Sophisticated Slushies

Slushies go lushy as boozy frozen cocktails
| Updated: November 27, 2018

When it’s hot out, we fondly recall the Slurpees, Slush Puppies and slushies of our youth—something about that cooling combination of crushed ice, high fructose corn syrup and colors not found in nature was irresistible. But there’s no need to fully reject such pleasures just because we’re adults. Several local spots are improving on the nostalgic version with less synthetic, more alcoholic frozen slurries. Bait Shop (, Linda Derschang’s newest Capitol Hill hangout, offers two boozy slushies on tap this month: the Painkiller, with rum, pineapple juice, coconut, orange and a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon; and the Julius Wallbanger, with vodka, triple sec, Galliano, orange juice and cream. At Tom Douglas’s brand new joint, TanakaSan, order a Ruby Red sake slushy, which includes Aperol and a pink grapefruit liqueur. The seasonal slushy changes monthly at Capitol Hill’s Artusi (—recently, the Pink Hook featured grapefruit juice, rye and punt e mes. Over on Alki, Marination Ma Kai ( offers a grown-up take on shave ice: the Mai Kai, with rum, pineapple juice, house-made guava syrup and spices. And in a pinch, you can always head to your favorite bar and order a “smash”—a drink made with crushed ice, a spirit and muddled fruit and/or herbs. The only risk? Brain freeze.