What is the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? An icy cold beverage is always a great way to go, but why stop there? With just a little creativity and a working freezer you can create all sorts of frozen alcoholic drinks and treats that are just as tasty as their non-alcoholic counterparts, but with just the right amount of buzz. Whether you’re throwing a backyard barbecue and you want something to impress your friends, or you just need a little treat to reward yourself on a hot weekend day, here are five fun recipes that add just enough spirits to create the perfect icy treat. Plus, a few of these can be made without the booze, so the kids can get in on the fun, too.

Snow Cones For Adults

When the heat of the summer reaches its most unbearable, an ice cold snow cone is always a fun way to cool off. Kids love them at parks and carnivals, but why should they get all the fun? With just a few extra steps, you can make your own snow cones at home, infused with your favorite tequila, for a boozy treat that will help cool you off during the hottest of summer days. If you’ve got kids around, you can just leave the alcohol out and then you can use the same recipe for both the kids and the grown-up kids.

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Ingredients

  • Six Cups Sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Juice of two limes
  • ¼ cup Cointreau
  • ½ cup Tequila
  • Crushed Ice

Directions

  1. Start off by making a simple syrup. Bring the sugar and 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, but don’t let it burn.
  3. Let the sugar mixture cool.
  4. In a large pitcher, combine the lemon and lime juice, tequila and Cointreau (or omit the alcohol if you prefer.)
  5. Add the syrup and chill for at least 2 hours.
  6. Scoop the ice into bowls or paper funnels.
  7. Top with two tablespoons of the sweetened syrup and serve.

Pink Lemonade Slush

What’s better than an ice-cold glass of fresh strawberry lemonade? One that’s frozen and filled with vodka, of course. When strawberries hit their peak of freshness, this is the perfect recipe to bring out. Your guests will love the sweet taste of this adult version, and kids can enjoy it without the vodka. Use only fresh lemon juice to keep the flavors just right and serve in a chilled mug to really cool you off all summer long.

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Ingredients

  • Three cups strawberries, hulls removed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/3 cup Cointreau
  • Strawberry slices

Directions

  1. This one starts with the same simple syrup. Place the sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until all the sugar is dissolved, being careful not to burn the sugar.
  3. Remove from heat and add remaining water.
  4. Pour syrup in a blender, add the rest of the ingredients (leave out the vodka and Cointreau to make this one kid-friendly.)
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour everything into a freezer safe pitcher and cover. Freeze until solid.
  7. Remove from freezer, then scrape with a fork or knife to loosen the ice.
  8. Once it is loose, you should be able to stir the frozen cocktail.
    Spoon into glasses, and decorate with a slice of fresh strawberry.

Mocha-Caramel Kahlua Milkshake

Inspired by the famous adult milkshake by the one and only Bobby Flay. It uses every adult’s favorite liquor, Kahlua, along with a few sweet treats to really brighten up the flavors. This adult milkshake is the perfect thing to serve as a sweet dessert following your next summer barbecue. Serve in milkshake glasses with some bright, colorful straws to really up the childlike appeal of the milkshake. Just be sure to keep the kids out of this one.

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of your favorite caramel sauce
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine the milk, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce and Kahlua in a blender and mix well.
  2. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings as a garnish.
    Serve immediately with a fun straw and enjoy.

Pinot Noir Popsicles

Popsicles are always a fun summer treat. There is something so childlike about licking the sweet treat during the heat of the day, savoring the great flavors while you let the ice melt down your fingers. However, you don’t have to settle for store-bought plain ice pops. Instead, whip up a batch of these adult-friendly treats and surprise your guests with wine popsicles. Because of the alcohol, you will need to take a few extra steps, but it’s totally worth it.

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups berries (raspberries or blackberries work best)
  • 6 ounces of your favorite Pinot Noir

Directions

  1. Once again, you need to start with a simple syrup. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the sugar dissolves, without letting it burn.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Rinse berries and dry well.
  5. Puree berries in a blender.
  6. Pour equal parts syrup and wine into a bowl and taste.
  7. If the wine is stronger, you can add more syrup as needed.
  8. Pour into popsicle molds and add sticks. Freeze until solid.
  9. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap to store.

Guinness Float

This is a super easy way to take your love of Guinness to the next level. It’s a surprising twist on the classic root beer float, but made with the strong flavor of your favorite dark beer. You don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy Guinness this way, and it’s a great addition to your next backyard barbecue. Everyone will love this tasty adult version of the classic childhood treat. Serve in a frosty mug for maximum fun.

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Guinness
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate bitters

Directions

  1. Pour the Guinness into a frosty mug.
  2. Add ice cream.
  3. Top with a dash of chocolate bitters.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.