When it comes to quick homemade treats, few are more refreshing than the slushy. This is a classic treat made of flavoured ice that has become popular at fun fayres, cinemas and fast food restaurants around the world. However, it’s actually easier than you might think to make a slushy at home. It doesn’t require any complex machinery. Just some kind of fruit juice or fizzy drink and a freezer.
The idea for slushies originates from shaved ice, which is served popularly across East Asia. The Chinese call it ‘Bao Bing’. It is made by taking a large block of ice and shaving tiny flakes of it off into a bowl or glass. A sweet topping is then added to give it flavour. This traditional dish has been served in Asia at least as early as the 7th century AD and as technology has improved the shavings of ice have gradually become finer. Often today, condensed milk is used as a topping for the shaved ice, creating a creamier dish, but this is fairly new. It was around the 1950s that the frozen drinks started to appear in the US. Electric household appliances had been designed to make household chores easier. One such appliance was the home blender. Trying to sell more blenders, its original creator decided to publish a book entitled ‘Electric blender recipes’. This book featured the first recipe in the western world for a frozen drink. The frozen drinks took off commercially later in the 1950s when a worker at a Dairy Queen in Kansas City decided to place his soda bottles in the freezer since the machine for storing them was broken. When he came back later, they were slightly frozen inside. However, much to his surprise, the customers loved them and he went on the build a slushy machine so he could sell them further. Slushies were advertised directly at kids until they soon became a worldwide craze.
It’s easy to make these treats at home though, just as its original creators did. These are easiest if you have a blender. All you need is some fruit juice (or real fruit), and some ice. Add both of these to a blender and mix them until you have a slushy consistency. Then you are ready to serve. It really is so simple! If you are without a blender, there is still a way around this. Pour your fruit juice into a cup. Then place this in the freezer. About every half an hour, take the cup out of the freezer and mash up any ice that has formed. Remove it from the freezer when the consistency is right, and maybe add a little more fruit juice to drink before the icier stuff melts. This method is a little more time-consuming, but in the end might actually taste even better, since the ice has real fruit juice in it too.
Now that you know how to make slushies really easily at home, you should be able to experiment with them a bit more, trying out new flavours and different consistencies. Though they’re often thought of as a summery drink, they could still be quite festive if served at a Christmas party, because of their wintery appearance.
Image from: http://cdn1.bmag.com.au/bmagthumbs/750x500/2/99/t/src/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/slushies.jpg