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Say cheers to summertime with frozen cocktails
Recess [Official Photo]

Killer Frozen Cocktails to Beat the Chicago Summer Heat

Where to find frosé, boozy sno-balls, and more chilly delights

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Say cheers to summertime with frozen cocktails
| Recess [Official Photo]

Warm summer weekends are in short supply in Chicago, and residents know it’s smart to bask in glorious weather while it lasts. High temperatures pair beautifully with frozen drinks, which are usually best imbibed with friends in the open air. From swanky rooftops to casual patios, tons of Chicago bars and restaurants offer boozy snow cones, icy blended cocktails, and spiked milkshakes all summer long. Peruse the map below for Eater Chicago’s selection of the hottest spots to cool down and drink up.

As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity, masking, and social distancing. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Parson's Chicken & Fish

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5721 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 654-1141
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Parson’s smash-hit negroni slushy (Leatherbee gin, Luxardo bitter, sweet vermouth, citrus) is a staple for Chicago summers that ushered in a new wave of frozen cocktails. Other icy slush options include Mr. Coconut (Rhum JM, coconut, lime, cardamom) and Dark & Stormy (Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, ginger beer, lime).

2. The Moonlighter

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3204 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 360-8896
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Logan Square’s ultra-casual dog-friendly patio spot serves a frozen piña coladas (rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice) with an optional float of Plantation pineapple rum, El Dorado 12 year rum, or aperol. $1 from each drink sale goes to Chicago-based nonprofit Women Unite! and its partner charities.

3. Shore Club

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1603 N Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 635-8058
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Shore Club is a festive beachside oasis next to North Avenue Beach with a selection of eight frozen cocktails. Cooling creations include the Spritzicle (aperol, orange juice, sparkling wine), the Cold Fashioned (Old Forester, Angosturam, orange bitters), and Frosé All Day (Hangar1 rosé vodka, Band of Roses rosé, peach puree). Curious types can try a little bit of everything with a frozen flight.

4. Buzzed Bull Creamery

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1948 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 697-7274
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This Cincinnati-based chain opened its first Chicago location last summer, bringing booze-infused, liquid nitrogen ice cream and milkshakes to Wicker Park. Patrons can choose from pre-designed concoctions like (chocolate, peanut butter cups and sauce, spiced rum) or build their own with a choice of base (ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet), flavors like Nutella and strawberry, candy mix-ins and toppings, and an optional alcohol upgrade that starts at 5 percent ABV.

5. urbanbelly

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1542 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 904-8606
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Chef Bill Kim is featuring an unusual option at his Wicker Park hotspot: frozen Kirin beer — a draft brew topped with a frosty foam cap that keeps the beverage crisp and cold, even under the hot summer sun. It’s not a slushy, but it’s big in Japan (really) and Urbanbelly is the first Chicago restaurant to offer the trendy treat.

6. The Violet Hour

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1520 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-1500
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Widely hailed as one of Chicago’s best cocktail bars, the Violet Hour is including some summery frozen options on its ever-changing menu. This season’s creations include You’re On Mute, a frozen French 75 (Malfy Rosa gin, Lillet Rose, Nonino Apertivo, Fields of France roibos tea, sparkling wine) and Sunrise, Sunset (Volcan tequila, lime, pomegranate, Campari, hibiscus).

7. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

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1415 N Wood St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 360-8320
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Chef Brian Jupiter blends nostalgia for childhood summers with boozy adult beverages with customizable sno-balls at his bustling New Orleans-influenced restaurant. Patrons pick a flavor out of 11 options (including apple pie, kiwi, strawberry, and wedding cake), garnish with a drizzle of caramel sauce or condensed milk, and a dose of Courvoisier V.S.O.P., Crystal Head vodka, or Maker’s Mark.

8. Esmeralda's Lounge

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2539 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 479-7121
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Perched on Humboldt Park’s Paseo Boricua, Esmeralda’s channels Caribbean and Puerto Rican vibes. On the menu, that translates to fun renditions of frozen favorites like piña coladas. Patrons can also expect to find DJs spinning house, cumbia, salsa, hip hop, and more.

9. Miki's Park

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109 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 526-3511
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Playful Seoul-influenced spot Miki’s Park has a penchant for colorful and photogenic cocktails, and its frozen Love Slushy is no exception. Blue and fruity, the icy drink is spiked with Casamigos tequila and soju.

