Food

Here Are Our Favorite Frozen Cocktails to Drink Around DC

Chilling out never tasted so good.

Columbia Room serves up delicious frozen Aperol spritzes. Photography by Maya Oren/Mojalvo.

Frozen Aperol spritzes at the Columbia Room
124 Blagden Alley, NW
A lot of folks make Aperol spritzes. Not a lot of folks test their recipe umpteen times to get the ingredients and proportions just right—leave it to this lauded cocktail bar, which uses clarified strawberry and Normandy cider to amp up the flavors. The summer spritz menu includes a sparkling and a frosty version, and in this weather, we’ll take two of the latter.

Riptide (a.k.a. frozen Painkiller) at Millie’s
4866 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Like the dangerous current, this frozen combination of spiced rum, coconut, pineapple, and orange juice will sneak up on you—and it’s deliciously deadly. 

Schnappsicles at Stable
1324 H St., NE
Comforting fondue from this Swiss spot helped get us through pandemic winter. Now we’re vaxxed and ready for frozen schnapps: boozy pops made with Alpine liqueur, fresh fruit purée, and dry white wine. The “schnapsicles” are available in apricot, raspberry, and pear flavors, available as single pops, in buckets, or in a Schnapsicle Spritz (a popsicle served inside a glass of sparkling rosé). 

A colorful schnappsicle spritz at Stable. Photograph courtesy of Stable

Frozen bourbon milk punch at Dauphine’s
1100 15th St., NW
We like the idea of boozy milkshakes—but we’re usually over it after a few heavy sips. Enter this New Orleans newcomer in Downtown DC, which pours a decadent, dessert-like milk punch with bonded bourbon, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cacao, and nutmeg (you can even have two!).

Frozen mojitos at Las Gemelas Taqueria
1280 4th St., NE
The POTUS-approved taqueria at La Cosecha Latin marketplace is thinking outside the margarita box for their frozen concoction: the “mojito de coco” with rum, coconut, mint, and lime. A walk-up window and outdoor patio can make it an all-outdoor affair.

Frozen mojito at Las Gemelas. Photograph by Leah Judson

Frozen Irish coffee at Electric Cool-Aid 
512 Rhode Island Ave., NW
It’s tough to pick a frozen favorite at this outdoor Shaw bar, which specializes in frosty drinks. But it’s also tough to beat this creamy, boozy version of an Irish coffee. Get it as is, or look for variations with shots of banana liqueur or peanut butter whiskey.

Watermelon frosé at Shelter
1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
There’s still a lot of frosé  floating around—and it can be very sweet. We like the Roost spirits director Nick Ferrell’s icy pink concoction, which is more balanced thanks to its mix of watermelon, rosé, lemon, mint, rum, and a citrusy Italian aperitif.

Colada Shop coladas. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Piña coladas at Cotton & Reed 
1330 5th St., NE
The Union Market rum distillery’s “cocomotion” slushie isn’t your average piña. Fermented coconut cream reduces the usual sweetness and adds a nice acidic kick, while two house-made rums—white and gold—give it a good punch.

Even more piña coladas at Colada Shop
1405 T St., NW; 10 Pearl St., SW; 7993 Tuckerman Ln., Potomac
The colorful Cuban cafes do the piña proud, whether you’re sipping on one of the patios with a tasty Cubano sandwich or taking Capri Sun-like pouches to-go. 

Did we mention we like piña coladas? At Archipelago
1201 U St., NW
U Street’s decked-out tiki haven mixes a delicious, unfussy version of our favorite pineapple drink. Match a round with crab rangoon, hot-chicken steam buns, and other Chinese snacks.

Tiki TNT’s frozen rum and coke. Photograph courtesy of Tiki TNT

Frozen rum “in” Coke at Tiki TNT
1130 Maine Ave., SW
There’s a lot of frosty goodness on the menu of barman Todd Thrasher’s tiki bar and rum distillery at the Wharf. We’re partial to this housemade rum slushy served in a Coke can (also nice: the $7 weekday happy hour pricing).

Frozen hurricane at Bayou Bakery
1515 N Courthouse Rd., Arlington
Chef David Guas’s New Orleans cafe pays homage to his home state with a frozen hurricane—a tangy rum punch with fresh fruit juices—that’s available by the cup or shareable (and portable) 16-ounce pouch.

Frozen orange crushes at The Salt Line 
79 Potomac Ave., SE
You can channel the beach at this Navy Yard waterfront restaurant with a lobster roll and a frozen crush made with vodka, orange liqueur, and an orange DC Brau spiked seltzer.

Frozen crushes at the Salt Line. Photograph courtesy of the Salt Line.

Mango-ginger margaritas at Mi Vida
98 District Sq., SW
The house frozen specialty at the Wharf’s chic Mexican restaurant doesn’t skimp on nice, zesty ingredients: think Sauza Blanco tequila, mango, ginger, passionfruit, agave syrup, and fresh-squeezed lime.

More frozen margs at Urbano 116
116 King St., Alexandria
Old Town’s neon-lit modern Mexican restaurant cranks out a gold frozen margarita in two sizes: regular, and for the ambitious, grande.

And because frozen margaritas (with little beers) are awesome: Los Tios Grill
513 23rd St., S., Arlington; 241 S. Van Dorn St., Alexandria; 2615 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 201 Harrison St., SE, Leesburg
Do like a regular and order the off-menu “Baja,” a frozen margarita with a mini Corona beer tipped inside from these crowd-pleasing Tex-Mex/Salvadoran restaurants.

Frozen mango margarita at Mi Vida. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Frozen mint lemonade at the Green Zone
2226 18th St., NW
Just glancing at this verdant, frosty glass cools us down on a hot day. Thankfully, the Middle Eastern cocktail bar’s combination of fresh mint, lemon, and your choice of vodka or Lebanese gin is even more refreshing than it looks. 

 Frozen Manhattans at Suburbia
1309 5th St., NE
Manhattan devotees don’t have a lot of good alternatives once summer comes around. One notable exception: Gina Chersevani’s retro Airstream-turned-bar outside Union Market, which serves the “Doing All Rye-ait,” a slushy riff on the classic cocktail with bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange, cherry, and a touch of anise liqueur.

Frozen French 75 at the The Smith
901 F St., NW; 1314 U St., NW
If you have the hungover brunch sweats—or not (is that weird?)—this icy French 75 slushie is the way to go. Gin, cava, and lemon make for a tart, potent drink. 

Frozen French 75 at the Smith. Photograph courtesy of The Smith

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.