The map points to South Williamsburg, but after walking through the doors of Donna (27 Broadway, Brooklyn; 646-568-6622), you will likely be reminded of a favorite tropical getaway. One big part of the experience here? A slushie machine that pumps out playful reinventions of classic cocktails. “No matter how serious your drinks are, you’re supposed to be having fun,” Donna’s bar manager Jeremy Oertel tells the Voice. Oertel, whose time at Dram helped him find the fun behind tiki-style cocktails, created a frozen brancolada that’s been on the menu since the beginning — and is available to cheer people up even during the most miserable of winters.
“It’s actually closer to a painkiller,” Oertel notes on the recipe, although its appearance and taste will certainly conjure images of a piña colada. With flavors like pineapple, orange, coconut, and mint, the drink is ideal for starting out any bar session, or serving as a dessert to cap off the evening. For Oertel, the key component — and a personal favorite — is the coconut cream, which adds a rich texture and color to the drink. Whether stirred, shaken, frozen, or on tap, Oertel supports the idea that classic cocktails can come in all shapes and sizes. The bar recently added a second flavor to their slushie lineup, a take on the Miami vice that channels the spirit of the negroni.
A slushie machine is the right fit for Donna’s motif, but Oertel notes that such an appliance might not be the right fit for every spot. If you’re looking for other reputable bars that pay homage to the genre, Oertel notes that Clover Club is a good choice.
Frozen Brancolada by Jeremy Oertel
4 ounces Appleton V/X rum
4 ounces Branca Menta
6 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
3 ounces coconut cream (3 parts Coco Lopez to 1 part coconut milk)
Put all ingredients in a blender. Add ice and blend. Garnish with a mint sprig and orange wedge.