OK, warning: this is a little "local."

Until earlier this week, anyone in New York City's 5 boroughs could follow @phrosties on Instagram, text the phone number included in the profile, and receive a cooler full of colorful frozen alcoholic beverages delivered straight to your door.

Phrosties photo by sarah_jane_triplett (photo credit: sara_jane_triplett)

But then the beverages blew up - everyone heard about them, including Senator Chuck Schumer, and the enterprise was shut down.

So now we're left to guess what was in Phrosties (Adam Platt says "This is just pure sugar and grain alcohol."), and how we might make them ourselves.

Anybody had one? Anybody know how we might make one?


I take it you're a fellow NY'er :)

The classic Phrostie consists of just 4 ingredients: Kool-aid mix, sugar, water and Everclear. First, mix the Kool-aid, sugar and water until everything is dissolved. You want to use about 1/2 to 1/3 the amount of water that you would normally use and the rest (1/2 or 2/3) would be Everclear.

Here's my Phrostie interpretation (uses 1/2 everclear and 1/2 water):

  • 3 (6g) packages Kool-Aid, your favourite flavour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 8 cups Everclear

This should make a little more than a gallon total. Portion it out in capped bottles, then put them in the freezer for a few hours.

I've also poked around with a "fancy" Phrostie:

  • 3 cups Marino's Italian Ices
  • 8 oz Brugal Anejo
  • 5 oz Brugal Especial Extra Dry Silver
  • 1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 8 oz grenadine syrup
  • 4
    Good lord, no wonder these things were reported to knock you out. I'd guess you could achieve the fancy color combos by using different types of Kool-Aid, freezing them separately until slushy, and then layering them in the capped bottles. – logophobe May 29 '14 at 21:09
  • Sorry, I should have been more specific. Any chance you can speak a bit to the technique necessary to get that layering effect? – samthebrand May 29 '14 at 22:01
  • 2
    @SamtheBrand Nothing too fancy - freeze the original mixtures separately in large vessels, then pour or spoon carefully into the final containers, bottom color first. The frozen slush should be semi-solid enough to prevent much mixing if you're careful. You could try upping the ratio of sugar in the lower layers and increase the alcohol in the higher ones to adjust their specific gravities, but that might affect how they freeze. Such care probably doesn't matter since you won't be able to see straight after one or two of these. – logophobe May 30 '14 at 3:32
  • +1 to what logophobe said - just freeze them in separate containers then scoop them into a bottle and refreeze for an hour or so so that they settle. No need to adjust the sugar/alcohol ratios for the specific gravity after they are separately frozen though as they'll just mix in the end. – jsanc623 May 30 '14 at 4:38
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    Perhaps there is a simpler layering method: fill the bottles half-full of one color and freeze them, then pour on a second color and freeze again. Don't know why you'd want to though - I have some bad college memories of Everclear! – GdD May 30 '14 at 8:09

I'm not from New York and have never had a Phrostie, but I assume that a big part of it is that they should be slushy? To get a product that will stay slushy (at least for a while, before it freezes hard) you want an alcohol content just around 10%, varying a bit depending upon your freezer. There is no reason that Kool-Aid and Everclear wouldn't work, but your ratios have to be right. Everclear is 95% alcohol in the 190 proof formulation. I understand that it also comes in a 151 proof formulation (75.5% alcohol), but I've never seen that.

So if you're using 95% alcohol, you'd want to use about one part of it for every 9-10 parts of mixer. Your alcohol content can be a little lower than that if the mixer is full of sugar, but not much lower or it will quickly freeze hard. If your alcohol content goes much higher than 10% (like in jsanc623's first recipe, assuming 190 proof Everclear) it will just stay liquid at home freezer temperatures.

To get the layered effect, just mix your layers with slightly less alcohol in the bottom layer color than the top. Freeze your first layer until it's good and slushy, almost frozen. Then add your more potent layer. You can freeze again to make yet another layer, just keep the total alcohol content of the bottle at just around 10%. Doing it this way, as the drink melts, it will also stay in layers (sort of) as you drink. Kind of cool (or kool), so to speak either way.

See also: What's the secret to getting restaurant-quality frozen drinks at home?, especially if Kool-aid and Everclear sounds as juvenile to you as it does to me.

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