The Dos and Don'ts of the Slushy


Lisa Elbert
TJ Lynch of Mother's Ruin leading his Souped Up Slushies demonstration at ICC 2015
TJ Lynch of Mother's Ruin leading his Souped Up Slushies demonstration at ICC 2015

The common misconception behind the slushy orginates from Wet Willie's bar in Atlantic City. TJ Lynch of Mother's Ruin described it as “an awesomely disgusting place" during Souped Up Slushies, his ICC beverage workshop this morning. "But they crank out hundreds of slushies per day.” When Lynch and his team were starting their slushy biz, Wet Willie's had one thing (and one thing only) right: The Frosty Factory.

Lynch traveled with the same Frosty Factory slushy machine for two years, through multiple states, dozens of cities … and the old boy held—until today. The Frosty Factory died this afternoon (shout out to the Vitamix that stepped in and saved the day!)  

Wet Willie's gives the slushy a bad rap as overly sweet, over-sized, cherry red, brain freeze-inducing beverages. Lynch has changed the game and the the slushy's rep with a few simple rules:

DO use a small glass. “The first thing I learned was portion size. We serve our slushies in 7.5-ounce water glasses. It's still bright enough at this size, and rich enough for the flavors to come through, but it's not watered down.”
DON'T try to make mint syrup. “Mint syrup is a horrible idea. It will never taste like mint.”
DO use peanut butter, but “be wary. It tastes great, but it takes days to clean the machine.”
DON'T use flavored liqueurs to increase ABV. “Use more fresh puree than extracts. You'll have more wiggle room with water content, and you'll have more of a base to stretch out. Less alcohol = more flavor = less watered down.”
DO over-exaggerate flavors. “Light and delicate notes won't come through, so you really have to over-pronounce ingredients, but still keep it simple.”
DON'T use high quality alcohol because, “The alcohol gets lost. Unless you have a lot of money. Then, go for it. But there's really no point.”

And finally …
DO drink Tecate, from the can, finished with a rim of Cholula. (General advice for a happier life)
DON'T ever go to Wet Willie's. (Or Atlantic City.)

RIP Frosty Factory.

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