Summer in South Florida equals heat. Humid, oppressive, hallucination-inducing heat. With the dog days of summer just a few short weeks away, you might find yourself wanting something more than the average chilled drink. Instead of a watered-down cocktail, why not go for one blended with ice — just the thing you need to chill out when the temperature is pushing triple digits.
The only downfall: most frozen drinks are weak, boring, and sugary-sweet. Certainly that's not the type of imbibing you're envisioning to save you from Florida's humid heat waves.
Which is where El Camino in Delray Beach comes into play. The restaurant bar recently launched a number of creative frozen concoctions as part of its summer drink menu and according to restaurant partner and beverage manager Brian Albe, these frozen drinks aren't just cool — they're the real deal.
"The craft cocktail scene has gotten a little overwhelming lately, so we decided to switch things up a bit and bring in a slushie machine to make things fun again," said Albe. "But these aren't your average frozen drinks. We make everything from scratch, just like each of our handcrafted margaritas and cocktails. There's no added sugar, artificial ingredients, or processes bases. These are all our own recipes, but frozen."
The Dirty Horchata is the most labor intensive, a 24-hour rice toasting process that yields a rich horchata rice milk base for blending reposado tequila with freshly-grated cinnamon. Add a shot of the bar's house made coffee tequila for an extra tasty treat.
The mango-habanero is everything you love about El Camino's amazing margarita mix, but with a frozen twist, a combination of blanco tequila, fresh mango puree, lime juice, and a habanero-steeped agave for a spicy kick.
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The most creative of the three is the frozen sangria, the bar's own Grapes of Wrath recipe formatted into a slushie-smooth consistency. Just as potent — a mix of blanco tequila, pinot noir, agave, Jarritos soda, and grapefruit bitters — the drink is the ultimate antedate to s scorching summer afternoon.
The drinks are available now through the summer months alongside a line of new margaritas including the spiced avocado (blanco tequila, Combier, Hass avocados, muddled jalapeño, and lime); the Kiwi Cucumber (blanco tequila, middled kiwi and cucumber, agave, and lime); the return of the Watermelon Jalapeño (blanco tequila, fresh watermelon juice, jalapeño, lime, and smoked sea salt).
El Camino is located at 15 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-865-5350, or visit elcaminodelray.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.