A red white and blue slush float is a fun and patriotic frozen drink that is perfect for summer BBQs and 4th of July celebrations. This slushy beverage is made with three layers – a red cherry or strawberry slush on the bottom, a creamy blue raspberry or blue curacao slush in the middle, and a white vanilla, coconut, or pineapple slush on top. The red, white and blue layers look beautiful in the glass and taste delicious when sipped through all three flavors. This patriotic slush is sweet, icy cold, and so refreshing on a hot summer day.
What are the main ingredients in a red white and blue slush float?
The main ingredients in a red white and blue slush float are:
- Red slush – Made with cherry or strawberry syrup, sweetened fruit juice, and ice
- White slush – Made with vanilla, coconut, or pineapple syrup and ice
- Blue slush – Made with blue raspberry or blue curacao syrup, sweetened juice, and ice
- Ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Fizzy lemon-lime soda
The slush layers are made by blending together fruit syrups or concentrates with sweetened fruit juices like pineapple, orange, or lemonade. Ice is blended in to create the signature slushy texture. The ice cream or frozen yogurt adds another layer of creaminess and flavor. The soda is poured over the slush and ice cream to make it a “float”.
What types of fruit flavors are used in each layer?
Here are some of the most popular fruit flavors used in each layer of a red, white and blue slush float:
- Fruit punch
- Cream soda
- Blue raspberry
- Blue curacao
- Cotton candy
Any sweet fruit flavors can be used in the red and blue layers. Tropical flavors like pineapple and coconut complement the cherry and raspberry flavors well in the white layer. Part of the fun is mixing and matching different fruit flavors in each layer!
What ingredients are needed to make the slush at home?
Making homemade red, white and blue slush floats is easy and fun. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
For the Slush:
- Fruit syrups or juice concentrates in red, white and blue flavors
- Sweetened fruit juices or lemonade
- Ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Clear fizzy lemon-lime soda, chilled
- Long spoons or straws
- Clear plastic or paper cups
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Cherries or berries for garnish (optional)
Be sure to use syrups and juices that are sugar-free or low sugar if desired. For adult slush floats, add a splash of vodka or rum to each layer.
What are the steps to assemble a red, white and blue slush float?
Follow these easy steps to assemble patriotic slush floats at home:
- Make the red slush by blending together red syrup, fruit juice and ice in a blender. Spoon into cups.
- Make the blue slush by blending blue syrup, juice and ice. Carefully layer on top of the red slush.
- Make the white slush by blending white syrup, juice and ice. Layer on top of the blue.
- Top each cup with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Slowly pour chilled lemon-lime soda over the ice cream so it floats on top.
- Garnish with whipped cream and berries if desired.
- Add spoons or straws and serve immediately.
For best results, make the slush mixtures a bit thicker than a milkshake so they hold their shape when layered. Don’t blend too long or the ice will over-melt into water. Assemble the floats right before serving so they don’t get mushy.
Do you add alcohol to a red white and blue slush?
Red, white and blue slush floats can definitely be made boozy for adults! Vodka and rum are popular spirits to mix into the slush layers. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Add 1-2 oz vodka to the blue raspberry slush layer
- Add 1-2 oz spiced rum to the white coconut slush layer
- Use cherry vodka in the red slush layer
- Float a shot of blue curacao liqueur on top
- Use lemon-lime vodka soda as the float
- Rim glasses with red, white and blue sugar
- Garnish with fresh berries
The slush helps dilute and blend the alcohol into the drink. Go light on the booze so the sweet fruity flavors still pop. For a lighter drink, fill glasses mostly with the slush then add just a splash of alcohol.
What type of ice cream is best for a red white and blue slush float?
The best ice cream or frozen yogurt flavors to use in red, white and blue slush floats are:
- Vanilla – goes with any flavors
- Strawberry – matches the red layer
- Blueberry – matches the blue layer
- Coconut – matches tropical white layers
- Pineapple – matches tropical white layers
- Lemon or Lime – pairs with the soda float
Opt for a lighter ice cream base like vanilla, coconut or lemon sorbet to complement the rich fruity slush layers. Or match flavors like strawberry ice cream with a strawberry slush. The ice cream adds nice texture and helps blend all the fruity flavors together into one patriotic frozen treat!
Should you use homemade or store-bought ice cream?
You can use either homemade or store-bought ice cream in a red, white and blue slush float. Here are some pros for each option:
Homemade Ice Cream
- Can perfectly control flavors and quality of ingredients
- Adds personal homemade touch
- Impress guests with DIY ice cream
- Lower cost than fancy store-bought
Store-Bought Ice Cream
- Easy convenience without labor of making homemade
- Access to wide variety of flavors and brands
- Consistent quality and texture
- Takes no extra time or effort
High quality store-bought ice cream works very well in these floats. Brands like Haagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s and Breyers are all great options. Go for your favorite flavors and what is easiest for you. Both homemade and store-bought ice cream make delicious red, white and blue slush floats!
