Hot days have finally struck. Many of my afternoons are spent in a lawn chair, in dappled light, supervising play in a sandbox or a water table. I long for a cold drink.

And what should that drink be? Ice water? A homemade sweet tea with mint? A bubbly tangerine-flavored seltzer? Often, yes, these are what I’m drinking. But on some days I like to fantasize about a more indulgent cold drink. About something much more fun than a drink: a slushie.


When I was a child, my father was always stopping at 7-Eleven to get a newspaper or a lottery ticket, and if I was with him, I got a Slurpee. I can’t remember a single time that he said no. And to this day I still have an incredible fondness for Slurpees. Did you know the Friday Carroll County Times Deal of the Day is a free medium Slurpee at certain locations? I definitely take advantage of that in the summer.

Did you also know you can make your own slushies at home? Again, thinking back to my childhood, despite all the Slurpees my father bought me, my mother also made me slushies at home. These were just made from apple juice or lemonade poured into a special cup I had for that purpose: you would put the insulated vessel in the freezer to get it’s special interior fluid frozen, so that when the juice touched the metal internal surface it would start to freeze immediately.

But I no longer have a cup like that, and chances are, you probably don’t either. So this week I have slushie recipes that require no special equipment, unless you consider a blender special.

First up, for the kids and other adults like me who have no slushie-guilt, I found these Skittles slushies. I thought this was quite ingenious: you make a big batch of simple sugar, then pour it over Skittles separated by color into glass jars, and the hot syrup melts the colorful candies and incorporates their individual flavors into the syrup. Once the syrup is completely cool and the Skittles have dissolved, you put some ice cubes in a blender, add some lemon juice and the syrup of your choice, blending until it’s not chunky. You top them off with a little seltzer to make it fizzy and extra slushie.

Another kid-friendly slushie option is this triple berry slushie, made with frozen mixed berries, orange juice and lemon-lime soda, plus a smidge of sugar, if you think it needs it, and some vanilla. Just blend them up, freeze them, and then put back in the blender the next day to loosen them up and make them more spoon-able. Or drinkable, if you prefer.

Now, for some adults-only slushies. First up, these beautiful pink flamingo vodka slushies. They really do turn out a beautiful color, thanks to the combination of orange, lemonade and cranberry juice concentrates. You mix them all together, with water, sugar and vodka, and freeze them in gallon bags. All that sugar and vodka will keep them from freezing solidly, so you’re going to have a nice slush ready in the bag. To serve, put it in a glass and top with lemon-lime soda.

And finally, a two-ingredient grown-up slushie, made from frozen pineapple and Pinot Gris, where you just blend it and serve. Yum!

I hope one of these slushies will hit the spot for you, and that you will be able to slow down and take the time to enjoy it!

Skittles slushies

14-ounce bag original Skittles

4 cups sugar

4 cups water

1 ⅔ cup lemon juice, divided

1 bag ice

2 liters seltzer water


Separate the Skittles by color into 5 separate Mason jars.

In a saucepan, stir together sugar and water and simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. The mixture should be clear, not cloudy.

Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and pour 1/5 portion into each of the jars. Let them cool slightly. Secure lids on jars, shake and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Before you make your slushie, shake each jar again and strain. Each color will yield roughly 1 ¼ cups Skittles syrup.

For each candy color, add 6 cups of ice to a blender, the Skittles syrup and 1/3 cup lemon juice.

Blend until fully combined. Mixture will be a slushie, not chunky consistency. Pour into glasses stir in a splash of seltzer water to get some bubbles and serve.


Triple berry slushies

1 bag (12 ounces) frozen mixed fruit

1 ½ cups orange juice

1 cup lemon-lime soda

1 ½ tablespoon white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender. It may take several batches to not overfill the blender. Blend until well combined and then pour the mixture into airtight containers, such as large freezer bags and place in the freezer overnight.

The next day, remove and crush up the mixture in a food processor or blender. Drink immediately.

Pink flamingo vodka slush

9 cups water

2 cups sugar

1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed

1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, partially thawed

1 can (12 ounces) frozen cranberry juice concentrate, partially thawed

2 cups vodka

1 liter lemon lime soda

In a large bowl (about 5-6 quarts), combine the water and sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the concentrates and vodka.

Freeze overnight in freezer-safe containers or gallon freezer bags.

To serve, fill glass with 2/3 cup slush and 1/3 cup soda.

Pineapple white wine slushies

5-6 cups pineapple (from 1-2 pineapples depending on size)

1 bottle Pinot Gris white wine, well chilled

Remove the stem and peel the pineapple, or pineapples if using smaller ones. Quarter and slice out the core. Slice the quarters into wedges and freeze. This can be done a day, a week or even a month ahead of time.

Place 6 cups of pineapple in a blender and add in the bottle of wine. Blend until thick. Taste, and If a sweeter drink is desired, add in a little simple syrup or pineapple juice.

Pour into glasses, garnish with a pineapple wedge and a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy.