Is there a difference between slush syrup and snow cone syrup?

Both slush syrup and snow cone syrup are sugary, flavored syrups used to make refreshing icy treats on hot summer days. But is there actually a difference between the two types of syrup or are they interchangeable? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Slush Syrup?

Slush syrup is a specially formulated syrup designed for making slushy frozen drinks. It has a thicker, more viscous consistency than regular syrups to prevent it from freezing solid when blended with ice. The texture of slush syrup helps it blend smoothly into slushies and results in a drink that is icy cold but still easy to suck up through a straw.

Some key features of slush syrup include:

  • Thick, viscous texture
  • Does not freeze solid when blended with ice
  • Creates a smooth, icy texture
  • Intended for slushy drinks specifically

Slush syrup comes in popular flavors like cola, cherry, blue raspberry, pina colada, and more. It can be found wherever slushy machines are sold and is specially made to be used in slushy makers.

What is Snow Cone Syrup?

Snow cone syrup has a thinner, more liquid-like consistency. It is designed to absorb quickly into the crushed ice used to make snow cones without causing the ice to completely melt. The syrup seeps through the snow cone ice, flavoring each bite.

Some key qualities of snow cone syrup include:

  • Thinner, more liquid texture
  • Absorbs quickly into crushed ice
  • Flavors each bite of a snow cone
  • Specifically made for snow cones

Snow cone syrup comes in vibrant colors and flavors like grape, cotton candy, lemon-lime, root beer, and more. You can find it anywhere snow cone supplies are sold. The syrup usually comes in squeeze bottles for easy pouring over freshly shaved ice.

Differences Between Slush Syrup and Snow Cone Syrup

While both slush syrup and snow cone syrup add sweet, fruity flavor to icy summertime treats, there are a few key differences between the two:


The main difference lies in the consistency. Slush syrup is thicker, heavier, and more viscous. Snow cone syrup has a thinner, more liquid-like texture.


Slush syrup is formulated specifically for slushies made in slushy machines. The thickness allows it to blend smoothly. Snow cone syrup is designed solely for snow cones and absorbing into the crushed ice.

Flavor Intensity

Slush syrup usually has more potent flavoring since it incorporates into a full liquid drink. Snow cone syrup is lighter on flavoring since it only coats solid ice bits.


Slush syrup tends to be slightly less sweet than snow cone syrup. Snow cone syrup has more sugar to compensate for absorbing into ice rather than mixing into a liquid.


Slush syrup may need refrigeration after opening to maintain optimal thickness. Snow cone syrup can be stored at room temperature.

Can You Use Slush Syrup for Snow Cones?

You can use slush syrup for snow cones in a pinch, but it won’t quite have the right consistency. The thick slush syrup may have trouble absorbing fully into the snow cone ice. It may pool at the bottom rather than flavoring each individual bite. The snow cone will be slightly heavier and wetter than with proper snow cone syrup.

Can You Use Snow Cone Syrup for Slushies?

Similarly, snow cone syrup can work in slushies in emergency situations but won’t blend as smoothly. The thinner syrup may result in an icy, chunkier slushy rather than a perfectly smooth texture. The slushy may also be slightly watered down compared to using slush syrup.

Tips for Getting the Best Results

While the two syrups are not completely interchangeable, here are some tips to get the best possible results if you need to swap slush syrup and snow cone syrup:

  • Add extra snow cone syrup to a slushy for more intense flavor.
  • Mix snow cone syrup with a small amount of corn syrup or sugar to thicken it before using in a slushy machine.
  • Use slush syrup sparingly on snow cones to prevent too much liquid buildup.
  • Water down slush syrup slightly before using on snow cones to thin out the consistency.
  • Stir or blend slushies thoroughly when using snow cone syrup to distribute flavor evenly.
  • Shave snow cone ice extra fine when using slush syrup so it absorbs better.

Popular Flavor Options

Both slush syrup and snow cone syrup come in a wide variety of delicious flavors. Here are some all-time favorite options:

Slush Syrup Flavors Snow Cone Syrup Flavors
Coca-Cola Cherry
Fruit Punch Blue Raspberry
Cherry Tiger’s Blood (Strawberry-Coconut)
Lemon-Lime Pina Colada
Grape Cotton Candy
Watermelon Bubblegum
Pina Colada Banana
Blue Raspberry Green Apple

Homemade Versus Store-Bought

For best results, it’s recommended to use store-bought slush and snow cone syrups formulated specifically for the job. But in a pinch, you can whip up homemade syrups:

Homemade Slush Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flavoring like fruit juice or Kool-Aid mix
  • 1 tsp citric acid (for tartness)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Mix sugar and water over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring, citric acid, and food coloring as desired. Allow to cool before using.

Homemade Snow Cone Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup flavoring like fruit juice or drink mix
  • Food coloring (optional)

Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring and food coloring as desired. Allow to cool before using.


Slush syrup and snow cone syrup may seem quite similar at first glance. But slush syrup has a thicker, heavier texture designed specifically for blending into slushy drinks. Snow cone syrup has a lighter, more liquid consistency meant to absorb into shaved ice. While in a pinch they can be used interchangeably, for best results it’s recommended to use slush syrup for slushies and snow cone syrup for snow cones.

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