Imagine if the ice cream truck sold booze. This summer, we've noticed a few local restaurants and bars are remixing some nostalgic treats into cocktails: liquored-up snow cones, slushie machines filled with wine and rum, and ice pops that play nicely with bubbly. (Just beware of brain freeze.)
Cocktails at Chango Rosa, the new Latin American-inspired restaurant by Bear's Smokehouse owners Jamie and Cheryl McDonald, feature tropical-influenced flavors like coconut, passion fruit, açaí and kiwi. The eponymous Pink Monkey frozen drink, with strawberry-infused Angostura rum, rhubarb and lime, comes out smooth and icy from a slushie machine. $9.
Chango Rosa, 1 Union Place, is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar remains open until midnight. 860-479-6662, changorosa.com.
The bar staff at Savoy Pizzeria & Craft Bar in West Hartford has been having fun with crushed ice, spirits and flavoring this summer, experimenting with snow cones ($5 to $7.50) in varieties like watermelon crush (with watermelon vodka, fresh watermelon juice and housemade basil syrup) and seasonal rum punch. The ZoCone features Zima, the throwback '90s-era cult malt beverage enjoying a limited-time resurgence, with blue curaçao and grenadine. Any of Savoy's signature cocktails can be served in snow cone form, says managing partner Dante Cistulli, priced accordingly.
Savoy, 32 LaSalle Road, is open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Bar stays open until last call.) 860-969-1000 and savoypizzeria.com.
Who said you had to stop enjoying snow cones when you reached your adult years? At Harlan Brasserie, the new restaurant within Hartford's recently renovated Goodwin Hotel, the childhood favorite is reimagined for the 21-plus crowd, with liquor, simple syrup and fruit puree drizzled over shaved ice in a paper cone. Recent flavors have included wild blueberry with vodka and passion fruit with tequila. $5.
Carefree childhood memories meet adult indulgences with Butchers & Bakers' strawberry prosecco popsicle cocktail, featuring a housemade strawberry ice pop submerged in a glass of sparkling wine. Make it a weekend brunch treat out on the patio, with coal-fired Dutch baby pancakes or "Elvis" French toast with peanut butter, banana and crème anglaise. $9.
After four months as the Asian-inspired Bob Ramen, the original 50 West is back, but has adopted the "laid-back rock 'n' roll vibe" of its predecessor, owner Patrick Miceli told The Courant in June. The refreshing Bistro Bramble ($9) is a take on a previous Bob cocktail, with gin, simple syrup, lemon and black currant liqueur over crushed ice, and 50 West also offers a "whimsical and fun" tiki drink menu (all $8) for patio sipping.
50 West, 50 W. Main St., Plainville, is open Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m. 860-351-5066, facebook.com/50WestCT.
You could say Sunset Meadow was years ahead of the frosé trend. At the Litchfield Hills winery, which opened its tasting room in 2008, guests eagerly await warm weather for the appearance of its popular "merlitas," or wine slushies. The tasting room recently added a "Cayuga Colada" white wine variety to complement its original merlot-based flavor. $5.
When the temperature rises, Brignole Vineyards in East Granby also turns on its slush machines, churning its wine and juice into frosty, thirst-quenching coolers. Choose from red or white varieties, or swirl the two for the best of both flavors, and soak up the sun on the winery's large outdoor deck overlooking rows of vines. $12.
Brignole Vineyards, 103 Hartford Ave., is open Wednesday through Saturday, 1 to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Summer hours may be extended. 860-653-9463 brignolevineyards.com.