House Mix

A Gin Slushie for the Dog Days of Summer

To execute most recipes in a classic cocktail manual, you need a mixing tin, citrus and booze. Today, recipes are more complicated: Rife with foraged produce and bitters that take months to craft, they’re not exactly user-friendly. Enter Wine & Spirits’ House Mix: a collection of recipes and tips for the easy-to-replicate drinks that professional bartenders make at home.

AnnMarie Hickman

After a long stint bartending in San Francisco, AnnMarie Hickman returned to her native Michigan and immersed herself in Detroit’s cocktail revival, first working at The Oakland. You can now find her at Mudgie’s in resurgent Corktown, where she’s helping to develop a cocktail program for the cultish deli-cum-restaurant.

The Foxhound is an alcoholic slushie, cool and enticing yet without the drawbacks of the processed pre-mixed versions you might find in your grocery store’s freezer section. “I’d look at the freezer pouches and think how they are chock full of chemicals,” she says. “I knew I could always do better at home. There’s no real prep time. It’s perfect for the lake, the patio, the back deck. And it’s fun!”

AnnMarie Hickman’s The Foxhound

Ingredients —

Gin base

4 ounces of yellow grapefruit juice
2 ounces of Plymouth Gin
¾ ounce of vanilla syrup (see below)
½ ounce water
Sprig of rosemary
Kosher sea salt

Vanilla Syrup

¾ cup of water
1 cup of sugar
one vanilla bean

Instructions —

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Pour into a one-quart Stand & Fill Ziploc bag and freeze for four to five hours. Remove bag from freezer and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut a corner of the bag and pour into a highball glass with a salted rim. Garnish with rosemary.

For the vanilla syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a pot, heating it until dissolved. Split the bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and put both the seeds and pod into the syrup. Bringing to a boil and let cool.

A hound by a different color

A greyhound was one of the first drinks I ever had. I like yellow grapefruit because it’s not as sweet. It’s more bitter and works with the vanilla syrup and the salt.

Plymouth rocks

I like Plymouth because it’s soft and feminine, and not aggressive—not juniper-y or spruce-y in a way that smacks you in the mouth. It’s lovely and delicate. On a hot day that’s what I’m looking for. I even got people who don’t like gin to drink it because the gin is so soft and delicious.

A stick in the eye

I want to hit as many of the senses as possible. The rosemary is pretty and it plays up the botanicals [in the gin], hitting both the nose and the eye. (Sometimes it even hits me in the eye when I’m drinking!)

California calling

I love all the craft cocktails, but I’m not drinking amaro at home. My style is always more California—seasonal and fresh.

We need a bigger bag

Feel free to batch it. I was able to multiply the batch by four with excellent results and no loss of slushiness. Any size bag can be used; however, make sure there is enough room for expansion.

The cold war

In a cooler, it will last about as long as a popsicle . Just let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving [or until it softens and becomes consistent]. The basic proportions can be switched out to make a margarita, strawberry daiquiri, etc. Just be sure to turn your freezer to the coldest setting to ensure freezing.

This cocktail recipe is a web exclusive.