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Best Frozen Drinks In Chicago

When there's a run of sweaty, sultry weather and the Chicago air is hotter than the asphalt underfoot, a frozen drink is the only way to go, brain freeze be damned. The wavy lines in your vision may be from the temps but these frozen concoctions will pull them taut so you can revel in all the sweetness of summer in Chicago.
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Cactus Bar & Grill
404 S. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 922-3830
A place called "Cactus" has to know a thing or two about heat and the Loop bar and grill chills your hot pipes with its Frozen Sangria. How can you miss with an elixir made from fruity red wine, Triple Sec, blackberry brandy and lemon-lime soda frozen into a slushy beverage? Cactus Bartender Brooke Dyer says, "Our sangria is a fruity, frozen treat in a glass, perfect for a warm summer evening on our patio. We like to think of it as the perfect 'adult version' of a Slurpy."

Taco Joint Urban Taqueria and Cantina
1969 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 951-2457
Frozen Margaritas? Yes, you can get that at your local chain eatery delivered by the vat from a multinational food corporation. But the Black & Green Margarita at Taco Joint Urban Taqueria and Cantina takes the best drinks of the summer - a cold beer and frozen 'rita - and offers it in one glorious glass. It's a rich Negra Modelo beer over a frozen Taco Toint Margarita made with El Jimador Tequila Blanco, orange liqueur, agave nectar and lime juice. Proprietor Edgar Castaneda wisely explains, "Sometimes the best compromise is no compromise. When you come to Taco Joint and you're not sure if you want a beer or margarita - have both! The Black 'N Green margarita is the perfect blend of two summertime classics."
Related: Best Taco Tuesday Specials In Chicago
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Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-1234
Everything trends toward the enormous at the largest Hyatt on the planet. BIG Bar offers three frozen drinks available in size "colossal" served in a 48-ounce martini glass. Have at the Frozen Banana Daiquiri (Bacardi OakHeart, Crème de Banana, sweet and sour and lemon); a Frozen BIG Daiquiri whipped up from Bacardi and lime and your choice of strawberry, raspberry or mango; or the Frozen BIG Pina Colada with Bacardi, coconut cream and pineapple. After, you'll think you're visiting the islands instead of Upper Wacker Drive.

The Aviary
955 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-0868
The Aviary has elevated the cocktail to an object of beauty - liquid nirvana, if you will - and its frozen remedies don't disappoint. The Avenue is a revelatory riff on the classic whiskey sour. "It starts as something very recognizable," explains Chef de Cuisine Micah Melton, "and finishes completely different." Traditionally a cocktail with bourbon, Calvados, Grenadine, lemon and Passionfruit, this version is "deconstructed" and served as two cocktails - one as a carbonated soda and the other frozen in a sorbet with liquid nitrogen. "Instead of getting watered down, the drink becomes more fruit forward and more of a 'sweet-tart' experience as the sorbet melts," he says.
Parson's Chicken & Fish
2952 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-3333
If you have but one frozen drink this summer, you'll look oh-so-sophisticated ordering the Negroni Slushy at Parsons Chicken & Fish. The icy combination of Letherbee gin, Luxardo bitters, sweet vermouth and citrus is something James Bond himself wouldn't mind switching out for his usual martini during the fevered months.
Related: Perfect Pair: Best Craft Beers To Serve At Your Summer BBQ
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at

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