New and old favorites combine on this two-mile trail of 14th Street's best boozy brainfreezes, which includes several happy hours.
DNV Rooftop Bar
1155 14th St. NW.
What to order: Text Your Ex Slush ($14)
On hot days, the Donovan Hotel's rooftop pool bar gets packed with a sun-seeking crowd. The summery menu is filled with ways to cool off, from boozy popsicles to vodka-and-shiso cocktails on draft. Two frozen drinks are offered: The Text Your Ex is a tiki-ish tequila drink with flavors of cherry, pineapple and banana; Clickbait offers some smokiness from El Silencio mezcal, but just doesn't have the complexity of flavors that Text Your Ex does.
1520 14th St. NW.
What to order: Cucumber/Gin/Manzanilla Slushito ($9)
Estadio focuses on Spanish-style tapas, pintxos and sandwiches, paired with sherry cocktails and gin-and-tonics. But the 6-year-old restaurant also has a pair of "slushitos" that use nontraditional flavor combinations. Selections rotate often: A combination of grapefruit, bourbon and Amontillado sherry from a few weeks ago has been replaced by a creation by bar manager Billy Chou: gin, cucumber and manzanilla sherry, with a sharp bit of heat from white pepper.
2 Birds 1 Stone
1800 14th St. NW.
What to order: The daily "frappe hour" selection ($9)
Unlike the other bars on this menu, 2 Birds 1 Stone doesn't have a frozen drink machine with slushies swirling around behind a pair of taps. Instead, bartenders will whip up a different frozen drink in a blender between 6 and 8 p.m. each night as part of "frappe hour." Wednesdays, for example, are given over to a frozen Aperol spritz, bright with orange juice and zest; and Saturdays bring Adam Bernbach's take on the piña colada, elevated with cinnamon and spices. Other featured drinks include margaritas on Tuesday, strawberry daiquiris on Thursday, and Mudslides on Friday. Each drink is only available one day a week, Bernbach says, due to prep time and ingredients, so you can't show up on Saturday night and ask for a strawberry daiquiri while everyone else has pina coladas.
El Centro D.F.
1819 14th St. NW.
What to order: Frozen margarita with strawberry puree ($7 from 4 to 7 p.m. daily; $11 otherwise)
For five years, El Centro's rooftop happy hours have provided the fuel for numerous bachelorette parties and nights out that extended much longer than planned. After all, when frozen margaritas are only $5 at happy hour, it's hard to turn down one more round. Want something more interesting? Try the strawberry or mango options. Instead of swirling "regular" and fruit-flavored frozen margaritas, El Centro bartenders put a healthy pour of fresh fruit puree in the bottom of a pint glass, then pour the frozen margarita on top of it. (Just beware of seeds in your straw if you choose the strawberry puree.)
1833 14th St. NW.
What to order: Hope Don't Float ($11)
Bar Pilar has been serving frozen slushie drinks for more than two years. This summer's pairing is the light-and-refreshing Man Jam, a Pimm's Cup-style mix of Pimm's, vodka, lemon, iced tea and simple syrup, and the more interesting Hope Don't Float, in which non-alcoholic root beer and the bitter, herbaceous Root liqueur combine with vodka and a deliciously scented bourbon vanilla whipped cream to create something that looks and smells like the perfect adult root beer float. While whipped cream isn't something I'd want on most frozen cocktails, the bourbon-vanilla flavors really complement the root beer flavors when they're stirred into the otherwise icy liquid.
Important happy hour consideration: Hope Don't Float isn't on the happy hour menu, while the Man Jam is only $5 from 5 to 7 p.m. on weeknights.
3720 14th St. NW.
What to order: Frosé, or the frozen drink of the day ($8)
The day after Lyman's Tavern hooked up its frozen drink machine (June 7), a friend of partner Kevin Perone's sent him a link to a Bon Appetit story about "frosé," or frozen rosé. That combination of rosé, strawberries and lemon juice has become one of the most popular offerings on the rotating frozen drink menu, alongside frozen Irish coffee, frozen mint juleps, frozen pina coladas and even a frozen French 75. No pre-packaged mixers are involved: For the mint julep, for example, Perone makes a tea of mint leaves, simple syrup and hot water, which is blended with whiskey before being put in the mixer with ice. Flavors rotate on and off the menu, so it's worth checking the bar's Facebook or Instagram to see what's available.
More tasty drinks: