The top 5 slushies (with booze) in Toronto
Slushies in Toronto are a thing. And, no, I'm not referring to the 7-Eleven kind. A true slushie should be served from a real slushie machine (rather than simply being a blender-made frozen cocktail), though I've made a couple of exceptions here for drinks that appropriate the spirit of the slushie. Youthful and addicting, slushie cocktails are the most refreshing drink to be found during Toronto's famously muggy summers.
Here are a few Toronto spots to dash to when the humidex and temperature starts to climb.
When Black Hoof owner Jen Agg opened this spot last year, one of the first things passers-by might notice was the whirling slushie machine behind the bar. Containing a choice of either daiquiri ($7) or Piña Colada ($8), the drinks are served in coupe-style cocktail glasses, and offer probably the best value combination of price and quality anywhere on this list. A perfect accompaniment to the Haitian fare on offer.
$12 at Momofuku Noodle Bar gets you either of the sake-based 'Seven Spice Sour' or Cherry slushies. The former being made with sake, togarashi chili pepper, yuzu, and lime, while the latter is composed of sake, cherry, lime, and anise. The cherry is a personal favourite, but both are complex, and by far the most refined of the slushies - a far cry from the sugary types you might grab at a 7-11.
Home of the Brave
Taylor Corrigan's bar program at HOTB is nothing short of inventive, even if the cocktail list is kept relatively short and sweet. Alongside house creations and America classics, they also serve up a frozen Last Word (gin, maraschino, Chartreuse and lime), as well as a delightfully trashy frozen Long Island Iced Tea. Both are $10 and have quite a kick.
The Lower Ossington outpost of the ever-popular seafood establishment serves up a Tromba Granita ($12), made with Tromba tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, agave nectar, and a house-made cedar orange tequila bitters. Apparently the Queen West location will be following suit in the summer, where the massive back patio might make this the best place to enjoy a slushie cocktail anywhere in the city.
Toronto's best line dancing / mechanical bull venue west of the DVP offers a ridiculously oversized slushie margarita, with prices dependent on the tequila in use. That's all well and good, but The Bulldog ($16.50) takes said slushie and stuffs an upside-down bottle of Corona in the top, with the beer slowly seeping into the drink as you sip. It's hard not to look a little silly with one in hand, but at Rock'n'Horse, that's kind of the point.
PLUS TWO BONUS ONES
This Bloorcourt vegan-friendly hotspot serves up to ten flavours of slushie in the summer, including lemonade, banana, strawberry, and watermelon. For $6.75, you can jazz them up with some booze. With free pinball and foosball, you can imagine you're a kid at the arcade again.
$12 at Montauk will get you an All's Well, made with vanilla coke syrup, El Dorado Rum, Yellow Chartreuse, and lime. Figuring that the tops of mason jars (seemingly a standard cocktail glass in the city these days) perfectly mirror the threading for the Magic Bullet mini-blenders, Bar Manager Josh LeBlanc hit on the idea of whipping up slushies to order right in the glass. It's in keeping with the MacGuyver-like approach owner Dustin Keating and his team apply to so many of the bar's touches.
Where did I miss? Add your favourite Toronto spot to get a slushie cocktail in the comments.
Photo of Rock'n'Horse Saloon by Jesse Milns.