Bourbon Slush

Our first Cook the Book column of 2011 is going to feature Amanda Hesser's newly released The Essential New York Times Cookbook, a compilation favorite recipes spanning the paper's 160 years. As an intro to the feature we thought we'd bring you a sneak peak: a Bourbon Slush perfect for New Year's Eve.

This sweet and slushy cocktail of bourbon, black tea, citrus, and ginger ale is made just like a granita: Simply freeze, scrape, stir, and repeat until the desired texture is reached. It's a fun, almost desserty cocktail that can either be sipped, spooned, or both.

Reprinted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser. Compilation copyright © 2010 by The New York Times Company and Amanda Hesser. Recipes and reprinted text copyright © 2010 by The New York Times Company. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Bourbon Slush

About This Recipe



  • 2 cups hot strong black tea (4 tea bags steeped in 2 cups of boiling water)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Two 6-ounce cans frozen lemonade
  • One 6-ounce can frozen orange juice
  • 5 cups crushed ice
  • 2 cups ice water
  • 16 ounce best-quality bourbon
  • 4 cups chilled ginger ale, or to taste
  • Mint sprigs


  1. 1

    At least 6 hours before serving, combine the tea and sugar in a 1-gallon plastic or glass container and stir until dissolved. Add the lemonade and orange juice and stir until thawed. Add the ice and water. Stir in the bourbon.

  2. 2

    Pour the mixture into several shallow plastic containers, cover tightly, and place them in the freezer. Break up the slush with a fork and stir about ever 2 hours to freeze the mixture evenly. (The slush can be made 3 to 4 days ahead. Transfer to a larger container and cover tightly; stir every 6 to 8 hours to keep the slush loose and evenly frozen.)

  3. 3

    To serve, give the slush one last shredding with a fork, then spoon it into tall or stemmed glasses and top off with ginger ale. Garnish each glass with a mint sprig.


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