify the mixture.

Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place it in the freezer until frozen, about 4 hours. Alternatively, pour the liquid into a compressor-style ice cream maker and proceed per manufacturer’s instructions.

When you’re ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.

Makes at least 4 drinks.

Xroads Iced Tea

1 1/2 ounces water

4 1/4 ounces simple syrup

4 1/4 ounces lemon juice

21 3/4 ounces Whole Foods 365 Root Beer (or any root beer)

1 3/4 ounces Bacardi white rum

1 3/4 ounces Beefeater London Dry Gin (any gin)

1 3/4 ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka (any good quality vodka)

1 3/4 ounces Herradura Tequila (your favorite tequila)

1 3/4 ounces Grand Marnier (or triple sec)

Place ingredients in a medium-size metal bowl and stir.

Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place it in the freezer until frozen, about 4 hours. Alternatively, pour the liquid into a compressor-style ice cream maker and proceed per manufacturer’s instructions.

When you’re ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.

Makes at least 4 drinks.

This is a version of Long Island Iced Tea, but with root beer instead of cola.

“Sloshies” is published by Workman Publishing and should be available in June.

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