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If you can't have a little nostalgic summer fun with your cocktails in July, then when can you? Shaved ice cocktails have made appearances in some of the country's most renowned bar programs, but they're also easy (and oh so delicious!) to serve at home.
There's a reason anyone lucky enough to take a Hawaiian vacation comes back raving about shaved ice. A drizzle of fruity flavor over a fluffy pile of delicate ice shavings is pretty much the ultimate tropical treat. It also makes a great base for a spirited twist, since the basic ingredients (ice and a sweetener) are very close to a cocktail's to begin with.
My boozy take on shaved ice incorporates rum with a slew of flavors I saw an abundance of in Hawaii -- coconut shavings, honeyed bananas, acai syrup, and macadamia nut ice cream. Caveat: 'mac nut' ice cream can be hard to find on the mainland, but butter pecan or a good quality vanilla work just as well.
I love that this recipe can easily be made sans alcohol for little ones and anyone who doesn't imbibe. Just go ahead and omit the rum -- you won't throw off the flavor balance a bit. And honestly, once your kid sees the glory that is this icy cold confection, they're probably going to want in. If acai syrup seems too strange to them, the Little Snowie 2 ice shaver I used helpfully came with a whole range of kid friendly flavors.
For the syrup:
For the syrup, thaw frozen unsweetened acai puree (it's what goes into acai bowls and you can find it at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods) and add it to a blender with equal parts cane sugar. Blend at high speed just until the sugar is completely dissolved. Store in the fridge.
For the shaved ice:
(1) In the bottom of a cup, stir rum into a scoop of ice cream until mostly combined.
(2) Shave ice over top of the rum and ice cream until a mound forms over the top of the cup.
(3) Drizzle acai syrup over mound until top is saturated.
(4) Top with chopped bananas (I toss them in honey to keep them from browning) and toasted coconut flakes.