A scorching day in summer calls for something comforting. Who would ever deny a cool cup of slush, especially of their favorite flavor? Slush or slushy is probably the most famous drink in the summers. It is refreshing and available at every corner of the market. It costs from 80 cents to $3, depending on the size of the cup. From kids of all ages to adults, everyone loves a chill cup of slushy.
You must’ve watched the liquid getting mixed in ever-running plastic containers attached to a complicated-looking metallic machine. We bet that you must have wondered at least once about how the liquid never freezes entirely and how that magical drink is made.
Slush machines are available in the market for both commercial and home use. The working behind either variant is similar. People have started to purchase appliances that look similar to a juicer, which can easily be placed on the counters. Before learning about how a slush machine works, it is important to know the ingredients used to make it.
Ingredients of a Slushy
Slushies are of two types – carbonated and non-carbonated. The carbonated ones have some kind of soda or fizzy drink added to them, while the other has regular water. The choice is yours. If you want the fizz, grab a bottle of Sprite; if not, plain water will do. Making a slush is so simple that you can make it even at home. All you need is:
- Plain or carbonated water/fizzy drink
- Flavor powder (Kool-Aid)
Mix everything in a blender, add ice cubes and blend. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking and experiment with new flavors. Slush can also be made from fresh fruit in the same way. Grab a peach, peel it and skip the flavor powder. You will make a perfect glass of slush, and everyone will praise you for being so economical and healthy.
The slushies you get at bars and gas stations are made in a similar way. The basic ingredients remain the same. They might add extra food color or syrups to get that oomph out of the slushy, but no significant change is there.
Now that you know how a slush is made, it is time to unravel the secrets of a slush machine:
Working of a Slush Machine
The machine consists of one or more containers installed on a freezing unit. The containers have rotating mixers, which play an important role in making slushies. The freezing unit has refrigerants or coolants that are chemical compounds used to freeze things in a refrigerator or, in this case, a slush machine.
When the mixture is poured into the container, the freezing compound is released in the form of gas. In a few minutes, the mixtures start freezing at the sides of the container. As soon as the freezing starts, the rotating hands swipe it and let the other mixture freeze. In this way, the hands keep rotating, and the freezing mixture gets mixed with the rest. Depending on the type of machine, it usually takes up to 20 minutes for the slush to be ready for serving.
Now, you might be thinking, why the mixture doesn’t freeze? The answer is quite simple but requires some insights from chemistry. The sugar that we add to the mixture acts as an anti-freeze agent. The sugar molecules prevent the water molecules from bonding into perfect cubes. So instead of solid ice, we get smaller ice crystals that are neither solid nor liquid. This is why it is crucial to adjust the amount of sugar added to the solution. The sugar can also be in the form of syrups. The common ratio of sugar and water is usually 1:4 or 1:5. That means for every 4 or 5 cups of water, you will add 1 cup of syrup or sugar.
Adding too much sugar will make the freezing process slower, and there won’t be many ice crystals. On the other hand, adding less sugar will be slightly tasteless and difficult to drink as the mixture will be frozen more solidly.
Another important factor in the making of slush is the outside temperature. Most commercial machines come with a thermostat that can be adjusted for a perfect temperature. If it is hot outside, you might want to increase the cooling of the machine.
Slush – A Summer Favorite
Since the advent of slush, many brands have come forward as the stakeholders of this magical drink. Many have succeeded with multiple branches, while others are happy with their stalls serving locals. Either way, slushies are a great way to get refreshed in summers. Now that you know how easy they are to be made at home, what’s stopping you from enjoying a glass full of slushy?