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Monday, June 27, 2022

Homemade Slurpees for a Hot Summer Day -- AKA How to Use That Flat Cola

I've mentioned before that we buy a 2-liter bottle of cola every Christmas season. A 2-liter bottle is the least expensive size, cheaper than a small bottle. However, we never drink more than half the bottle, leaving us with several cups of flat cola to deal with. I've used it in baked beans and sloppy Joe mix. Yet I still had more to use.

Monday was hot, hot, hot (for my area, at least). I decided to use my ice cream maker to make a slushie-type drink. I froze the chilling chamber overnight. Then Monday afternoon I poured the cola into the chamber and churned in the same way I would for ice cream. 

One difference between making ice cream/sorbet and using cola for a slurpee is in the texture upon freezing. Bottled soda freezes more solidly. I found that at the end of the freezing/churning, I still needed to use a large spoon to knock some of the frozen cola off the sides of the chamber, then chop it ups with the same spoon. In the end, the texture was great, and we had a very cooling drink to enjoy on the hottest day of the year so far. To note: our cola slurpee was not nearly as sweet as 7-11's version. But I actually think that was a good thing.

Anyway, we have some fruity soda that's gone flat, too. I'll be using this in future slurpees this summer when it heats up again. 

This has turned out to be a great way to finally finish off those open 2-liters of soda that linger in my fridge. I now know that if I can't use it up in winter meals, I can use what's left in summer cooling treats.


  1. We started doing this last summer with lemonade. While not as frugal as your method, the "Simply Light" lemonade from the store has less sugar, and 1 bottle of it is much less than buying slushies for several of us, so I suggested the kids do this and occasionally provided lemonade for them to do so. Also, I was experimenting a bit later in the summer with adding just a tablespoon or so of vodka when freezing, just to keep it from freezing so hard. I don't remember the results so will have to test that again this summer. I know it has helped with homemade ice cream, though.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Lemonade slushies sound so refreshing. I'm glad you found a way to make these more affordable for your kids/family.

  2. A great way to use up your soda. I like slushies, but have to be very careful when having them to avoid the dreaded brain freeze. I don't mind drinking flat soda, so we usually don't have any lingering when we buy it.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      brain freeze --yep, that's one of the undesirable side effects from slurpees and other frozen treats. Well, that's a good thing, that your family/you will drink the soda flat. I'm not much of a soda drinker, period. Otherwise, I probably would drink it flat. But my family loses interest once it goes flat, unfortunately. So, I'm stuck looking for ways to use up the soda/Kool-aid that others bring into the house and leave unfinished.

  3. Ii don't have an ice cream maker . In the past I've used a blender to crush ice cubes to get a coarse slush, then added Tang powder for flavor. Good idea to freeze leftover soda.

    Have a nice day,

    1. Hi Laura,
      my daughters and I talked about freezing the cola in cubes then using the Ninja smoothie blender. I think that would work. I love your idea for Tang in a coarse crush, a bit like snow cones. We (daughters and I) talked about making snow cones, too, the other day. Aw, fond memories from my childhood. My parents had an ice crusher that we'd use to make snow cone ice, then add homemade flavored syrups to the ice. So good.

  4. I also don't have an electric ice cream maker, but I wonder if I could use the traditional granita method? I made a coffee granita last week during a hot weather surge. I dissolved 1/2 cup of brown sugar in 2 cups of coffee (with a pinch of salt), let it cool on the counter, put it in the fridge for an hour, then put it in an 8x8 pan in the freezer, using a fork to scrape up the frozen bits into icy shards every half hour until it hits a good texture (about 3 hours or so in the freezer). Super yummy. I kinda think you could just pour soda pop in a pan and put it in the freezer? My family would love that. We have some root beer lingering in the fridge right now!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm sure you could do this in a metal pan or bowl in the freezer, scraping every 20-30 minutes. My ice cream maker is manual, meaning you turn the crank and the paddles scrape the sides of the frozen bowl. That's all it is. The paddles don't entirely scrape the sides (which doesn't seem to matter when making ice cream). That's why I had to break up frozen chunks at the very end.
      I love your coffee granita idea. It sounds delicious on a hot summer day. I drink my coffee cold in summer, so this sounds absolutely delicious.

    2. It works well with lemon or lime juice--I imagine you could use any kind of juice you want--but the coffee version feels like I've gotten an expensive coffee treat. :)

  5. I love that idea - we also have leftover pop occasionally and it sits there. My grandkids would have fun mixing flavors together. Enjoy your summer!!


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