Slushy drinks began as a summer drink, with the first incarnations being high on sweetness, and low on flavor selection. Originally, the four most commonly found classic summer-time flavors were cherry, grape, lemon-lime and orange. Now, with flavor selections that are limited only by one’s imagination, the audience for granita drinks has expanded in depth, and is no longer just a beverage for cooling off from the summer swelter.
There really is only one requirement for making a customized gelid drink in a commercial granita machine: the sugar content needs to be high enough to prevent the mix from freezing into a solid block, yet low enough to allow it to “slush”. This can be measured by using a refractometer to find the brix index of the solution: it is recommended that the brix be at least 12. Of course, functionally making a drink, and making a drink that tastes good may be different things entirely. Some experimentation may be required.
However, one option that is both easy and healthy is to use an unconcentrated natural fruit juice. Many fruit juices ‘naturally’ fall into the appropriate range: apple, apricot, blueberry, cherry, grape, mango, passion fruit, pear, pineapple and plum are several worth trying. Any flavor that does not automatically fall into the correct range can easily be adjusted with the addition of doses of simple sugar (or water in the cases where the juice is naturally too high in sugar content to easily freeze). Taste tests may then dictate further addition of water or sugar, since a frozen drink is perceived quite differently than the same beverage in liquid form.
As fall approaches, consider making apple cider drinks, with and without cinnamon. Pumpkin-orange and cranberry raspberry slushy recipes can be found, that may need just a little adaptation to work nicely in a granita machine such as the BUNN Ultra 2.
Just as sporting venues are year-round, so are the drinks that fuel the athletes that visit them. Many sports drinks can be made into slushy drinks with no greater effort than simply pouring the product into the granita machine, and waiting (about an hour with the Ultra 2).
Alcohol-infused frozen beverages have long been enjoyed at beaches, pools and night-clubs. Now, as cooler weather prevails, consider the wine slushy. While merlot may require the addition of some sugar, pinot grigio should work just fine, straight from the bottle and into the hopper.
Another alcohol drink for the BUNN Ultra that seems to speak to the “warm-me-up” idea is the Florida Bourbon Slushy:
Using a large bowl, first mix the tea and sugar, then add the concentrates, and then add everything else, then pour the mixture in the Bunn Ultra-2. Yields Approx. 1.4 Gallons.
With similarly carefully crafted recipes, subtly nuanced variations on the basic slushy experienced have earned some businesses signature beverage status. Blends that are deep and rich with coffee and chocolate and coconut, prove that the slushy is no longer just a drink for summer. Granita drinks have enjoyed a true evolution: what was once a staple of movie theatres, and otherwise was a beverage targeted towards kids in summer, is now a treat being enjoyed by all ages, all year long, in almost every venue. To learn more about how BUNN might help you to reach the granita drinking audience, click here.
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