A slushie, or also known as a slush, slushy, or slushee, is simply flavored ice. It comes in different kinds of drinks, including frozen carbonated beverages, symbolized by the Slurpee or ICEE. Aside from those, there are also frozen coffee drinks and frozen alcoholic drinks, and other more conventional slush drinks. You can also find instant slush drinks that are formed via super-cooling.
The difference between a slushie and other frozen drinks is that ice never freezes into cubes or blocks. It just remains as tiny icy crystals. This becomes possible by using a slushie machine. A slushie machine is a type of blender that we usually see in convenience stores and fast-food restaurants that serve frozen carbonated beverages. But have you ever wondered how these machines work? How do they turn beverages into a slush? If you are also curious, then read on to know more about what a slushie machine is and how it works.
History of the Slushie Machine
Machines that are used to make frozen beverages were invented in the late 1950s by Omar Knedlik. The idea for making a slushed ice drink was thought of when Knedlik’s soda fountain got broken. This forced him to put his sodas in a freezer to keep them cool, but that caused them to become slushy. Well, that wasn’t a problem because lots of people loved the slushy sodas. Therefore, he thought about making a machine that can help to make a slushie, slush, or Slurpee.
The slushie machine that Knedlik invented soon became popular, that’s why he decided to hire Ruth E. Taylor to create a marketing name and logo for his invention. Taylor came up with the name ICEE, and she also designed the original logo, which is still used in the present time. The very first slushie machines made use of an automotive air conditioning unit.
7-Eleven started anauthorizing deal with the ICEE company in 1965 to sell the product under certain conditions. One of the conditions was that 7-Eleven must use a different name for the product. The other condition was that the company was only allowed to sell the product in 7-Eleven locations in America, this was a non-compete clause to ensure that the two drinks never went head to head for distribution rights. In 1967, 7-Eleven then sold the product, which became known as the “Slurpee”.
Today, slushie machines come in different varieties, and they are very popular in many different stores and restaurants. They are even famous at parties where alcohol is added in making frozen cocktail drinks.
How Do You Use a Slushie Machine?
Slushie machines mix up the drink flavoring, which is usually a mixture of water, sugar, flavor, and coloring. While most alcohol drink makers require you to insert ice cubes into the machine to be crushed or shaves, a slushie machine uses water instead, to make the icy slush from scratch.
However, if you will be using a small home slushie machine, most of them do not have the freezing capabilities like the ones for commercial use. Therefore, you will need to insert some crushed ice to make some homemade slushies. Though, this might not have the same icy consistency compared to store-bought slushies.
To make a slushie, water is placed into the machine, and then it’s turned on to churn. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes to make the basic slush. This depends on the size of the machine, and as well as the size of the holding container for the finished product.
How are Flavorings Added in a Slushie Machine?
Early manually-operated slushie machines crush the ice after the flavored syrup was added as the drink was placed into a paper cup. But modern slushie machines, on the other hand, add syrup to the ice in the machine so that it gives out the slush in ready-to-drink form.
When adding some flavorings in a slushie machine, the syrup is measured using a mixing vat or bottle. Then, a preset amount of water is added. It is then shaken to mix the two liquids. After mixing, it is poured into an opening either at the back or top of the slushie machine. The fluid will then go into the cooling cylinder, and the icing will start. More modern slushie machines supply the mixture from an opening on the front of the machine, which can be operated by a valve.
How Do Slushie Machines Maintain Slush?
It is quite simple to use a slushie machine, but you might also wonder how it maintains the slush after it is made. Many commercial slushie machines are stored in a metal cabinet because of the amount of use they receive from self-serve customers. But there are also other slushie machines that store the icy drink in a glass or plastic container that is attached to the top of the freezing unit. These machines are usually dispensed by employees. Meaning, they receive less abuse from the customers.
Slushie machines have a compressor and a sealed cooling cylinder. To maintain slush, the ice drink mixture is continually circulated in the storage area by a circular auger or sometimes plastic mixing paddles. This helps in retaining the texture of the ice mixture at a temperature that will not allow additional freezing or melting. Slushie machines also have a thermostat on the front or side of the unit. This allows you to change the temperature for the perfect mix.
A slushie machine is a pretty interesting drink maker. Know that you know what a slushie machine is and how it works, maybe you might want to try hiring a slushie machine when you throw a party, or maybe buy your own machine to make some cool and refreshing slushie anytime at home.