On February 18th, 1922, a Wisconsin man by the name of Stephen J. Poplawski filed a patent for something called a “Beverage Mixer.” And several billion years prior, a collision with an object the size of Mars gave our planet an axial tilt of 23.5 degrees. Theoretically. Regardless of how things went down in the not-so-chic middle years of our cosmos, the earth has seasons now - and seeing as how we’re entering one of the warmer ones, you might feel like making use of Mr. Poplawksi’s invention. Nowadays, we call it a blender.
Which means I’m legally obligated to teach you how to make frozen, blended beverages that are perfect for when you want to drink something cold and reminisce about sprinklers, water slides, and all those times you went to summer camp and didn’t kiss anyone.
You might think you have a pretty decent handle on how to make frozen drinks - but I’d bet my single good set of sheets that you haven’t been doing one very important thing. You need to freeze your ingredients. All of them. If you’re making a Frozen Margarita, that means your lime juice, sweetener, and even your tequila. Why? Because that’s how you’ll achieve an ideal texture without watering down your cocktail. Allow me to explain.
If you take a standard Margarita recipe and pour that in a blender, it’ll take 8 to 10 ice cubes in order to achieve a slushy, smooth Frozen Margarita. That also happens to be about 8 to 10 ounces of water for just one drink - and that’s way too much. Remember, ice doesn’t taste like anything, so if you use more than a few cubes, your cocktail will be as bland as a window display at Men’s Wearhouse. That’s where freezing your ingredients comes in.
How To Properly Freeze Your Ingredients
Just take all your regular Margarita ingredients (bumping up the lime and simple syrup, because it’s harder to taste things when they’re cold), and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. And don’t be alarmed when your tequila doesn’t actually freeze. Ethanol doesn’t roll like that. Here’s the full Frozen Margarita how-to.
You can either make one big batch of your frozen beverages, or you can measure out single servings, put them in resealable bags, and be the only person in your zip code with a freezer full of individual frozen cocktail kits. I’d like to say this overachieving idea was my own - but I actually got it from my good friend and accomplished bartender Gates Otsuji. He wrote me a college recommendation letter once, but I dropped out of that college, so joke’s on him.
Once your ingredients are nice and cold, they go into the blender, along with around three ice cubes for a single drink (scaling up as needed). The results should be the same as what you’d get from one of those fancy slushy machines you see in bars, at state fairs, or on the inside of your eyelids when you go to sleep at night. So find your blender (or “Poplawski Machine,” as no one refers to it), and get ready to make one of these slushy drinks.
If anyone ever tells you that you need to use five cups of ice for a Frozen Margarita, it’s important that you nod politely and disregard this information. What you really want to do is freeze all your ingredients first. That way, you’ll only need a small amount of ice - and your drink will actually taste like a Margarita, rather than 10 ounces of super cold water.
Frozen Palomas have the magical ability to make you feel as though you’ve just landed face first in a pile of shaved ice that tastes like tequila and grapefruit. They’re perfect for warm summer days or whenever you have the time to sip a drink slowly enough that it doesn’t hurt your brain.
Read this Piña Colada guide, and in about three hours you’ll have a drink in your hand that will make you feel like you’re laying in the sun on the deck of a cruise ship called The Helen Mirren.
Frozen Daiquiris don’t get the respect they deserve, and there are, most likely, two main reasons for this. First off, there are lots of chain restaurants and bars that serve novelty-sized Frozen Daiquiris with enough sugar to permanently dilate your pupils. There are also a bunch of Frozen Daiquiri recipes out there that tell you to use way too much ice - which leads to watery, bland drinks. There’s nothing we can do about the novelty-sized cocktails at present, but the least we can do is take you by the hand and show you how to make a proper Frozen Daiquiri.