10. Recess

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838 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 801-1181
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Enormous patio venue Recess is putting its own frozen spin on a familiar cocktail: the Aperol Freeze (watermelon vodka, sparkling wine) adds extra oomph to the popular spritz. Patrons can also try boozy frozen iced tea Cold Hard Facts (Stolen X whiskey, black tea, lemon) and frosé (vodka, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc). Operators plan to expand second-floor seating this summer, according to a rep.

11. Saint Lou's Backyard

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664 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 600-0600
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A lot has changed recently at Saint Lou’s, as it now features a rotating food menu highlighting side projects from top Chicago chefs and neighboring cocktail bar MONEYGUN has taken over its dining room. Change can be scary, but don’t worry — its ever-popular frosé (gin, grapefruit, rosé) is still on the menu, alongside a frozen Lou’s Hurricane (Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, cinnamon-infused Brugal Extra Dry, passion fruit, lime).

12. FitzGerald's

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6615 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 788-2118
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Adored bar and music venue FitzGerald’s in suburban Berwyn is ready for a hot summer days with two icy drinks: frozen FitzGeralds (Letherbee gin, lemon, sugar, Angostura) and frozen palomas (Liebelula tequila, Banhez mezcal, grapefruit, lime). Smart drinkers will seize the opportunity to try Babygold BBQ, the venue’s newish smoked meat operation from chef John Manion (El Che) starring excellent baby-back ribs, brisket, and pulled pork.

13. La Vaca Margarita Bar

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1160 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 829-1147
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Frozen margaritas are among the season’s greatest pleasures, and La Vaca serves up one of the best in town, with flavors including tamarind, mango-guava, blackberry, and passion fruit. Unsurprisingly, the cool and boozy cocktails draw many to its boisterous patio in Pilsen and outpost in Lincoln Park, so come prepared for a crowd on weekends.

14. Tack Room

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1807 S Allport St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 526-3851
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Tack Room, the cozy cocktail bar tucked behind Dusek’s inside Pilsen’s Thalia Hall, doesn’t always get the same spotlight as its sibling spots but one shouldn’t overlook its fun and casual offerings. They include a Verdita Colada slushy (rum blend, pineapple, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, coconut) for those who like a kick with their cold beverages.

15. 14 Parish

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1644 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(312) 291-8379
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Tropical drinks get top billing at this popular Caribbean restaurant and bar in Hyde Park. Try the ocean-blue Mermaid Bathwater (dark rum, coconut rum, creme de coconut, pineapple, blue curacao).

1. Parson's Chicken & Fish

5721 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660

Parson’s smash-hit negroni slushy (Leatherbee gin, Luxardo bitter, sweet vermouth, citrus) is a staple for Chicago summers that ushered in a new wave of frozen cocktails. Other icy slush options include Mr. Coconut (Rhum JM, coconut, lime, cardamom) and Dark & Stormy (Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, ginger beer, lime).

5721 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60660

2. The Moonlighter

3204 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Logan Square’s ultra-casual dog-friendly patio spot serves a frozen piña coladas (rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice) with an optional float of Plantation pineapple rum, El Dorado 12 year rum, or aperol. $1 from each drink sale goes to Chicago-based nonprofit Women Unite! and its partner charities.

3204 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

3. Shore Club

1603 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60610

Shore Club is a festive beachside oasis next to North Avenue Beach with a selection of eight frozen cocktails. Cooling creations include the Spritzicle (aperol, orange juice, sparkling wine), the Cold Fashioned (Old Forester, Angosturam, orange bitters), and Frosé All Day (Hangar1 rosé vodka, Band of Roses rosé, peach puree). Curious types can try a little bit of everything with a frozen flight.

1603 N Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60610

4. Buzzed Bull Creamery

1948 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

This Cincinnati-based chain opened its first Chicago location last summer, bringing booze-infused, liquid nitrogen ice cream and milkshakes to Wicker Park. Patrons can choose from pre-designed concoctions like (chocolate, peanut butter cups and sauce, spiced rum) or build their own with a choice of base (ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet), flavors like Nutella and strawberry, candy mix-ins and toppings, and an optional alcohol upgrade that starts at 5 percent ABV.

