Many are cold, but few are frozen. Therein lies the beauty of a frosty, brain-freeze-imminent slushy, churned and churned through until its final evolution: Caught somewhere in the hinterland between liquid and solid states of matter that you must, then, conquer with an always-slightly-too-small straw. And, with a shot of booze, caught somewhere between a childhood favourite and a cheeky adult beverage.
If you’re hanging onto the last days of summer, whatever that means for a city wedged in the sub-tropics, and remnants of whatever memories you’ve since attached to this carnival drink from your childhood, here are our favourite places to get slushed up. And if you’re someone who just rolled their eyes and asked for a Negroni, hey now. No slush-shaming allowed ’round these parts.
The drink: Daily Hard Slushie (HK$60)
Shady Acres’ slushy machine sits near the entrance; right by the stretch of bar closest to the door. You can’t miss it; you’ve probably been tempted by it (glowing lights, gentle hum and all) mid-stammer on your fifth Tequila Soda order of the evening. Give into your heart’s desires, we say. Get the Daily Hard Slushie, which rotates on flavour profiles, and whatever’s cooking up in the kitchen that’s starchy and scrumptious. By that we mean the pasta.
Shady Acres, G/F, 46 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9176 7500
Honky Tonks Tavern
The drink: Slushie All Day Long Baby (HK$60)
Presented heaping and delicious in an enamel mug you wouldn’t think twice about packing for your next camping trip, Honky Tonks Tavern’s Slushie — served, as they say, all day long, baby — is just the kind of perfectly chilled antidote a side of Fried Chicken Tenders (HK$75) calls for. Clucks for.
Honky Tonks Tavern’s most recent one-shot collaboration with Korean Sool-Jip OBP used the slushy as a blueprint for greatness. For one night only, the Makgeoli Slushie (HK$85) — churned through with its namesake Makgeoli, overproof rum, citrus, amaretto and garnished with, of course, a little paper umbrella and passion fruit pulp — stole our hearts and froze our brains. Here’s to dreaming of a comeback tour.
Honky Tonks Tavern, Man Hing Lane, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5428 5627
The drink: Slushy (HK$50)
You only have to travel as far as the end of Wo On Lane for a very good time — and a very good slushy for just HK$50, served up in a paper cup just in case you’re particularly accident-prone. Past flavours have ranged from summer favourites like watermelon, pandan and pineapple to cold-weather delights like Irish coffee; whatever is available is always scribbled and bolded in chalk. Grab a Dead& Dog, too, while you’re at it. It’s a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon treat.
Dead&, G/F, 18 Wo On Lane, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9886 5711
The drink: Sound & Fury Slushy (HK$88)
It’s not William Faulkner or Shakespearean soliloquies that inspired this slushy’s honorific. Instead, it’s something much, much cooler — as if you’d expect anything less from the crew at The Pontiac. Inspiration, rather, came from Sturgill Simpson’s 10-track studio album, also named Sound & Fury, that was released alongside an original Netflix anime film that traipses into a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Fun! Churned from Neonotic’s Szechuan Vanilla Cider with a generous sprinkle of Tajin sliced through the surface, the Sound & Fury Slushy is the bar’s on-menu house blend.
Also on the roster is a Spicy Pineapple Slushy (HK$88) made from Stiggins pineapple rum, but according to The Pontiac’s Ezra Star: “[The flavours] rotate depending on how we feel.” So, fingers crossed your slushy inclinations align with the moon, the stars and whatever’s feeling particularly serendipitous that day.
The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2521 3855
The drink: Slushie of the Week (HK$60)
Rather than enter through Club Rangoon’s Aberdeen Street entrance, circle ’round back for The Kiosk: The eatery’s grab-and-go concept for cocktails, canned drinks and light Burmese bites that can easily be held and savoured whilst sitting perched on the steps of Mee Lun Street. You’ll find the slushy flavour on rotation every week, so be sure to ask what’s currently churning up in the kitchen.
Club Rangoon, 33 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2503 3077
Te Quiero Mucho
The drink: A pitcher of Frozen Margarita (HK$200 during Happy Hour; HK$300 otherwise)
Are frozen margaritas really just slushies with, arguably, a better name? Well, if the slush fits. Te Quiero Mucho’s frozen pitcher serves four to six — or one, if you’ve had an impossible, unending day. The choice is between classic or mango; we say get both and compare notes.
Te Quiero Mucho, 1 & 2/F, The Sheung Wan by Ovolo, 286 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3423 3290