The Fussy Eater Guide to Surviving 1,000° Heat with Frosty Beverages

By no means exhaustive, the following list contains tips, recipes, and resources if, like me, you tend to wilt in this punishing heat and look for any excuse to cool off. Why, did someone say frosty beverages?

A Note about “Brain Freeze”
If you ask 10 different people, you’ll get 20 different answers for avoiding and coping with brain freeze. Brain freeze, also commonly known as an ice cream headache, is caused by the rapid ingestion of cold food or beverages. Once the item hits the roof of your mouth, these blood vessels very quickly begin to dilate and swell, causing your nervous system to register pain from the roof of your mouth to your head. A similar reaction occurs when you go outside on a cold day and your face turns red or “flushed” in appearance. Brain freeze is known in the scientific and medical communities as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (try saying that 5 times fast), and interestingly enough, it is only possible to give yourself brain freeze in warm weather.

When You’re Thirsty and Want to Rock Hoity-Toity-Style:

Sun tea. Some rights reserved by jspad.
Photo from Eastie joint Scups in the Harbor.

When Nothing But an Old-Fashioned Icee Will Do:

When Only 7-Eleven is Nearby:

  • Slurpees. Yes free slurpee day was last week but many 7-Elevens ran out of the “cute” 7oz. Slurpees they were handing out, so why not head in when only 40oz. will do? Even if you just go swimming in the cup. However, to be honest, I am actually a sucker for the “special edition/premium” Slurpee cups, especially these.
  • Did you know that free slurpee day is one of 7-Eleven’s biggest money makers?
  • Some rights reserved by Rakka
  • As a friend once pontificated on the nature of Slurpees, “After sampling thousands of lesser ICEEs over the years at other locations, I suspect that the culinary quality control in a corporate environment such as Burger King is higher than the other places we find ICEEs, such as movie theatres, seldom a foodie destination, Target stores, where the machines are located far from where the employees can even see them, and convenience stores, where the machine is tucked into a corner and seldom central to the location’s core mission, like pumping gas and selling lottery tickets. Slurpees are different. Slurpees have been a core part of 7-11s prodcut line and corporate mission for decades, resulting in a tasty, consistent drink. Slurpee flavors vary wildly in quality and taste, however. Marketing to a teenage audience encourages experimentation and constant change. Faithful and discerning Slurpee consumers require something predictable in the face of flavors such as Frawg, Game Fuel, Gully Washer, and Shrekalicious. That’s what Coca-Cola and Cherry are for. Both are in stock more often than not and mixing them yields a reliably tasty Cherry Coke. Slush Puppie, now owned by ICEE, is the bottom of the slushy barrel. These treats involve hail-sized chunks of ice and flavor syrup that you squeeze onto the ice yourself. The flavoring trickles to the bottom of the glass and you wind up with a mouthful of cold, dyed, flavorless ice balls. You can suck up the syrup from the bottom of the glass with a straw but it tastes about as good as that sounds. It turns out that a machine mixing of the flavor syrup with the shaved ice is important to the quality of the drink. That’s why ICEEs and Slurpees leave Slush Puppie on the porch.” (Sources here and here). The proper consumption of a slushy requires patience and the proper utensil. The spoon-straw found in the Slurpee section of 7-11 is the best tool for the job but only if it is used properly. First, there are two sizes of spoon-straws, so match the proper length with your cup size. With the straw hitting bottom, leave several inches of straw above the top or you’ll lose your straw in the cup. Err on the side of too long. You won’t regret it. Do not attempt to consume the entire beverage with the spoon part of the spoon-straw. As tempting as this may be, it may become a frustrating and messy experience. Plunge the straw into the beverage and drink from the bottom of the cup. If the ice is too dry to drink smoothly, turn to the Big Gulp station and add a bit of soda of a matching flavor. Just a couple of tablespoons will do, stirred in well. From here you should be able to drink about two thirds of the Slurpee without difficulty. At a certain point the ice will become too dry to draw through the straw. If you have the time, set down the cup and allow the ice to melt until the beverage is ready to continue drinking. Tapping the bottom of the cup firmly against a tabletop will also help the slushy settle and make it easier to drink the last mouthfuls through the straw. If you’re in a hurry, pop the top off of the cup and stir and scoop the ice with the spoon-straw.

When You Have Awesome Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt on Hand:

When it Rains:

  • During one of our recent rainstorms, a coworker from Tennessee mused it was the perfect night to sit on the porch, watch the rain fall, and sip mint juleps. After following her prescription I couldn’t agree more. Add someone special for an unforgettable night.
  • Awesome mint julep recipe here except watch yourself with the bourbon; if you’re not used to it you can go from 0 to extremely buzzed very quickly. 🙂 
  • Mint Julep. Some rights reserved by bradley j.
  • Might I suggest some roots music, perhaps Johnny Cash radio, for your soundtrack?

Plug for the Archives:

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