What kind of soda works best for the float?
The most popular sodas to use for the float layer in a red, white and blue slush are:
- Sprite – Classic lemon-lime flavor
- 7UP – Crisp lemon-lime citrus
- Mountain Dew – Tart citrus and higher caffeine
- Ginger ale – Adds spicy ginger kick
- Fresca – Sugar free option
- Citrus flavored sodas – orange, grapefruit, etc.
The fizzy bubbles and acidity of the soda complement the rich sweetness of the fruit slush layers. Stick with clear sodas so the red, white and blue colors show through. For adult floats, use lemon-lime vodka sodas or spiked seltzers.
Should the slush layers be made ahead of time?
The slush base mixtures for the red, white and blue layers can be made ahead of time for convenience, but should not be fully frozen until ready to assemble the floats. Here are some tips:
- Mix the slush syrups and juice together in pitchers up to 2 days ahead
- Store slush base mixtures covered in the refrigerator
- Add the ice and blend the slush just before serving to prevent premature freezing
- Freeze for 1-2 hours max before assembling float so it’s still “slushy”
- Fully freeze any extra for future slush drinks instead of floats
Blended slush served straight from the freezer turns too frozen and icy hard for floats. Mixing the base ahead keeps the flavors blended while still allowing the nice slushy texture to incorporate with the ice cream and soda when assembled.
What are some tips for making perfect layers in the slush float?
Getting perfect distinct red, white and blue slush layers in the float cups takes some finesse. Here are some handy tips:
- Use a spoon to carefully layer the slush slowly against the side of cup
- Add scoops of different slush instead of pouring to prevent blending
- Allow each layer to set for 2-3 minutes in freezer before adding next color
- Add ice cream topper quickly so slush doesn’t start melting into other layers
- Pour soda down a spoon slowly to prevent mixing of layers
- Drink with a straw inserted straight down through all the layers
- Use popsicle sticks as needed to push slush into place if layers blend
- Add extra spoonfuls of a color on the very top to touch up appearance
The key is working quickly and keeping the slush frozen without over-blending the layers. Let each color freeze slightly before adding the next. Thick, scoopable slush textures hold the layers best.
How long will the floats last before melting?
Red, white and blue slush floats are best consumed immediately before the ice cream and slush layers start melting together. Here are some guidelines on float longevity:
- Best when drank within 5 minutes of assembling
- Layers start melting 10-15 minutes after assembling
- Ice cream will melt fastest, blending colors after 15-20 minutes
- Slush consistency lasts 30-60 minutes depending on temperature
- Serve immediately after assembling for ideal enjoyment
- Refrigerate up to 30 minutes before serving if necessary
To help extend the lifespan and reduce melting:
- Store assembled floats in freezer until serving if waiting more than 5 minutes
- Use insulated cups to slow melting
- Replace melted ice cream layer with new scoop right before serving
- Work quickly and serve floats as soon as they are assembled
What are fun ways to serve red, white and blue slush floats?
Red, white and blue slush floats make for a festive and patriotic dessert any time of year. Here are some fun serving ideas:
- Serve in clear cups or mason jars to show off layers
- Top with whipped cream, sprinkles and sparklers on 4th of July
- Use striped paper straws in coordinating colors
- Tie ribbon around cups or jars
- Decorate table with flags, stars and other patriotic decor
- Serve at kids’ birthday parties for a colorful treat
- Add plastic animals or other toys for kids
- Use flavors to coordinate with sports team colors
- Serve in sugar cones for a unique twist
- Use glow sticks, flags and fireworks sparklers as glow-in-the-dark decor at night
Personalize the floats for any patriotic occasion or themed event. The red, white and blue layers look so cool glowing and sparkling in the dark!
Are there any ways to make this recipe healthier?
Yes, there are a few easy ways to lighten up this frozen treat:
- Use reduced sugar or sugar-free syrups and juices in the slush
- Choose fresh fruit purees instead of syrups
- Use low-fat or fat-free ice cream/yogurt
- Replace soda with seltzer water for fewer calories
- Use Greek yogurt or avocado for thicker texture instead of ice cream
- Make with coconut water instead of juice
- Use all natural food colors instead of artificial dye
- Skip adding alcohol and drink as non-alcoholic
You can also control portion sizes by serving in smaller cups. Or share one larger float between friends. Adding more fresh fruit to the slush adds nutrients and fiber.
A red, white and blue slush float is the ultimate patriotic frozen summertime treat. With colorful fruity slush layers and creamy ice cream floating in fizzy soda, this dessert is sure to be a hit at any 4th of July party or event. Kids and adults alike will love sipping through the rainbow of flavors. Follow the recipe layers and freezing tips to create perfect icy blended red, white and blue stripes. Get creative with fun mix-ins, serving styles and garnishes. Stay refreshed from the heat while celebrating with this sweet spirited beverage.