When summer temps soar, cool off with something fancier than a standard frozen margarita

Icy relief for a hot summer's day need not come from a played-out frozen margarita or syrupy, slushy daiquiri.

Summer is in full, sweltering swing — a perfect excuse to rev up the blender and cool off with a frozen drink. But that icy relief need not come from a played-out frozen margarita or syrupy, slushy daiquiri.

We have better options, none of which are frosé, by the way.

Of course, some familiar pool-party frozen concoctions can be built up into more creative options. Take that daiquiri mentioned earlier. For this variation, you'll need a bottle of Green Chartreuse, the endlessly useful herbal liqueur, which also works in a simple spritz with bubbly of any kind. This recipe for a cucumber Green Chartreuse daiquiri has you prepping the liquid ingredients a day in advance and pre-chilling them in the freezer to minimize dilution—a useful technique for many of the drinks to follow.

Batch together and put in the freezer overnight 4 ounces of good white rum, 2 ounces of fresh lime juice, ¾ ounce of Green Chartreuse and 1¼ ounce of simple syrup. Make the syrup by heating one cup water with one cup sugar, stirring until dissolved. The next day, put mixture in a blender with one cucumber cut into chunks — peel it if the peel seems bitter — and 2 cups of ice cubes. Blend until texture is consistent, pour into a pair of rocks glasses and garnish with a cucumber wheel or spear.

Sticking with rum — either white or gold — straight from the freezer, here's a single-serving piña colada that flaunts its tropical flavors. Batch and put in freezer at least an hour ahead 5 ounces of cubed fresh pineapple, 1¾ ounces unsweetened coconut cream such as Trader Joe's in a shaken can, 1 ounce simple syrup and ¾ ounce of fresh lime juice. Blend the frozen mixture with the rum until it's uniformly slushy, adding more lime juice if desired. Paper umbrellas are optional, but if you've got 'em, flaunt 'em.

It doesn't take much to turn a plebeian frozen margarita into an ice princess: just start with a decent, chilled reposado tequila and add fresh berries. Blend about 12 blackberries , 4 ounces of tequila, 1½ ounces of Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur, 2 ounces of fresh lime juice, 1½ ounces of simple syrup and 3 cups ice. Quarter a fresh lime and rub half the rim of a margarita coupe, then roll in a sugar-salt mixture. Garnish with one of the lime wedges or skewered berries.

But let's say your go-to drink is a Negroni, season be damned. You don't need to miss out on the frosty fun with the following recipe. I fiddled with this one a lot, splitting the Campari with other amari and using two different vermouths. Perhaps it's best to start with the base recipe, then tweak to suit. Combine 4½ ounces of London Dry gin, 2½ ounces of Campari, 2½ ounces of Carpano Antica or other sweet vermouth. Put in sealable container and freeze for at least eight hours. When ready to serve, whiz it in a blender with 3 cups of small ice cubes. Divvy up between three or four chilled coupe or rocks glasses, each garnished with a slice of orange.

The classic Tom Collins is a good summer drink just as it is, but there's a certain summer-at-a-swish-resort feel to the frozen version. Warning: you will have to spring for some fancy Luxardo maraschino cherries, but they will come in handy year-round. For three to four servings, combine 4 ounces of gin, 3 ounces of fresh lemon juice and 2 ounces of simple syrup in a lidded container and chill, preferably overnight. Transfer to blender with about 3 cups cracked ice and blend until uniform. Pour into chilled rocks glasses and gently swirl in a couple Luxardo cherries and a little of the syrup. A mint sprig doesn't hurt as a contrasting garnish.

Finally, the blender gets a rest with this recipe for a Vermouth Slush made entirely in the freezer. In a 9-inch square baking pan, combine 10 ounces of fresh orange juice, 8 ounces of sweet vermouth such as Carpano Antica, 4 ounces of simple syrup, 2 ounces of orange liqueur such as Curaçao and 2 ounces of water. Freeze for three hours, then scrape the frozen edges toward the center, continuing to freeze for at least five hours total. Scrape with a fork to combine into a grainy slush, then add about ¾ cup to each of 6 rocks glasses and serve as is or topped with an ounce of your favorite booze: gin, tequila, rum or bourbon.

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