There are many things on this earth that are actually spectacular, but get an awful reputation. As a proud owner of two rescued pit bulls, I know my loving, silly dogs are feared by some, yet as I sit at my desk writing, they lay peacefully and angelically at my feet (farting up a storm, might I add). Some members of the fashion community (and beyond) might balk at the thought of yoga pants being considered proper attire for day-to-day wear — anyone remember the viral “leggings ain’t pants” YouTube video? Well, I can’t help it that yoga pants make my ass look amazing and work seamlessly as both workout attire and day drinking garb. Yoga pants rule. Finally, I want to apologize in advance to my fellow bartender brethren for my next proclamation, because I know, and have been guilty of, the eye roll that comes with its order. My newest basic bitch obsession, after a week of consuming only Miami Vice’s and plantain chips in sunny Puerto Rico, is frozen drinks. You read that right, and I’ve trekked across Derby City slurping up sweet frozen goodness so that you can experience the euphoric brain freeze right here at home.
Last week, my friends and I escaped the early February chill and shacked up in paradise for a few days, making friends with tiki bartenders and twerking on catamarans in Puerto Rico. Our first full day, we made our way down to the tiki bar between the pool and the beach for breakfast (and by breakfast, I mean tequila). I noticed a honeymooning couple sitting bar side, sipping on frozen cocktails, swirled with orange and pink sunset hues and pierced by a straw. “What’s that?” I asked the husband. “It’s called the Double Decker,” he replied, as I scanned the cocktail list, intrigued. It was mango and strawberry daiquiri layers, topped with an extra shooter of Bacardi 151. I wanted a Double Decker in my mouth immediately. I ordered it from the bartender, and upon arrival, my friends were sure to call me out. “Kelsey, did you order a frozen drink?!” Seth exclaimed, knowing I’m a bourbon purist and have frequently poked fun at bar goers ordering such things. “Yup,” I said, “I’m basic.” And that began my four-day love affair with my newfound frosty, fruity, slushy intoxicants. We had the trip of a lifetime together, my daiquiri and me. Lovers and friends, we were.
You must, by now, be thinking to yourself that yes, a frozen libation is quite refreshing from time to time — but not in the dead of winter. Well, my friends, some of these local creations contain enough booze to keep you warm and toasty all night. Set sail on a frozen drink bar crawl with friends and, by my estimation, you’ll be sweating come midnight. For example, why not meander down to Feast BBQ to sample a few of their famous bourbon slushies to warm the soul? With rotating options, sit at the bar and let the barkeep take you into arctic Kentucky dreams. My favorite? Dreamsicle, of course.
Next up for icy social lubricants, swing through the Highlands for little elbow room and large flavor from the frozen mimosa’s at Big Bar. Hunky bartender, Matt, works Sundays, and, did I mention they’re bottomless? You’ll need to put a few of these back, clearly. Moving on, we can’t talk slushie cocktails without chatting margs. My favorite margarita in Louisville is El Mundo, who shakes up a no-frills blend of Morales Blanco, triple sec and house made (none of that pasteurized, corn-syrup shit) sour mix. Available frozen or on the rocks, of course. This bar crawl is getting hot.
Finally, although it’s not technically frozen, we can’t talk solid tropical libations without mentioning El Camino’s Hemingway Daiquiri. As a trailblazer in Louisville cocktail scene, El Camino boasts a delectable mash-up that’s “everything you need and nothing you don’t.” With Flor de Cana aged four years, maraschino, grapefruit and lime, The Hemingway Daiquiri is a cool trip to the land of palms and tiki mugs. El Camino will often run their Hemingway Daiquiri at a discounted price for special events, so, word to the wise, you’ll want to get in on that.
While frozen, tropical drinks once took up a seat at the “I want to eat your soul if you order this” table in my mind, it’s worth a mention that they can be done well, with artistry — or they can simply be a glass full of rum and sugar-y fruit puree, and that’s okay, too. Drink what you like, do what you love. Let’s leave “basic” behind. I’ll be here, drinking a mango tango-rita in my yoga pants.