July 11th marks one of America’s most prominent off-the-books holidays: Free 7-Eleven Slurpee Day. And so, today, at any of the nearly 10,000 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. (except for those in Hawaii, for whatever reason), those with the 7-Eleven app can get a free Slurpee of their choice, no purchase necessary.
A Slurpee is a delightful treat, perfect for a hot ‘n’ glorious summer day. You know what would make it even better, though? Adding booze to it, of course. But how should one go about concocting the perfect Slurpee cocktail? I asked some bartenders for their insights.
Wanna Keep It Simple? Just Throw Some Rum In
By far, the most recommended alcohol addition to the Slurpee is rum. Given how popular the spirit is for fruity frozen beverages, it’s a natural compliment to a variety of Slurpee flavors (piña colada and Coke Slurpees are basically begging for some rum). Maeve Brown, a writer and bartender at Bar Julian in Savannah, Georgia, suggests adding two ounces of Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum — then you can mix the piña colada and the pineapple-flavored Slurpees for a DIY Painkiller. Meanwhile, Carlos Jimenez, a bartender at the Kon-Tiki in Oakland, recommends a “real funky dark Jamaican rum.”
“The obvious pairing would be piña colada, with a dark rum,” Matthew Paneth, a bartender at Emma Peel Room in New York City agrees. “But I wouldn’t add more than one or two ingredients to anything from 7-Eleven as it’ll just melt the drink faster, and the Slurpee is also already a finished product. Frozen cocktails in machines at bars have added water to balance out the freezing point from the alcohol.”
A Step Up: Make a Blue Razz Margarita
If rum isn’t your thing, the Blue Razz flavor of Slurpee makes for a solid margarita. Like the basic rum drinks, a marg is a good choice because it also doesn’t require adding too many other ingredients. Harry Manning, general manager at Hudson Valley Brewery and “semi-retired bartender” suggests doing three parts tequila, two parts blue raspberry Slurpee and a tiny bit of lime juice, all in a blender to mix. Alternatively, he says you can just throw the tequila right into your Slurpee cup and call it a day. Paneth also suggested the Blue Razz Margarita, or getting a Watermelon Slurpee if you’ve got mezcal.
Fuck-It Mode: Slurpee Craft Cocktail Time
Maybe you’ve got time to kill and you take both Slurpees and alcohol very seriously. There are plenty of options for you here, too — though they might involve more rum. One possibility is a classy mojito. “If I’m using the Slurpee as an ingredient, I would first muddle mint and lime with rum and a little bit of simple syrup in my shaker,” says Richard Taylor, a bartender at Library Bar in L.A. “Then I’d add some ice, shake and dump into a glass, and top with lime Slurpee. Garnish with mint sprig.”
Others suggested using fernet, which is kind of hip and bougie on its own. “I’d probably make a variation of a Prizefighter I once had,” says J, a bartender at a Washington, D.C. cocktail bar. “Use the peach Slurpee and then some bourbon, fernet to cut the sweetness and a big ole sprig of mint.” Paneth also suggests using the Coke Slurpee with fernet.
The wildest suggestion comes from Leo Delgado, a bartender at Ottava in Park Slope, Brooklyn. “You can put the Slurpee on a pot and boil it down to a syrup and make some sort of martini or whiskey cocktail like an old fashioned, but instead of simple syrup, you use your Slurpee syrup,” he says. “It also depends on what flavor of Slurpee you use, but any of them can be cooked down to a syrup.”
And with that, you could probably make a whole host of Slurpee syrup-based cocktails, extending the joy of Free Slurpee Day beyond the confines of its 24 hours. But honestly, if you just want to throw some rum or tequila right into your Slurpee cup, that’s fine, too.