Bourbon Slush

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.

  • Yield:16


  • 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.