Slushies, also known as slush drinks or Slurpees, have been a beloved summer treat for decades. The origins of this refreshing drink can be traced to Mesopotamia, around 4,000 years ago, when couriers would travel great distances to find snow and ice for royal drinks.
A thousand years later, the practice of using snow from Mount Etna in Sicily as a treat was quite common.
Then, in the 9th century, the Arabs conquered Sicily and brought with them lemons and sugarcanes. Sicilian locals started to mix these and other ingredients, such as honey, with snow, thus creating sherbet. The Italians modified and perfected this sherbet, creating the “Granita.”
Slushies in the United States
Even though the Granita is very similar to a slushy, the origin of this tasty drink in the US had a different story.
A man by the name of Omar Knedlik, an owner of a Dairy Queen franchise, realized that customers loved the frozen and slushy bits from a soda machine that didn’t work properly.
Knedlik started to experiment and found a way to create the slush that customers had started to like. He did this by freezing a combination of water, flavor mix, and carbon dioxide. It was a hit.
The drink from this machine went on to be known as “ICEE” after a naming contest. The “ICEE” machine he developed was perfected and started to sell rapidly during the 1960s. Soon convenience stores and gas stations began to offer slushies as a way to attract customers during the hot summer months, with the most popular flavors being cherry, blue raspberry, and grape.
However, despite this initial success, the drink only became an established part of the American lifestyle when it was renamed“Slurpee” by a 7-Eleven ad director. The Slurpee became exclusive to 7-Eleven stores and gained widespread popularity in the United States.
The Slurpee is available in a wide variety of flavors, including classic favorites like Cherry, Blue Raspberry, and Cola, as well as more unique flavors like Sour Patch Kids and Mountain Dew Game Fuel. The drink is served in a plastic cup and is typically consumed through a straw.
The Slurpee has become synonymous with the slushie drink, and 7-Eleven has used various marketing campaigns to promote the drink over the years, including the “Bring Your Own Cup Day” promotion, where customers can bring their own container to fill with Slurpee.
The company also has a rewards program where customers can earn points and redeem them for free Slurpee. The Slurpee brand has a cult following and is popular among teenagers and young adults.
Types and Variations of Slushies
One of the most common types of slushies is the traditional slushie, which is made by freezing a mixture of water and flavored syrups. There are several flavors of slush, including classic favorites like cherry, blue raspberry, and grape, as well as more unique flavors like cotton candy and piña colada.
Another popular type of slushie is the frozen drink, which is made by freezing a mixture of juice or tea and sugar. These slushies are often known as “Italian ice” or “sorbet” and can come in flavors like lemon, orange, and raspberry.
A third type of slushie is the slushie cocktail, which is made by mixing alcohol with slushie mix. These are popular in bars and restaurants and can come in flavors like Margarita, Pina Colada, and Daiquiri.
Some slushies are made with real fruits, like strawberries, watermelons, and mango. These slushies are often referred to as “Fruit slushies” and are often considered healthier than traditional slushies.
In addition to the traditional slushie, new variations have also emerged, such as the “frappe,” which is a slushie made with milk or cream, and the “smoothie,” which is a thicker, creamier version of the traditional slushie.
Alcoholic slushies, also known as “Boozy” or “Slurpee cocktail,” is a variation of the classic drink that includes the addition of alcohol. The most common type of alcoholic slushy is made by adding a shot of spirits, such as vodka or rum, to the traditional mixture.
The alcohol content in these types of drinks can vary, but it typically ranges from 6% to 12% alcohol by volume. Other variations of the drink include beer-based slushies and wine-based slushies.
The legality of the sale of alcoholic slushies can vary state by state and city, so remember to consume these drinks responsibly and always follow the legal drinking age in your area.
Slushies have become a favorite drink for many people, and companies have diversified quite a bit these days and keep developing new flavors. Slushies have also become popular in the world of mixed drinks, with many bars and restaurants offering “slushie cocktails” made with a combination of alcohol and slushie mix.
Today, slushies come in a wide variety of flavors and are sure to cool you off on a hot summer day.