1948 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

5. urbanbelly

1542 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Chef Bill Kim is featuring an unusual option at his Wicker Park hotspot: frozen Kirin beer — a draft brew topped with a frosty foam cap that keeps the beverage crisp and cold, even under the hot summer sun. It’s not a slushy, but it’s big in Japan (really) and Urbanbelly is the first Chicago restaurant to offer the trendy treat.

1542 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. The Violet Hour

1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Widely hailed as one of Chicago’s best cocktail bars, the Violet Hour is including some summery frozen options on its ever-changing menu. This season’s creations include You’re On Mute, a frozen French 75 (Malfy Rosa gin, Lillet Rose, Nonino Apertivo, Fields of France roibos tea, sparkling wine) and Sunrise, Sunset (Volcan tequila, lime, pomegranate, Campari, hibiscus).

1520 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

1415 N Wood St, Chicago, IL 60622

Chef Brian Jupiter blends nostalgia for childhood summers with boozy adult beverages with customizable sno-balls at his bustling New Orleans-influenced restaurant. Patrons pick a flavor out of 11 options (including apple pie, kiwi, strawberry, and wedding cake), garnish with a drizzle of caramel sauce or condensed milk, and a dose of Courvoisier V.S.O.P., Crystal Head vodka, or Maker’s Mark.

1415 N Wood St
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Esmeralda's Lounge

2539 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

Perched on Humboldt Park’s Paseo Boricua, Esmeralda’s channels Caribbean and Puerto Rican vibes. On the menu, that translates to fun renditions of frozen favorites like piña coladas. Patrons can also expect to find DJs spinning house, cumbia, salsa, hip hop, and more.

2539 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

9. Miki's Park

109 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

Playful Seoul-influenced spot Miki’s Park has a penchant for colorful and photogenic cocktails, and its frozen Love Slushy is no exception. Blue and fruity, the icy drink is spiked with Casamigos tequila and soju.

109 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

10. Recess

838 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60642

Enormous patio venue Recess is putting its own frozen spin on a familiar cocktail: the Aperol Freeze (watermelon vodka, sparkling wine) adds extra oomph to the popular spritz. Patrons can also try boozy frozen iced tea Cold Hard Facts (Stolen X whiskey, black tea, lemon) and frosé (vodka, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc). Operators plan to expand second-floor seating this summer, according to a rep.

838 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60642

11. Saint Lou's Backyard

664 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661

A lot has changed recently at Saint Lou’s, as it now features a rotating food menu highlighting side projects from top Chicago chefs and neighboring cocktail bar MONEYGUN has taken over its dining room. Change can be scary, but don’t worry — its ever-popular frosé (gin, grapefruit, rosé) is still on the menu, alongside a frozen Lou’s Hurricane (Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, cinnamon-infused Brugal Extra Dry, passion fruit, lime).

664 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661

12. FitzGerald's

6615 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402

Adored bar and music venue FitzGerald’s in suburban Berwyn is ready for a hot summer days with two icy drinks: frozen FitzGeralds (Letherbee gin, lemon, sugar, Angostura) and frozen palomas (Liebelula tequila, Banhez mezcal, grapefruit, lime). Smart drinkers will seize the opportunity to try Babygold BBQ, the venue’s newish smoked meat operation from chef John Manion (El Che) starring excellent baby-back ribs, brisket, and pulled pork.

6615 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402

13. La Vaca Margarita Bar

1160 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Frozen margaritas are among the season’s greatest pleasures, and La Vaca serves up one of the best in town, with flavors including tamarind, mango-guava, blackberry, and passion fruit. Unsurprisingly, the cool and boozy cocktails draw many to its boisterous patio in Pilsen and outpost in Lincoln Park, so come prepared for a crowd on weekends.

1160 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

14. Tack Room

1807 S Allport St, Chicago, IL 60608

Tack Room, the cozy cocktail bar tucked behind Dusek’s inside Pilsen’s Thalia Hall, doesn’t always get the same spotlight as its sibling spots but one shouldn’t overlook its fun and casual offerings. They include a Verdita Colada slushy (rum blend, pineapple, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, coconut) for those who like a kick with their cold beverages.

1807 S Allport St
Chicago, IL 60608

15. 14 Parish

1644 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Tropical drinks get top billing at this popular Caribbean restaurant and bar in Hyde Park. Try the ocean-blue Mermaid Bathwater (dark rum, coconut rum, creme de coconut, pineapple, blue curacao).

1644 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

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