Although we consider ourselves a cocktail company, frozen cocktails were our starting place. With that in mind, I often ponder the future of frozen cocktails dispensed from slushie machines like ours. I question whether they are a fad or whether they have substance and longevity as a serve.
I also question whether we should continue offering them. As a company we strive to be innovative and imaginative and in the past I have screened this serve through our core vision.
I realise that I won’t shock anyone with my conclusion but for what it’s worth, I believe there is a very special place for frozen cocktails in and amongst the cocktail industry.
Boomtown Fair was one of a number of outstanding events for us this summer. Our Strawberry Daiquiris were in hot demand and the folks I spoke to were delighted with their purchase. This make me happy, and positive feedback has been my oxygen and lifeblood, steering me through the turbulence of starting a business of my own.
It also became apparent to me that across a festival site housing upwards of 35,000 people, this was the best drink that money could buy from any of the twenty-something bars. My ego likes those odds and is quick to tell me that this is because we make really tasty drinks. The reality is a bit more complicated than that and a big reason that the drink sells so well is because it is very difficult to get a really tasty mixed drink at an outdoor event/festival. Shit, sometimes it’s hard to get a drink with ice in it, or a beer that doesn’t taste like warm cat piss.
The strain that bar operators are under makes it hard for them to deliver cocktails. Until recent years, bar operators and event organisers have swerved cocktails because there hasn’t been a strong demand for drinking cocktails in a field. Beer and cider ruled supreme. With the emergence of so many great cocktail bars, and with festival goers becoming savvier and more discerning, organisers have been forced to look at this again and in turn, they have put pressure on event bar operators to deliver a solution. Cocktail slushies have a great future because there is no quicker way to serve a consistent and delicious cocktail from a high volume bar, and festivals have these in abundance. With the demand for tastier drinks and cocktails, slushies currently offer the best solution and there are no signs yet that this will subside.
I also think that slushies have an important role to play as cocktails in general become an increasing feature of the festival bar circuit. Because of their classic cocktail status, Piña coladas, Strawberry Daiquiris and Margaritas will always be contenders for folks writing cocktail menus for festival bars, but their real power lies in their ability to put a delicious and consistent cocktail in a cup, in seconds.
The Margarita is the drink that kick-started the process of serving cocktails from slushie machines out in The States. Although I’ll dedicate a post to this drink, for now, I will simply cite it as a key reason why cocktail slushies have a future both in, and out of festivals. Put simply, slush machines offer a great way, (maybe the greatest) to enjoy a Margarita. The elevated status of this drink has gone a long way in laying great foundations to ensure the future is bright for slushie cocktails.
In an age where time is the real currency being traded, cocktail slushies have a great future but only if the product being sold is fresh and delicious. Expect to see us celebrate the folks that champion this serve, and by the same token – publically name and shame those folks that abuse it, and persist in serving shit frozen drinks, spoiling the fun for all of us.