In the late 1950s, American businessman and inventor Omar S. Knedlik invented a machine from an air conditioning unit from an old car that produced semi-frozen drinks. Originally called ICEE drinks, this then became Slurpees, which is still trademarked today. Frozen drinks in general are generally called slushies, a name that probably stems from the maker Slush Puppie. Further variations are shave ice, snowballs and snow cones.

There are two types of slushies: those that are made with carbonated water, flavoring and coloring and those that are more simply made with non-carbonated juice mixed with ice slush. The former are more commercially distributed through shops, garages and canteens. Machines to make carbonated ice drinks are expensive and complicated and usually need a carbon dioxide supply and a pressure chamber.

However, basic slushie makers are now available for home use, allowing you to make slushies in your very own kitchen. They are relatively cheap to buy, are easy to maintain and can comfortably sit on a kitchen worktop. These simple, home-use versions usually work by crushing readymade ice cubes along with the chosen juice or syrup. The home slushie maker allows the user to choose the mix of flavors that they want in their drink. It means that you can be as adventurous or as safe as you like!

Ingredient ideas could include: blended fruit, iced tea, cocoa powder, energy drinks, sweetened coffee, malted milk, fizzy drinks, or ice cream. Eggnog variations make for a great Christmas tradition and adding yoghurt or cream makes for a smooth, dessert-like quality. And alcoholic versions are becoming ever more popular, although strictly for the over 18s, of course! Gin and orange juice could be the perfect accompaniment for a balmy evening. Or what about watermelon and vodka to watch a summer tennis match!

A popular concoction is the margarita cocktail slushie, which adds a bit of fun to a sophisticated drink. Tequila, Cointreau or other orange liqueur, lime juice, sugar and ice cubes can be combined to make a frozen margarita. Just don’t forget to top your glasses with a line of salt.

Home use slush makers are great fun in the summer and can be an entertaining edition to family parties, evening barbecues, group gatherings and events. But owning your own means that you can treat yourself at any time, you don’t have to wait for an excuse. Because everyone loves a slushie!