The simple, classic gin and tonic cocktail is turned into a a frozen, refreshing summer slushie! Grab your ice cream maker for a smooth alcoholic slushie, or swap the water for ice and throw it in your blender. Grab a pineapple cooler or watermelon agua fresca next time.
Frozen gin and tonic origin story
If you’d like to skip this, just scroll down to the next heading for recipe details!
Back in May 2019, I went down to Austin, Texas for a week for a company conference and it was miserably hot and humid the entire time. Everywhere that we ate was mostly (or entirely) outdoor seating and I was an absolute fiend for water.
I was practically begging waitstaff for entire pitchers of ice water instead of a glass. Or to just let me stand in their walk-in freezers. Sadly, no one obliged.
The most refreshing moment of the trip was when a group of us went to this restaurant called Loro. We had to wait for quite a while to our seats, so we waited outside in these cute Adirondack chairs (in the shade, thank GOD).
While we were waiting, a few people made their way to the bar inside to grab some refreshments and cool down. At one point, one of my teammates wandered back out sipping this white slushie drink. It looked SO REFRESHING.
So naturally, I immediately yelled across the lawn, “OHMYGOD WHAT IS THAT?!”, which I’m fairly sure embarrassed him because the poor guy lives there and there may have been people that knew him around. I just have no filter (sorry, Josh).
He informed me that it was a frozen gin and tonic, which I had never heard of and was fascinated by. Yada yada yada, we closed the place down and I had consumed five or six frozen gin and tonics. Oops.
But my friends… they were SO GOOD. They went down like water, which I’m sure is partially because I was so desperate for liquids that trip. You probably could have handed me a glass of gasoline and I would have gulped it down.
I’ve been meaning to try to make a frozen gin and tonic at home ever since I got back from Austin, but I just really… really hate our blender. I feel like it sees me coming at it with ice cubes and it starts shaking and seizes up before I even lift the lid.
Enter the ice cream maker
Since I hate that blender I thought I’d give my ice cream maker a shot for the recipe instead. Sure, it would take a lot longer, but I was pretty sure I’d end up with a nice slushie consistency. I was picturing those boozy slushie machines in bars that you watch and get mesmerized by while you’re waiting for your order.
… just me?
Why this ended up being a great idea:
- It’s simple. I wanted you to be able to add all the ingredients at once and just let it churn while you’re fixing some tacos. Or lying face down on the cool kitchen floor because it’s too hot to be alive.
- It keeps it cold. You can let it churn and get nice and thick, and then portion out what you want and leave the rest in the ice cream maker in the freezer until you’re ready to serve the rest. Just let it churn again for a couple minutes.
There was a mistake made when I shot these photos… I chose the single hottest day of the year to date (heat index 106°F), and even with our central AC you can still feel how humid and gross it was outside.
And because of that, the drinks melted much faster than I thought they would as I took the pictures.
So just know that if you make them on a less excessively hot day, they’ll likely hold up a bit longer than you see here. But honestly, it won’t matter because you’ll probably down the glass before it has a chance to sweat.
To be clear – that is not me encouraging you to chug your alcoholic drink, or to binge drink. It’s called an exaggeration. Don’t @ me.
What kind of gin and tonic water should I use?
I make mine with Fever-Tree Tonic and Aviation Gin. And before you jump to the conclusion that I only drink Aviation Gin because Ryan Reynolds owns the company, know that you’re 100% correct.
Well, not entirely – I started drinking it because he bought it, but I continue to drink it because I genuinely enjoy the flavor more than other gins I’ve tried.
And no, this isn’t sponsored. Sadly, Aviation Gin and Ryan Reynolds have no idea who I am. Very, very sadly.
Does it need a sweetener?
I don’t have any confirmation of this, but I’m pretty sure Loro added a little simple syrup to theirs. I opt not to, but if you’d prefer to sweeten yours up a bit, go ahead and add 2-4 tablespoons of simple syrup.
What should you use as garnish?
Garnish is obviously optional, but I enjoy adding a wedge of lime juice and a thin slice of cucumber.
Depending on your choice of gin and/or tonic (since some are more floral or herbaceous than others), you may find that the flavors complement one garnish more than the other and you can go whatever route you choose.
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Frozen Gin and Tonic
- 24 ounces tonic water, chilled (we like Fever Tree – especially the Elderflower flavor)
- 12 ounces cold water
- 8 ounces gin, chilled
- 2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice, about 1 lime, chilled
- Lime wedges and/or cucumber slices, for garnish
- Make sure all ingredients are chilled, and that your ice cream maker has been sufficiently frozen before use.
- Combine tonic water, water, gin and lime juice in frozen ice cream maker and let churn until well combined and slushy (about 25 minutes).
- Pour or scoop into serving glasses, garnish with a lime wedge and/or cucumber slice, add a straw and serve immediately Enjoy!