Where to find boozy frozen drinks in Austin

By Arianna Auber, American-Statesman staff

Sipping on a frozen margarita is practically a requirement for Austinites who want to survive a scorching summer. But margaritas aren’t the only things thrown into frozen-drink machines at bars and restaurants across town, though they’re probably the majority. Frosé — frozen rosé — and other tequila drinks like palomas are popular, too.

With a number of local places offering creative, refreshing frozen options, you can sip one to your heart’s content no matter what part of Austin you live in. (But beware of brain freeze.) Or, if you’re looking to move beyond your usual stomping grounds, chances are there’s a bar that will be worth the drive.

Here’s where to go all across the city.

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Downtown Austin East Austin North Austin South Austin West Austin

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Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar

8300 N. RM 620

The credo of Oasthouse and its sister bar, District, is to create a culinary program that changes with the seasons — something the bar program does, too. A frozen margarita is available always, but another frozen option rotates as the temperature changes. For summer, the icy offering is Ain't It Frosty, with Tito's Vodka, cucumber water, lime and simple syrup. In other words, it's what you wish they'd offer at the spa.


3801 S. Congress Ave.

Once derided, espresso martinis have been making a comeback. The new coffee shop and cocktail bar just north of Ben White Boulevard has put a particularly Austin spin on this one by tipping vanilla vodka, coffee liqueur and Austin Roasting Co. espresso into a frozen machine. The result will both cool you down and pick you up after a long, hot summer day.

Still Austin Whiskey Co.

440 E. St. Elmo Road

Drinking the urban whiskey distillery's newly released bourbon might not be the most refreshing option; instead, turn to the frozen strawberry lemonade featuring Still's new make whiskey infused with strawberry and thyme.

South Austin Beer Garden

10700 Manchaca Road

The latest dive bar with a giant outdoor space to open in far South Austin has a little bit of everything in the way of drinks. Frozen Coke can be spiked with airplane bottles of booze such as Jack Daniel's and Fernet, for instance. Other options include the dairy-free Frochata, a perfect summer dessert.


2115 S. Lamar Blvd.

From the minds behind Uchi and Franklin Barbecue, the Asian smokehouse tends to draw attention for its food. But don't overlook the drinks, especially not the canary-yellow, Instagram-ready Mango Sake slushy.

The Little Darlin’

6507 Circle S Road

This dive in far South Austin might not look like much from the outside, but that's how the Little Darlin' lures you in. You might become a regular, not just for the food, but for the frozen cocktail, which rotates often and might be different from visit to visit.

Swift’s Attic

315 Congress Ave.

Open again after a late-night kitchen fire in March, the downtown restaurant doesn't offer what you'd think of as traditional frozen cocktails. Swift's Attic's handful of "ice ball" cocktails feature a couple of ounces of liquor in a glass otherwise consumed by a giant globe of ice containing the rest of the ingredients. As it melts, the full flavors of the drink (such as the Strawberry Fields, with a vodka and sparkling wine base) develop sip by sip.

Azul Rooftop at the Westin Downtown

310 E. Fifth St.

With a pool party-like atmosphere, the outdoor pool and lounge area at the Westin Austin will give you a rowdy good time, as well as hard-to-beat downtown views. Gaze at the owl-shaped Frost Bank Tower while you drink boozy delights like the Raspberry F'rosé with Wheatley vodka, peach, raspberry and sparkling rosé.

Sour Duck Market

1814 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The casual sibling eatery of Barley Swine and Odd Duck has an enormous patio that clearly calls for a frozen drink. To that end, order the frozen margarita with a special twist. It's worth dropping $2 extra for a swirl of any of its draft cocktails in the margarita, such as the gin-centric Summer in Greece.

Last Straw

1914 E. Sixth St., Suite C

Brightened by multicolored walls, Last Straw intends to be your vacation from everyday life and will help take you there through a variety of tropical cocktails — four of them frozen. Order the Miami Vice, which combines the piña colada with a strawberry daiquiri and serves that pink-and-white swirl of booze and ice in an actual pineapple.

La Holly

2500 E. Sixth St.

You might drive past this little mezcal bar while you're looking for it, but double back for your agave fix, and also tacos. The cantina's frozen Jamaica Y Mezcal with Kimo Sabe mezcal, housemade hibiscus syrup, lime and triple sec is fruity, smoky and delicious.

King Bee Lounge

1906 E. 12th St.

A frozen Bee's Knees has helped to keep this dimly lit dive buzzing with people since summer 2014, and every regular would feel the sting if owner Billy Hankey ever took the signature drink off the menu.

Infinite Monkey Theorem

702 Shady Lane

This eclectic urban winery moved to a much larger location in East Austin earlier this year, but a couple of key elements haven't changed. It's got even more graffiti art on the walls, and it's still making all the same wines — including a so-called wine slushy. Somehow, Infinite Monkey Theorem's canned rosé, canned riesling, canned red and Camp Cider can all come together in a frozen mixture that is simply divine.

Il Brutto

1601 E. Sixth St.

The other essential summer sipper is a spritz — it's low in alcohol and comes with bubbles. So this airy Italian restaurant had the brilliant idea to combine the two this spring and introduced a frozen Aperol Spritz with the same ingredients as its Il Brutto Spritz (Aperol, bubbles and orange). Does the frozen version lose the appeal of the fizz because it's been blended with ice? Surprisingly, not at all.


5811 Berkman Drive

The all-day cafe and restaurant is a real looker, thanks to what you might call a "desert modern" aesthetic especially present on the long, succulent-dotted patio. Hank's has the substance to back up all that style, with a pretty-in-pink frozen paloma featuring tequila, grapefruit juice, soda and lime. It goes down a little too easily even when it's not $5 during happy hour.

Austin Eastciders Collaboratory

979 Springdale Road

Many of Austin Eastciders' flavored ciders are widely available, but come to the Collaboratory for a taste of taproom-only options like a cider slushy. Currently made with the Watermelon Cider, it's served in the actual can, sans lid, and features the addition of white port in part to raise the alcohol level. Yes, please.


10201 Jollyville Road

Throw a stone anywhere in Austin and, depending on your arm, it'll likely land near a place that sells frozen margaritas. But the Manuel's version (so easy, so frosty) exemplifies how blanco tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice made margaritas so beloved in Texas in the first place. Manuel's has two locations; although the downtown one (310 Congress Ave.) is perfectly nice, the Arboretum restaurant has an outdoor patio so pretty you might not even notice the summer heat.

Foxhole Culinary Tavern

13995 N. U.S. 183

Frosé caught on as rosé skyrocketed in popularity, but not all frosé — as with so many things in life — is created equal. In the Lakeline area, this date-night spot offers the Foxhole Frosé, with rosé, lemon, basil and strawberry, which you might find tastier than nearly all the rest.

The Aristocrat Lounge

6507 Burnet Road

Keep it simple. Keep it safe. You can count on the former Poodle Dog Lounge to offer a laid-back good time and also to have some kind of rotating frozen cocktail on special, such as this summer's frozen Bee's Knees with Ford's Gin, fresh lemon and honey.