It's a vacation in a glass.
Grapefruit Gin Slush
Grapefruit Gin Slush
| Credit: Caroline Rogers

I'm standing in the kitchen, a few rogue swipes of sand still clinging to my bare feet. Cold spills out of the refrigerator, the door flung wide open by beachgoers searching for lunch and a cocktail. "G&T?" "No, something else." "What?" "I don't know, something different." I peer into what remains of the beach week's last Publix run—a bag of deli-sliced turkey, a bottle of mayo, some cheese and crackers, half a bottle of grapefruit juice, a frosty can of limeade concentrate. I think, I can work with this.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that from those less than auspicious beginnings came the best beach cocktail I've ever had. Leave your frosé and piña coladas at the door, because this is the easy frozen drink you'll find yourself making all summer long. It's ready in five minutes, and it uses only four ingredients. Three, if you don't count the crushed ice. Whether you're at the beach with your toes in the salty surf or in your backyard ankles-deep in a lukewarm kiddie pool, this should be your companion. This, the smoothest sip of summer.

It's the Grapefruit Gin Slush, a cascade of sweet-tart citrus flavor that, technically speaking, can be classified as a modified frozen paloma. Like a classic paloma, the principal flavors are grapefruit and lime. Unlike a classic paloma, it swaps tequila for gin and adds an icy slush that becomes a little frozen oasis for an afternoon spent under the sun. This simple recipe was also born of necessity, so it uses easy-to-find store-bought ingredients (i.e. bottled grapefruit juice and frozen limeade concentrate). Admittedly, it is not fancy, but it is undeniably delicious.

One thing to remember when you make this recipe (when, not if—it's that good): Taste as you go. Your building blocks are ice, gin, grapefruit juice, and limeade, and you can balance the flavors according to your preferences. Want a stronger citrus kick? Amp up the grapefruit juice or swap store-bought for fresh. Not sweet enough? Add more limeade concentrate. Feeling festive? Pour another splash of gin. (You can also swap the gin for tequila if that's more your style.) Make it as thick and icy as you like, then slather on the SPF and head out to the beach where you belong.

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This beachy gin slush is a four-ingredient wonder that's ready in five minutes or less. It's almost too easy. Try it out this summer, and you'll find that it's perfect for sipping on the sand—just add a soundtrack of crashing waves and a sunset sinking over the horizon.