Make your own unique vodka slushies for summer with this simple and delicious recipe. You don't need buckets of syrup mix, a blender, or a frozen drink machine to make these frosty cocktails, nor do you need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. All you need is lemonade, a few limes, some empty bottles and Smirnoff North.
Smirnoff North is the key ingredient of this recipe. Triple distilled and infused with Nordic berries, Smirnoff North is extremely smooth and quite different to any other flavoured vodka. With limited stockists outside of Europe, Smirnoff North has countless forums dedicated to the appreciation of this rather singular spirit, and the search for retailers who import it. Smirnoff North can be ordered online and shipped to many countries, though lucky Melburnians can buy it off the shelf from Psarakos Market in Thornbury.
Delicious and distinctive as it is, there is another reason why Smirnoff North is the best vodka to use for icy cocktails – it has lower alcohol volume than regular vodka, but is higher quality, which means that small quantities will freeze into a smooth slushy consistency, as will larger quantities when combined well with mixers.
1. Smirnoff North bottles can't be used for this recipe as they have tricky European pourers in them – even if you manage to get the other ingredients into the bottle you won't get the mixture out once frozen. Instead, fill about one third of another bottle (plastic or glass) with Smirnoff North.
2. Add the same amount of lemonade to the bottle. Don't fill the bottle more than two-thirds at this stage. Put the lid on the bottle, gently swish it around to mix the contents, and then put it in the freezer overnight.
3. In the morning, check your concoction. Depending on the type and size of the bottle used and the workings of your freezer, the mix may be slightly too icy or not frozen enough. This is where you add either more lemonade or vodka to get the consistency right. If the mixture hasn't frozen enough, add a bit more lemonade; if it looks too icy, shake the bottle for a few seconds and then add some more vodka.
4. Put the bottle back in the freezer until cocktail hour. It's a good idea to check the mixture every now and then, but don't get over-excited about adding more lemonade if it looks like it's not freezing straight away – it takes a while. Likewise, don't worry if the mixture looks to be too frosty – it won't freeze solid or separate.
5. When your cocktail mix is ready, pour into glasses, add a squeeze of lime, a dash of bitters – and enjoy.
This special frozen cocktail is a refreshing treat for warm days, and a great way to kick off before a night on the town. Simple though it may be, it is a delight to drink and the Smirnoff North gives it a rare twist that makes it remarkable enough to rival even some of Melbourne's most delicious mixes.