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4 Bourbon Slush Recipes To Make This Summer — Or Anytime

4 Bourbon Slush Recipes To Make This Summer — Or Anytime

Frozen drinks are a summer staple for a reason: they’re easy to whip up and the margarita rules most blenders, and few can deny the piña colada’s sublime indulgence. But the Bourbon Slush, a sweet, icy whiskey concoction that sips like a roadside slushie, is a heat-whipped, easy-to-whip drink worthy of your frozen cocktail spin.

The traditional Bourbon Slush recipe is a combination of bourbon, black tea, water, lemon juice, and orange juice, which is then frozen until it reaches a slush-like consistency or blends in. The resulting mixture is then poured into a glass and topped with a soda or sour mix to melt it a bit and enhance the sweetness.

The Bourbon Slush is easy to make: mix, freeze/blend, pour. The difference between a fine and a phenomenal version is in your ingredients. “It doesn’t have to be top-shelf bourbon, but don’t go for the cheapest,” advises Darron Foy, chief bartender for The Iron Room in New York City, which often serves Bourbon Slushes during the summer. As for the juice, go for freshly squeezed whenever possible.

While the traditional Bourbon Slush recipe is great on its own, it’s also wildly adaptable. A little heat adds complexity to the icy drink. Different types of citrus also enhance the flavor. As the four bourbon slush variations below illustrate, small adjustments add up to big flavor.

Oh, and one last thing. The Bourbon Slush is great as a batch drink for the beach or lake and is easy to scale. You simply multiply the ingredients by the number of potions you are trying to make. Your only real limit is your freezer space or the size of your blender.

1. The Classic Bourbon Slush

Darron Foy’s Flatiron Room recipe is a classic interpretation of the bourbon slush recipe: bourbon, lemonade, orange juice, black tea, sugar, and sour mix. It’s cold, sweet and has just the right amount of bite. For those who want to mix it up, Foy suggests adding pineapple for a citrusy kick or adding some sprigs of mint for freshness.

ingredients

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup lemonade (concentrate or juice)
  • 1 cup orange juice (concentrate or juice)
  • 2 cups brewed black tea mixed with 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup sour mix (equal measure of simple syrup, lemon juice, and lime juice)

Travel directions

Combine the tea, bourbon, juices, and an extra cup of water (if it’s too sweet or too alcoholic) in a large bowl. Freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. You want the slush to be firm, but not frozen. Spoon into a cup or mule cup and top with about 2oz sour mix.

2. The Custom Bourbon Slush

It almost seems counterintuitive, but sometimes adding a little heat to a frozen drink enhances its refreshing nature. Lucinda Sterlingmanaging partner at Overseas in Red Hook, Brooklyn, created a riff on the Bourbon Slush that adds both an Ancho Reyes tickling fire and some passion fruit liqueur for a nice punch.

ingredients

Travel directions

Combine all ingredients plus a full cup of ice in a blender and blend for 15-30 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

3. The frozen mint Julep

The Mint Julep is arguably the most iconic summer bourbon cocktail. But creating the perfect texture for crushed ice is a little tricky. The obvious solution: turn it into a slush. “We take the mint julep from an annual party to a lazy summer sipper by the pool,” says Random Ward, a Dallas-based mixologist for Woodford Reserve. His version of the Bourbon slush takes a bit of the classic derby cocktail. “His frozen cousin unties the tie and unties the top knot.”

ingredients

  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz mint syrup*
  • 3/4 oz ice cream

Travel directions

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until it has the consistency of a slushy.

* For mint syrup, combine equal parts white sugar, mint and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain the mint leaves and store the syrup in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.

4. Persimmon and Yuzu Bourbon Slush

This version of the Bourbon Slush, courtesy of Will Shifrin, food and beverage manager at the Hip Flask Rooftop Bar and Seventh State Restaurant and Lounge at the Marriott headquarters in downtown Bethesda, with persimmon juice and Yuzu lemonade for a distinct citrus twist. “It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite beverage while soaking up the summer vibes of the frozen lemonade and a dash of sweet tea,” he says.

ingredients

  • 2 pressed persimmons (or prune juice as a substitute)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup earl gray black tea
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar
  • 2 cups Eastern Imperial Yuzu Lemonade
  • 1 cup bourbon

Travel directions

Dissolve Demerara sugar in freshly made tea. Combine all ingredients and stir to blend. Freeze the cocktail in a 2 inch deep baking pan for about 8 hours (or to a smooth consistency). To serve, rake the slush with a fork and scoop into four serving glasses.