The lineup of frozen drinks at Colada Shop. Photograph courtesy of the Colada Shop.
This article, originally posted in June 2021, was updated in July 2023.
Riptide (a.k.a. frozen Painkiller) | Millie’s
4866 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Like the dangerous current, this frozen combination of spiced rum, coconut, pineapple, and orange juice will sneak up on you—and it’s deliciously deadly.
Schnappsicles | Stable
1324 H St., NE
This Swiss spot serves up comforting hot fondue, but if you need something to cool you down after, try one of their frozen schnapps: boozy pops made with Alpine liqueur, fresh fruit purée, and dry white wine. The “schnapsicles” are available in apricot-prickly pear, raspberry-lime, and pear flavors. You can also get them in a Schnapsicle Spritz (a popsicle served inside a glass of sparkling rosé).
Frozen strawberry orange daiquiri | Royal Sands
26 N St., SE
If you can’t sip a frozen cocktail by a swimming pool, you might as well sip one in a bar that looks like one. The Florida-inspired Navy Yard bar turns out a few frozen cocktails, including this one with Don Q orange rum, strawberry puree and juice, and peach juice. Get it swirled with a frozen pina colada in a Miami Vice.
Frozen bourbon milk punch | Dauphine’s
1100 15th St., NW
We like the idea of boozy milkshakes—but we’re usually over it after a few heavy sips. Enter this New Orleans-inspired spot in downtown DC, which pours a decadent, dessert-like milk punch with bonded bourbon, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cacao, and nutmeg (you can even have two!).
Frozen Irish coffee | Electric Cool-Aid
512 Rhode Island Ave., NW
It’s tough to pick a frozen favorite at this outdoor Shaw bar, which specializes in frosty drinks. But it’s also tough to beat this creamy, boozy version of an Irish coffee. Get it as is, or look for variations with shots of banana liqueur or peanut butter whiskey.
Piña coladas | Cotton & Reed
1330 5th St., NE
The Union Market rum distillery’s “cocomotion” slushie isn’t your average piña. Fermented coconut cream reduces the usual sweetness and adds a nice acidic kick, while two house-made rums—white and gold—give it a good punch.
Even more piña coladas | Colada Shop
The Wharf, Dupont Circle, 14th Street, Mosaic District, Potomac
The colorful Cuban cafes do the piña proud, whether you’re sipping on one of the patios with a tasty Cubano sandwich or taking Capri Sun-like pouches to-go.
Did we mention we like piña coladas? | Archipelago
1201 U St., NW
U Street’s decked-out tiki haven mixes a delicious, unfussy version of our favorite pineapple drink in fun glassware. Match it with crab rangoon dip, hot-chicken steam buns, and other Chinese snacks.
Frozen rum “in” Coke | Tiki TNT
1130 Maine Ave., SW
There’s a lot of frosty goodness on the menu of barman Todd Thrasher’s tiki bar and rum distillery at the Wharf. We’re partial to this housemade rum slushy served in a Coke can (also nice: the $10 weekday happy hour pricing).
Frozen hurricane | Bayou Bakery
1515 N Courthouse Rd., Arlington
Chef David Guas’s New Orleans cafe pays homage to his home state with a frozen hurricane—a tangy rum punch with fresh fruit juices—that’s available by the cup or shareable (and portable) 16-ounce pouch.
Frozen orange crushes | The Salt Line
79 Potomac Ave., SE; 4040 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 7284 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda
You can channel the beach at this Navy Yard waterfront restaurant (or new outposts in the burbs) with a lobster roll and a frozen crush made with vodka, orange liqueur, and an orange DC Brau spiked seltzer.
Mango-ginger margaritas | Mi Vida
98 District Sq., SW; 1901 14th St., NW; 575 7th St., NW
The house frozen specialty at these chic Mexican restaurants doesn’t skimp on nice, zesty ingredients: think Sauza Blanco tequila, mango, ginger, passionfruit, agave syrup, and fresh-squeezed lime.
And because frozen margaritas (with little beers) are awesome | Los Tios Grill
513 23rd St., S., Arlington; 241 S. Van Dorn St., Alexandria; 2615 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 201 Harrison St., SE, Leesburg
Do like a regular and order the off-menu “Baja,” a frozen margarita with a mini Corona beer tipped inside from these crowd-pleasing Tex-Mex/Salvadoran restaurants.
Mint Lemonade | Green Zone
2226 18th St., NW
Just glancing at this verdant, frosty glass cools us down on a hot day. The Middle Eastern cocktail bar offers a choice of vodka, gin, or rum with lime for a mojito twist—but it’s also super refreshing without the booze.
Miami Vice | Suburbia
1309 5th St., NE
Gina Chersevani’s retro Airstream-turned-bar outside Union Market serves up several slushy treats. The Miami Vice is basically two cocktails in one with layers of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri.
Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.
Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.