In the Field

Charleston’s Hottest Frozen Cocktails

By: Hannah Lee Leidy

Four frosty drink recipes to keep cool in the Holy City

This summer is like that steamy beach read that makes you blush: hot, hot, hot! Throughout the South (and much of the country), sweltering temps make going outside less than glamorous. Not even the pool, beach, or lake can improve this level of sweat. The remedy we love, though? Frosty, frozen cocktails that lower our internal temperature and revive us after a stint outdoors. 

In the heart of the Lowcountry, Charleston’s renowned restaurant scene braves summer with elevated frozen cocktails. These aren’t your mother’s piña coladas or daiquiris: Traditional rum and cokes, palomas, spicy margaritas, and more appear in frosty, swirly iterations inside oyster halls, Tex-Mex spots, and beachside hangouts. Even better, we got the recipes for easy, at-home re-creation of these boozy treats. No need to travel to the Holy City (or leave your air-conditioned house) to sip these cooling concoctions. Just break out the blender, lather on the SPF, and welcome an (almost) heat-proof summer.

Four Frozen Cocktails to Beat the Heat

Frozen Paloma | Sullivan’s Fish Camp

We all love a tart paloma, but the pink drink becomes all the more fun when transformed into a grapefruit-and-tequila slushy. Although the Sullivan’s Island newcomer is a nod to the simple fish camps of yesteryear, there’s nothing outdated about this beverage. We recommend rubbing a little lime zest into salt for a tangy garnish.

A frozen paloma from the paloma recipe
Frozen paloma at Sullivan’s Fish Camp, Image by Kirk Robert

Ron Con Cola | The Ordinary

Caribbean influences characterize the drink menu at Charleston’s iconic seafood and oyster hall. This summer, the Ron Con Cola puts a twist on two classic rum drinks, the rum and coke and dark n’ stormy. We love that the inclusion of ginger juice and lime provides a tart and spicy balance to the homemade Cola syrup’s sweetness. While The Ordinary uses Mexican Coke, feel free to use any kind made with cane sugar.

Someone holding a Ron Con Cola, a brown colored cocktail
Ron Con Cola at The Ordinary, image by Lindsey Shorter

Wadma-Law Breaker | The Longboard

Can’t make it to the beach? No problem! Earthy basil agave, bright lime juice, and watermelon bring all the elements of the summery outdoors into a glass with this cocktail from The Longboard on Sullivan’s Island. Scarfing the juicy watermelon garnish over the kitchen sink lets you temporarily enter vacation mode, no beach house required.

Someone holding the Wadma-law-breaker, a pink drink with a watermelon slice sticking out of it
The Wadma-Law Breaker from The Longboard on Sullivan’s Island, image by Lawson Builder

Hatch Green Chile Margarita | Rancho Lewis

Rancho Lewis opened in early 2022 as pitmaster John Lewis’ homage to his El Paso roots. The owner of Lewis Barbecue brings Tex-Mex cooking traditions to the Southeast–from in-house nixtamalization to mesquite pit-smoked ribs. The northern Rio Grande Valley provides the restaurant with their hatch chiles, including the green ones used to give their frozen margaritas a kick. This frozen cocktail goes out to the spice lovers among us. If you can’t find hatch green chiles, feel free to substitute them with jalapeños, fresnos, or poblano chiles.

Hatch Green Chile Frozen Margarita
The hatch green chile margarita from Rancho Lewis, image by Libby Malcolm

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