Hot weather means cool treats. But frequent trips to the ice cream truck can be expensive. You can make your own frozen treats at home for a fraction of the price. One popular treat is the Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and with new inexpensive snow cone making machines and accessories you can now easily make them yourself.
You can use premade flavoring syrups, or you can make your own by making a simple sugar syrup and adding your own flavoring.
Making the simple syrup is very easy, it’s a simple 1:1 ratio of water and sugar that you bring to a boil, then let simmer until the mixture thickens to a syrup consistency. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks so you can make it in advance and always have it on hand for Hawaiian shaved ice.
You can add flavor in any of the following ways:
Add a packet of unsweetened drink mix to the sugar water while it is simmering. Drink mixes come in a wide variety of flavors, and they are premeasured which takes come off the guesswork out of figuring out how much flavoring to use. Also, drink mixes are very inexpensive — less than 50 cents per packet — which means you can make several flavors for less than you would spend on a single bottle of syrup. Drink mixes also have food coloring, which will give your shaved ice bright, festive colors.
Use fruit juice instead of water to make your syrup. If you use fruit juice, cut the amount of sugar in half, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and taste. If the mixture is sweet enough for your taste, let it simmer until it thickens into a syrup. If it is not, stir in more sugar, then let the mixture simmer.
Add fruit juice and zest to the sugar water while it is simmering. This works well for really strong juices, like lemon or lime, where a little goes a long way. Add approximately 1/4 cup of juice and 1 teaspoon of zest for every 2 cups of water you use.
You can also add lemon juice to the drink mix method, or the fruit juice to add more tartness, or if you have accidentally made the mixture too sweet.
Shaved ice also makes a great base for “slushy” versions of popular adult beverages. Mix up your favorite beverage, such as a Long Island iced tea, or a lemon drop in a large pitcher; fill a tumbler with crushed ice and pour the mixed drink over the ice..
Some of the ice might shift or melt so pour a little of the drink, let the ice settle, then pour a little more. Continue adding shaved ice to the tumbler, as needed, until the contents of the pitcher have the consistency of a slushy. Drink it with a straw.
You can use the same method to make “slushy” versions of popular soft drinks, like colas, iced teas, and juices.
Shaved ice drinks are great on their own, or as an accompaniment to a light and festive summer meal.