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A layered slush drink
Alternative namesSlush, Slushie, Slushee
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateEast Coast
Created byOmar Knedlik
VariationsCarbonated, non-carbonated, alcoholic

A slushy,[1][2] sometimes spelt as slushie[3] and slushee,[4] also commonly referred to as a slush, frozen beverage, or frozen drink, is a type of beverage made of flavored ice and a drink, commonly soda, similar to granitas. A slushy can either be carbonated or non-carbonated. The carbonated version is also sometimes called a frozen carbonated drink or frozen carbonated beverage.


The first carbonated slushy machine was invented by Omar Knedlik in 1958, then the owner of a Dairy Queen franchise.[5] In the late 1950s, the machines at his restaurant experienced constant issues. Sometime in 1958, his machine completely failed and he decided to store his soda in his freezer, where it became slushy when pulled out.[6] He decided to sell the slush to his customers. The drink soon became popular among his customers.[7] Knedlik decided to pursue making slushies as commissioned Ruth Taylor to create the name and logo of The Icee Company. These early machines used an automotive air conditioning and worked by combining and freezing a flavor mix, water, and carbon dioxide.[8]

In 1960, Knedlik partnered with John Mitchell to mass produce slushy machines, leading to him gaining a patent for the machine in 1962.[9] In 1965, 7-Eleven bought 3 ICEE machines. Later in the year the company reached a licensing deal with ICEE where 7-Eleven would adopt the Slurpee name for their products and they were restricted to only selling the Slurpee in American 7-Eleven stores.[10] Quickly by the time the 1970s hit, Slurpee machines could be found in every American 7-Eleven store.[7]


Slushies are either carbonated or non-carbonated. They can also come in a variety of flavors ranging from fruits such as strawberry, watermelon, and pineapples, to sodas such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Fanta, and other flavors like caramel, chocolate, and even ice coffee. Slushies made using Alcoholic drinks are called Frozen alcoholic drinks.


Slush machines in Israel

Carbonated slushies are made in machines similar to regular soda fountains. Concentrated flavor syrups are mixed with filtered water, then carbonated. This mixture is then injected into a cylinder surrounded by freezer coils. The mixture freezes to the wall of the cylinder, then is scraped off by a rotating dasher, which also keeps the mixture uniformly mixed.[6] Carbonated slushy machines often freeze to a temperature well below the freezing point of water, but the combination of pressure up to 40 psi (2.8 bar), sugar, the carbon dioxide mixture that freezes −80 °C (−112 °F),[11] and the constant stirring prevent the mass from freezing solid. Carbonated slushies tend to be "drier" than their non-carbonated counterparts.

Non-carbonated slushies are made by freezing a non-carbonated juice or other liquid. Many modern non-carbonated slushy machines use a spiral-shaped plastic dasher to scrape crystals off a freezing cylinder, often integrated into a clear hopper. This product is often "wetter" than a carbonated slushy machine. Machines for producing these do not require a pressure chamber, and as a result, they are much cheaper and easier to maintain due to their simpler mechanics.

Slushies can also be produced via supercooling.[3] The first slushies in the later 1950s and early 1960s were supercooled.[6] Supercooled Sprite was briefly marketed by Coca-Cola in the United Kingdom. The product required a special vending machine to store the bottles in a supercooled state so they would turn to slush upon opening.[12]


Slush is made by a mixture of sugar and water. To prevent the mixture from freezing solid, there must be between 12%-22% of sugar present in the solution. The sugar acts as an antifreeze in the solution. The slush machine stirs or rotates the mixture at a constant speed so that the sugar and water molecules bond together before the water gets a chance to freeze. In this way, a soft, wet slurry mixture is formed.[13]

Some slushies have additives to make the freezing temperature of the mix lower, so that the drink can be served much colder than a water slush drink.


There are several well-known brands of slushies. The brands Slurpee, ICEE, Thirst Buster, and Froster are known for their carbonated slushes. Brands that produce non-carbonated slushes include Slush Puppie and Del's.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ph. D., Biomedical Sciences; B. A., Physics and Mathematics; Facebook, Facebook; Twitter, Twitter. "Supercool Any Soft Drink Into an Instant Slushy With This Simple Trick". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  2. ^ "Definition of SLUSHY". Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  3. ^ a b Welsh, Jennifer. "Super Cool Your Soda To Make A Slushie In Seconds". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  4. ^ "Story of the Slushee". Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  5. ^ Precker, Michael (October 16, 1991). "Happy birthday to Slurpee, Icee". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Wei-Haas, Maya. "The Brain-Freezing Science of the Slurpee". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  7. ^ a b Fulton, Wil. "Slushies Are the World's Greatest Accident". Thrillist. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  8. ^ "The cool history of the Slurpee". Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  9. ^ US 3044878, Knedlik, Omar, "Process for the Preparation of a Beverage", issued 1962-07-17 
  10. ^ admin (2012-05-03). "History of the slushie, slush, slurpee machine". Slushies and More Party Hire. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  11. ^ Vincent, Charles W.; Mason, James (1839). "The Year-book of Facts in Science and Art".
  12. ^ "Coca Cola Plans High Tech, Super Cool Sprite". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  13. ^ "Blog - Slush Syrup Explained". Retrieved 2016-07-18.