How to Make Frozen Cocktails Without a Blender

Photo Composite: CollinsChin / Getty Images

By Justine Sterling Posted August 06, 2015

Prepare to have your summer drinking revolutionized: You don’t need a blender to make frozen drinks.

Prepare to have your summer drinking revolutionized: You don’t need a blender to make frozen drinks. There’s a better, easier way to do it at home. All you need are a few good recipes, a freezer and plastic baggies. We can’t take complete credit for this mad genius drinking tip, though. It was inspired by brilliant culinary scientist Dave Arnold.

At this year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, Arnold co-headlined a lecture on frozen drinks. It included the history of the blender, the science behind icy cocktails and one slightly offhand but life-changing tip. In order to test a recipe before loading a giant batch into a frozen drink machine, Arnold told the bartenders in the audience to mix a single serving in a plastic baggie, lay it flat in a freezer and see if it freezes correctly. (Watch him demonstrate the technique in this video.) While the tip is great for professional mixologists, it’s even better for home bartenders who want to stock their freezer with ready-to-drink slushy cocktails.

Here, three frozen baggie drinks to make in preparation for your next cookout or unexpected, extra-thirsty guest.

Frozen Gin and Tonic
Makes 4 drinks

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 lime, zested
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup gin
1 quart tonic water

Muddle the sugar with the lime zest in a pitcher for about 3 minutes. Stir in the gin and lime juice, then slowly pour in the tonic water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Divide the mix into 4 sealable plastic bags, making sure to press out as much air as possible when sealing. Lay the bags flat in the freezer. Wait at least three hours or until the drink has frozen. Squish the contents of the bags, pour into glasses and serve with straws.

Frozen Negroni
Makes 1 drink

1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce orange juice
1 ounce water
Orange slice (for garnish, optional)

Stir all of the ingredients together in a mixing glass. Pour into a sealable plastic bag, pushing out as much of the air as you can. Seal the bag, then lay it flat in the freezer. Wait at least three hours or until the drink has frozen. Squish the contents of the bag, pour into a glass, garnish with an orange slice and serve with a straw.

Frozen Margarita
Makes 1 drink

2 ounces simple syrup
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice

Stir all of the ingredients together in a mixing glass. Pour the drink into a sealable plastic bag, pushing out as much of the air as you can. Seal the bag and lay it flat in the freezer. Wait at least three hours or until the drink has frozen. Squish the contents of the bag and pour into salt-rimmed glasses.

Related: 9 More Frozen Drink Recipes
Fruity Summer Cocktails
10 Margarita Recipes

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