Eight Alternatives to Frozen Margaritas

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 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...

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Katharine Shilcutt