It’s basically what everyone in the country has been talking about: that frozen drink known as the ‘speedway slushie.’ We couldn’t decide whether to call it a ‘frozen daiquiri’ or a ‘frozen margarita.’ Either way, it’s been all the rage for the last month or so, and it’s finally here — our official verdict on how much it costs.
The Rise In Popularity
The speedway slushie made its debut appearance on our radar a month ago and has since been inescapable. Not only was it trending on Twitter, but it also showed up on our Facebook newsfeed from time to time. It wasn’t until this week that we finally decided to weigh in with an official price, and even then, it wasn’t easy.
The trend has been so prominent that even Iceland — a country most people would consider to be living in the past — has decided to jump on the bandwagon and offer up some delicious-looking frozen drinks of their own. Whether you believe that Kjúpínar (black currant) or Guðuzelpǵun (cloudberry) is the national liquor or not, it’s still pretty cool to see Iceland embracing a cold beverage that most people think of as American.
Where Did It Come From?
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that we always like to find the history behind a popular trend. In this case, we weren’t exactly sure where the speedway slushie came from or when it was first created. We even did a bit of research and couldn’t find any concrete answers.
It seems that this strange-sounding drink has been around since the 1950s, and it was created by a man named Bob Richards. As a child, Bob saw his father pour cocktails regularly, and that led him to believe that cocktails weren’t meant to be kept in the refrigerator. In the 1960s, Richards worked as a bartender in New York City before returning to his native California and opening several bars. In 1972, he even started his own restaurant, the El Rio Grande, which served all kinds of frozen cocktails and even had an entire floor devoted to freezing different types of drinks. It was there that he created the speedway slushie.
How Big Is It?
We couldn’t decide whether to call something this size a ‘slushie’ or a ‘snow cone,’ so we went with the former. The latter would’ve fit perfectly, though. Despite its odd name, the speedway slushie is actually a pretty standard-size drink at a bar or restaurant. The glass is usually a foot tall and holds about a pint (or two-thirds of a litre) of liquid. If you were to look at it from the side, it would appear to be a mix of dirty ice, snow, and booze.
This drink has been around for so long that there are several traditional recipes for it, including one from El Rio Grande which calls for whiskey, vodka, and gin, and another from Kansas City Barbecue which uses cherry soda and cherry-flavored vodka. It’s pretty easy to make when you have the necessary supplies on hand — just take a big bite out of a block of ice, and you’re good to go!
How Important Is It?
This one is really hard to quantify, but we decided to go with our gut here and put it on the blog. We know that the speedway slushie is a pretty polarizing drink, and it wasn’t easy deciding what to put here. The bar is pretty much open to interpretation, but we think that the interest in this trend is more than enough to warrant a short paragraph.
The fact that this is a frozen drink that caught on so rapidly is probably a testament to its popularity. It’s not everyday that you come across a new phenomenon that excites people the way the speedway slushie did. If we had to guess, we would say that it has something to do with its unique texture. While it’s very creamy, it also has a sharp, refreshing taste that isn’t too sugary. At the very least, it’s different, and it’s something that people want to talk about.
Since we can’t really put this on the blog, we’ll leave you with one last thought: when presented with a choice between a conventional and a unique drink, which would you choose?