Item: Zoku Slush and Shake Maker
Overall Impression: Really easy to use. Kind of magical.
I wasn't sure about this thing. It seemed too good to be true. No way could a little insulated cup transform liquid into a milkshake or slushie in less than ten minutes, no electricity required. But I dared to dream. With a beach trip planned, the kids and I envisioned slushies galore. I didn't think I would have to fight them for the Zoku to make an "adult slushie," because I didn't think it would work. Boy, was I wrong.
Characteristics and Specs: Comes in a range of bright colors. Includes three pieces: the inner core to store in the freezer, an outer shell to keep your hands from getting cold and a special slushie spoon. The components must be washed by hand. Will work best if frozen for at least eight hours before use, but can be used twice in a row before refreezing. If it's still cold, the inner core can be ready sooner.
Favorite details: I love how easy it is, even easier than the directions indicate.
Potential problems: You may need more than one if you have more than one child or want to make a round of frozen margaritas. Small children may find it difficult to use, because they will need to keep scraping while the beverage freezes.
Good for small kitchens? Sure!
After freezing the inner core overnight, we started with something basic, orange flavored seltzer mixed with orange juice. I braced myself for disappointment. Lo and behold, ice crystals started to form on the sides of the cup almost immediately. After a few minutes of scraping and stirring, we had a slushie that my kids declared tasted just like Orangina. Magic! We continued to scrape and stir until we got a chunky consistency and it was perfect.
I couldn't wait to make an adult version. That afternoon, I had my chance. Though the directions indicate alcohol should be added at the end, after the liquid has had a chance to freeze, I couldn't wait. I added vodka, prosecco, club soda, a splash of pure cranberry juice and a dash of lemon and lime juice. It took a few more minutes, but my drink froze like I had dumped the ingredients into one of those frozen margarita machines. I drank/ate it on the beach immediately, loving the fact that the thermal cup kept the treat frozen, even in 90 degree weather. A marvel!
Other blends we tried:
- Coffee and milk. A delightful variation of my usual morning cup of black coffee.
- Mashed banana and skim milk. Pretty good, but pureed banana might have been better.
- Coffee, milk, vanilla extract and Cool Whip. (One of my sons wanted to recreate something that tasted like a Starbucks Frappuccino. Oddly, those were ingredients we had in the house at the moment.) We decided not to let this one freeze to a chunky consistency and poured it into juice cups when the blend reached a slushy, still liquid state. Delicious!
- Cranberry juice, club soda and crushed blackberries. Refreshing.
- Fresh strawberries and peach flavored seltzer. This time, I pureed the berries in a mini food processor. Extra effort, but the even consistency was perfect, like it had been made in a blender.
Unless you want to consume your smoothie or milkshake quickly, you may want to pour it into a cup when it's just right, because the liquid will continue to freeze onto the walls of the cup. Also, you can rinse the inner core, dry it and put it back in the freezer so it'll be ready for your next round.
When I forgot to put the cup back in the freezer right away, I learned I could speed the process by pouring liquid into the cup and freezing them together for a while. Just make sure no one will come along and tip it over in the freezer!
I love the portability of Zoku's Slush and Shake Maker. Pop it in your suitcase or pool bag and use it anywhere you have access to a freezer. I also love that it helps prevent mindless consumption. Though it's quick, it still takes longer than just pouring a sweet (or alcoholic) beverage. If you're trying to cut down on sweet drinks — for yourself or your kids — the icy consistency makes it easy. Juices cut with club soda tasted just as good.
This is hardly a necessary gadget, but it's fun, not too pricey and works exactly as promised. I'm back at the beach and looking forward to more experimenting. (There is definitely a Bellini slush in my future.) No disappointment here!
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.