It may feel like we've got a break from the heatwave, but there are plenty of summer weeks still left for us to get hot and sweaty. Those Jamba Juices and Frappuccinos just aren't gonna cut it when we want to cool off, so we've found the top spots that'll really put a shot in your slushy.
What would summer be without a strawberry daiquiri? This sipper certainly conjures up images of the quintessential tropical getaway, but if you need a visual to jumpstart the mental vacay, head to Deja Vu for Vu-au Luau
Wednesdays, when frozen cocktails are half-price ($3; regularly $6-$6.25). Choose your own rum which gets added to the classic daiquiri mix dispensed from the slushy machine, then shake your hips hula-style or see how low you can go during the limbo contest. Grass skirt optional.
This Rogers Park neighborhood spot is celebrating its 30th anniversary, so what better way to help celebrate than with a cocktail? We suggest a pint glass full of frozen margarita ($6-$8). Heartland Cafe does things the old-fashioned way, mixing up your cold treat one at a time. You select the tequila, such as Patron, Don Julio or Herradura, and watch your bartender blend in Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice and ice, or fresh fruit if you opt for mango- or strawberry-flavored versions. Festivities take place Thursday through Sunday, but we think this chilly 'rita will go perfectly with the salsa dancing party on Friday. (Get more details for the 30th Anniversary Celebration here.)
We've always wanted to go to Tahiti and stay in one of those over-the-ocean thatch huts. But it seems like the closest we'll get this year is going to Ben Pao and ordering the Tahitian Pearl ($8.50), made with 10 Cane Rum, Blue Curacao, Pama pomegranate liqueur, simple syrup and fresh lime juice, topped off with a mint leaf and "pearl" garnish. Try it starting Thursday when you toast to Tahiti and French Polynesia at the spot's South Pacific Summer Passport Series featuring cuisine and cocktails from the region, plus hula dancing ($30). Cocktail available for 30 days following the event.
Those with a serious hankering for a frosty beverage know that Sidetrack is the mecca of secret-recipe slushy drinks, with 19 frozen drink dispensers on site. Just be careful you don't give yourself a brain freeze. Not sure where to start? The ever-popular Ketel One Crush ($6) is always in rotation. All we know is that it's purple, tastes like a grape or berry Flavor-Ice pop and is made with Ketel One; Sidetrack keeps the rest of the recipe under wraps. Or, look for Effen Black Cherry Buzz and Absolut Peach Lemon Ice this weekend, and other hush-hush concoctions served in glass mugs ($6).
When you need that arctic chilled cocktail but can't stand to sip it indoors with the A/C blasting, stop by this riverside patio with a 54-foot indoor-outdoor bar with a frozen drink focus. We sampled the Tahitian Strawberry made with vanilla ice cream, Malibu coconut rum, Stoli vanilla vodka and fresh strawberry puree topped with whipped cream and shaved coconut ($10). It was just like a milkshake and went down way too quickly. Or if you want to try another dessert-like dream, opt for the Frozen Tiramisu: Captain Morgan's spiced rum, amaretto, Stabuck's liqueur, Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur and cream blended with lady finger cookies ($10). Now that's amore!
Karen Budell is the metromix nightlife producer.
Originally published August 9, 2006.
bars and clubs
Cool down with slushy summer cocktails at these bars
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