Eight Alternatives to Frozen Margaritas

The Volcano also offers frozen screwdrivers, which are just as tempting.
The Volcano also offers frozen screwdrivers, which are just as tempting.

When I think "summer" in Houston, I also think "margarita." It's a natural thought progression in a city that's oppressively hot in the summer but also blessed with a plethora of great Tex-Mex restaurants whose frozen concoctions help repel the humid heat.

But Houston is more than just margaritas. And sometimes as good as they are, I find myself craving another way to cool down on a patio than with tequila and questionable sweet and sour mix. Luckily, a town this hot has plenty of other options on hand.

Frozen rum and Coke at Under the Volcano

The Volcano stocks a full bar, but at least half the people here always have either a frozen rum and Coke or a frozen screwdriver in hand. Who needs beer or shots (as tempting as they may be) when you can have one of the prize frozen drinks of Houston? A frozen rum and Coke while listening to live music on a Tuesday night is one of most classic ways to spend an evening in the Bayou City.

Frozen martini, frozen Greyhound... Whatever MerCheri's calls it, it tastes great.
Frozen martini, frozen Greyhound... Whatever MerCheri's calls it, it tastes great.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

Frozen house martini at MerCheri's

I can't imagine a better place in Pearland to kick back with a drink than MerCheri's. And the drink of choice there is the grapefruit-laced house frozen martini, which is actually closer to a Greyhound in taste. They're even better during happy hour, when they're only $2.75 a glass (appetizers are $1 off during that time, too). Happy hour runs all day on Sundays, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Wednesdays, and from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays (plus reverse happy hour, which takes place from 10 p.m. to midnight). Careful, though; they might look girly and pink, but they pack a wicked punch.

Frozen mojito at The Flat

A far more laid-back establishment than your typical bar, The Flat is anything but typical. From its nearly hidden location on a residential street off Waugh to the spicy Jamaican grub it turns out, The Flat is not what you'd expect upon first glance. And its frozen mojitos are equally intriguing, made with ice, sugar, lime juice, fresh mint, Bacardi silver rum and absolutely nothing else. Refreshing, in more ways than one.

Frozen Hurricane at Beaucoup Bar & Grill

It makes sense that one of the city's best Cajun restaurants would also serve a mean Hurricane. And unlike other establishments (which shall remain nameless), this isn't a wine-based mocktail. This is the real thing. Beaucoup offers their frozen Hurricane in two sizes: regular and large. The large means you get to keep the cup and get $7 refills. You know which one we'll choose nine times out of ten...


If you aren't in a frozen mimosa mood, Mia Bella also offers frozen bellinis.
If you aren't in a frozen mimosa mood, Mia Bella also offers frozen bellinis.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

Frozen mimosa at Mia Bella

In a recent post on Mia Bella's fabulous brunch, I pointed out that it was one of the few places in town to still offer "bottomless" bellinis and mimosas. And that's because they cleverly skirt the TABC laws by charging only 25 cents for refills. While not technically bottomless, they're devilishly cheap, and very tasty to boot.

Frozen Screwdriver at Porch Swing Pub

The Porch Swing quietly occupied its spot along Heights Boulevard where it meets Washington Avenue for years before the latter street became the new Richmond Strip, so don't count this cozy place out. And although the beer menu is vast, the frozen Screwdriver here is what keeps people coming back. They're even better on Tuesdays and Sundays when you can wash down your $4.75/pound crawfish with a few while enjoying the weather.

Frozen bellini at Farrago

Like Mia Bella, this Midtown favorite offers both frozen bellinis and (regular, unfrozen) mimosas for your brunching pleasure. And you can't beat the price during its weekend brunch, either: $10 a glass with four free refills (and if you're operating on a different tolerance plane than we are, every refill after four is $5).

Frozen White Russian at Little Bigs

As pointed out on Tuesday, Little Bigs has some of the finest fries in town. They taste even better, however, when dipped in the Sri Racha mayonnaise or The Dude, a White Russian-based frozen "adult beverage" that can easily be mistaken for a milkshake. (Feel free to judge me for these confessions.) Unlike the Milkshake No Minors at Bryan Caswell's flagship restaurant, Reef, however, The Dude contains no actual liquor. Instead, it's a wine-based mocktail (I know!). But the upside is that you can pound a tasty Dude and only have to worry about brain freeze instead of flat-out inebriation.

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