You Can Make Sonic Ice At Home

Photo: Courtesy of Sonic.
Once my friends and I turned 16, we had a little ritual for nights when we were bored: Go to Wal-Mart to sift through the $5 DVD bin, then to Sonic for slushies. I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that there are lots of teenagers and former teenagers from the South and Midwest who had similar rituals. And while there were several reasons why we returned to Sonic (everything else was closed after 10 p.m.; it was close to our house), there was one thing that couldn’t be denied: the power of the ice.

Technically called “pellet ice,” it’s the kind of soft, addictively chewable ice that makes those in-the-know wax rhapsodic (and the uninitiated scratch their heads: What could be so great about ice? If you only knew).

The ice is so popular that Sonic actually sells bags of the stuff. But as the food geniuses at Food52 have discovered, you can actually DIY it at home too — which is great for those of us who no longer live near a Sonic.

It turns out, the secret is soda water.

Food52 recommends buying the fizziest you can (or, if you have a SodaStream, making your own), then filling up an ice tray half full and letting it freeze for a few hours. Once it’s set, it’s good to go — but if you want to make ahead, it will still be good days later.

The article also recommends crushing it up and adding it to any Mint Juleps you might be mixing up for Derby Day, but this is definitely a hack we’ll be using long after the Kentucky Derby has come and gone.

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