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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Brrr ... It's Cold in Here: 5 Frozen Drinks for Summer

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Mai Tai from Li Po Lounge - YELP.COM
  • Mai Tai from Li Po Lounge

When I see a frozen cocktail on a menu, I have instant tunnel vision, becoming blind to all the other artfully crafted drinks on the carefully cultivated menus. A perfectly balanced Negroni made with housemade vermouth? Don’t care. But a refreshing blended beverage dispensed from a machine? Why, don’t mind if I do! Perhaps it's because they conjure childhood memories of 7-Eleven Slurpees sucked down on yearly road trips to Idaho, or later recollections of spiking said frosty beverages with confiscated alcohol from my parents’ liquor cabinet before high school dances. Whatever the reason, I have a deep, lasting love for them. One of the main reasons I always choose to stay at the ACE Hotel while in Palm Springs is their ever-rotating (and thankfully ever-present) frozen cocktails served at their poolside bar. Fortunately, wonderful versions of these icy concoctions can be found throughout San Francisco — no road trip required.

The Slushy at the Palm House: Stop in at this Union Street restaurant for an addictive rum- and Pisco-based beverage ($9.75). During their happy hour (3 - 6:30 p.m. every damn day of the week), it will set you back a mere $6. You can stick with the traditional base, or don your mixologist hat and add prickly pear, passionfruit, or strawberry ($1 each), or the highly recommended float of Kraken dark rum ($3). Pair one of these with their fried jalapeños ($6.50), and you will quickly realize that the Marina has more to offer than Fireball shots and frat boys. 2032 Union Street; 415-400-4355

Frozen Grape Drank from Brewcade: If vintage arcade games aren’t enough to get you to patronize this Market Street stop, this drink will surely do the trick. The recipe is simple: sparking grapefruit wine, dry Riesling, and Brechetto. Nothing more. The result is mildly sweet and perfectly effervescent. And after a few of these things, even Buck Hunter will become endlessly entertaining. 2200 Market Street

Boba Fett from Chino: The name alone is enough to propel even the mildest of Star Wars fans to order this with gusto. Traditionally, I am not the biggest vodka fan because I actually like the taste of liquor, but this drink is enough to convert even the greatest of haters. The base booze is mixed with ginger, apple, Thai basil, and lemon, and then packaged (and sealed) in a traditional Boba cup. Yes, it’s the priciest on the list ($13), but it comes packed with Boba peals, so it can be considered a meal, right? 3198 16th Street, 415-552-5771.

Daiquiri at the Boxing Room: This Hayes Valley spot received its full liquor license in February, and I for one am so glad they did! In addition to Southern staples such as the Hurricane and Mint Julep, the New Orleans-inspired restaurant has an addictive rendition of the classic Daiquiri. The “Drive Through” version ($10) is made with rum, lime, and sugar, and as the menu promises, is indeed perfect. 399 Grove Street, 415-430-6590.

Mai Tai from Li Po Lounge: More than one person has attributed the reason they can’t remember their Chinatown evening to this particular drink ($10). This (potentially) lethal combination of dark and light rums, 151, Chinese liquor, and pineapple juice will indeed leave you wondering just how you ended up at Yuet Lee at 2 a.m. Just be sure to hit the ATM before you visit Peter, the seasoned and salty bar owner; Li Po is cash only, and trust me, you’ll be drinking more than one. 916 Grant Street, 415-982-0072. 

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Alexis Katsilometes


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