The upside to a steamy, hot summer? A great excuse to enjoy plenty of frozen drinks. Whether you’re at brunch with friends, your favorite beach, or by the pool, it’s easy to find any excuse to enjoy an ice-cold beverage –– even as just an after-work cooler.

However, frozen cocktails can seem complicated, despite the fact that they’re surprisingly easy to whip up. Even where a blender is needed for many recipes, you can prepare granita-style variations of most drinks using just a freezer. Pick a truly great spirit like Don Julio Blanco, fire up the blender, and get ready to impress your guests.

After all, now’s the time. You’ll probably want to skip the frozen drinks in December.

Tequila Sunrise Slushy

Allegedly discovered and spread by the Rolling Stones on their 1972 North American tour, the original Tequila Sunrise also makes a great grownup slushy. Cheat your way to Slurpee happiness by using frozen orange juice concentrate and ice cubes as in the recipe below, or take it up a notch by freezing your own fresh-squeezed orange juice overnight (and omit any additional ice).

Although this version is sized for two, you can easily make pitcher-size batches by simply scaling the recipe.

*Yields Two

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 3 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 ounce Grenadine syrup

Directions

  1. Combine orange juice concentrate, Don Julio Blanco Tequila, lime juice, and ice in a mixer.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a Martini glass, Margarita glass, or other preferred glassware.
  4. Add roughly ½ ounce grenadine syrup per glass.
  5. Stir gently to create the sunrise effect and serve.

Paloma Granita

No blender? No problem. Make an Italian-style ice treat using a casserole dish, preferably metal, right in your freezer. (The same technique will work for other recipes, just as long as they’re not too strong — whatever goes into the icebox should either contain no alcohol or be under 20 percent alcohol in terms of its total volume.) The Paloma is the favorite tequila cocktail in the drink’s homeland. Now it can be your favorite, too.

*Yields Two

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces grapefruit soda, preferably Jarritos, Squirt, or Fresca
  • 3 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • Coarse salt (optional)
  • Lime wheels for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine grapefruit soda, Don Julio Blanco Tequila, and lime juice in a metal (or glass) casserole dish or baking pan and place in the freezer for about two hours.
  2. Remove dish from freezer and scrape coarsely with a fork to form small, flaky crystals.
  3. Return dish to freezer.
  4. After about one hour, remove and scrape again to form a slushy, snow-like texture.
  5. Repeat freezing and scraping until the desired consistency is achieved, which should take four to six hours. (For brunch, this can be done the day before; frozen granita will keep, covered, for about a week in the freezer.)
  6. When ready to serve, rub a lime wedge around the edge of highball or Margarita glasses and dip the rims in coarse salt, if desired.
  7. Spoon the granita into the glasses, garnish, and serve.

Frozen Margarita

The GOAT of frozen drinks is easy to make, but just about impossible to beat, especially on a hot day (or night). For fresh lime juice, you’ll need plenty of ripe limes — eight should provide enough juice for the two servings in this recipe, plus a few more for garnish. And of course you’ll also want to be prepared for the inevitable second, third, and fourth batches; so you should probably buy a full bag.

*Yields Two

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 cups ice
  • Coarse salt
  • Lime rounds for garnish

Directions

  1. Rub a lime wedge around two Margarita or other serving glasses and dip in coarse salt. Set aside.
  2. Make simple syrup, if needed, by combining equal parts sugar and water until evenly mixed.
  3. Combine Don Julio Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec, simple syrup, and ice in your blender and blend until slushy.
  4. Pour into salt-rimmed glasses, garnish, and serve.

Frozen Bloody Maria

Super sweet or fruity cocktails probably won’t be the ideal pairings for savory or salty dishes. For a drink that pairs well with heartier plates while still offering a chill, try a Bloody Maria — frozen. This version relies on pre-made tomato juice and spices, but feel free to consider using Bloody Mary mixers (and skip the spice). Or take it to the next level by making your own fresh tomato juice from in-season farmers’ market tomatoes.

*Yields Two

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 8 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • 1 dash Tabasco or other chili sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, to taste
  • 2 pinches celery salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Jalapeño slices for garnish
  • Celery sticks for garnish

Directions

  1. Freeze tomato juice in food-safe ice cube trays, molds, or ice cube bags overnight.
  2. Combine frozen tomato juice, Don Julio Blanco Tequila, and other ingredients in a mixer and blend until slushy.
  3. Adjust seasonings to your preference.
  4. Pour into glasses, garnish with celery sticks and jalapeños, and serve.

Please Drink Responsibly. DON JULIO Tequila. 40% Alc/Vol.

This article is sponsored by Don Julio.