Stay cool this summer
When the heat turns up in Charleston, few things can cool you down better than a frozen cocktail. Frosé, frozen margaritas and frosty painkillers are mainstays on many cocktail menus, but a few bars in Charleston are further mixing up these flavors so we can all keep our cool. Here’s a collection of local establishments offering icy imbibements.
This King Street karaoke bar lets you choose your own adventure when you need to escape the Charleston heat. They have seven frozen drink machines filled with banana, lemonade, mango, margarita, strawberry, piña colada and rosé. The ice cold bevies are not pre-mixed with alcohol, which allows guests to flex their creativity when ordering.
“People have more fun with it that way,” said Bangkok Lounge general manager Matty Lane. “One of our regulars is a big Elvis fan and for him, we combined banana with Screwball whiskey and sprinkle bacon bits on top.”
If you’re not feeling especially creative, Bangkok has a menu of popular combinations. In true Charleston style, there’s a banana pudding drink — a mix of frozen banana pureé, Absolut vanilla vodka and Jameson whiskey topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. For an extra kick, add a Kahlua floater for an additional $3.
A 12-ounce serving of one of these frozen delights with house liquor is $8 and you can upgrade to top shelf liquor for $2 more. All are served in souvenir glasses, so you can remember a great night of drinks and karaoke.
“We just wanted to have a fun tiki bar vibe, like you’re on vacation, sitting on the beach, singing karaoke and drinking frozen drinks,” Lane said.
Little Palm Bar
This poolside bar is located inside the Ryder Hotel on Meeting St., serving tropical cocktails and coastal cuisine. A day by the pool would not be complete without a frozen cocktail, so Little Palm created the “Green Light,” which has become a mainstay on the menu. It’s a unique combination of sauvignon blanc, pear brandy, Midori and chareau aloe vera liqueur.
“We wanted to create an option that was lower ABV,” said general manager Sam Penton. “A lot of times with frose, you have one of them, and it’s quite a lot. So we wanted something you could sit down and have a few of.” If you prefer to have a drink with a bit more kick, however, there is the option to add a floater of rum, Pastis (anise-flavored aperitif) or housemade jalapeño tequila.
In addition to offering a beverage with lower alcohol content, Little Palm wants guests to experience a memorable flavor combination. “We really wanted something that was fruity, but in a way that you’re not used to,” Penton said. “Combining those flavors of pear, honeydew, aloe vera, muskmelon, things like that as opposed to your typical strawberry or pineapple type of drink.”
Due to its popularity, The Green Light has earned a permanent spot in Little Palm’s two-chambered frozen drink machine, while the other flavor rotates. “Every time we make a new frozen drink, our bartenders take their time to get the proper measurements,” Penton said. “It’s really important to get the drink at the right consistency, which takes a bit of time and chemistry, making sure that it’s balanced and has the right amount of acidity so it’s not just a sweet bomb.”
Little Palm recently extended its hours and now opens at 11 a.m. every day, while closing times remains 11 p.m. Stop by for discounted classic cocktails during happy hour from 4-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. On Mondays, there is also the option to stick around for live music from 7-9 p.m.
Edisto River Brewing
This brewery is a newcomer to the Charleston scene, opening in October of last year. Although one would assume that patrons of a brewery would enjoy beer, owners Mary and Jason White wanted to have a beverage for everyone, and thus the blushy (beer slushy) was born.
“Most breweries, if they have a beer slushy, it’s going to be made with all beer, not something that someone who doesn’t like beer would like, so ours are kind of sweet,” Mary said. The first blushy flavor to hit the menu was margarita, which the couple created using the same recipe they use to make margaritas at home, swapping the tequila for beer.
Now, the brewery has four mainstay flavors on the menu: margarita, piña colada, lemonade and strawberry daiquiri. Each of the mixes is made in house and tested with different flavors of beer by both the owners and patrons alike to create the best combination.
“The customers are the ones that have come up with these blends,” Jason added. “They are constantly saying, ‘Give me half of that beer and half of that blushy and let me see what it tastes like.” If you’re mixing a beer with a blushy, Mary recommends mixing the Tippy Toe brew with the lemonade blushy for an extra cool and refreshing shandy.
Since beer is the only source of alcohol for the blushies, they are about 5% ABV, making them a refreshing and light summer drink. The brewery’s hefeweizen brew, Tippy Toe, is used in all of the basic four flavors except for the margarita. “Since the Tippy Toe has the banana flavor and notes of clove, that one really went well with the piña colada and other flavors,” Mary added.
If you can’t decide between flavors, Edisto River Brewing offers blushy flights. Be on the lookout for seasonal specials as well, like pumpkin pie in the fall or Bahama mama in the summer. Visit Thursday through Sunday on Johns Island to cool off with a blushy and complimentary popcorn.
Visit edistoriverbrewing.com for hours.
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