Today is the eleventh of July and, as has become American tradition, 7-Eleven is giving away free Slurpees all the livelong day. You might think to yourself that this is a great opportunity—and it is—but there’s a secret danger when it comes to free Slurpees. You might get a bad one.
Not a liquidy, the-light-was-still-on-and-this-is-still-syrup bad one, no. A fundamentally bad, untasty Slurpee. You might think that taste in Slurpees is subjective, but you’d be wrong. Sorry. Some are just better. Rather than risk wasting your shot at a free drink, use our handy Slurpee ranking system to ensure that on today of all days, you get the most out of your 7-Eleven experience.
1. Pina Colada
Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, great for layering, and neither too sweet nor too bland, Pina Colada is the pinnacle of Slurpees. It stands great all on its own, and yet it plays nice with other flavors in a way that a lot of other slurpees don’t. The secret to pina colada? It’s got the exact same synthetic taste as every other “real” pina colada you’ve ever had. Well done.
The lemonade Slurpee consists of three things. Sugary lemon flavoring, intense carbonation, and intense iciness. What it lacks in mixability with other flavors, it makes up in being the perfect blend of taste and sensation to combat vicious summer heat and mugginess.
3. Blue Raspberry/Wild Cherry
You know how you always see blue and red ICEEs are the movie theater and think to yourself, “I wish they had Slurpees instead?” Guess what? Slurpess are just 7-Eleven’s licensed branding of the ICEE formula. The red/blue binary is a part of Slurpee lore, and it makes BR and WC natural choices for the top five flavors. Even through their flavors aren’t technically interchangeable, we treat them like they are because they’re classics. Also it’s all about those vibrant colors.
4. Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper*
Like Blue Raspberry and Wild Cherry, Coke’s a part of that core group of flavors that you know you can fall back on without fail. The taste is distinctive, yet familiar. The color isn’t bold, and it isn’t as mixworthy, but it’s reliable. The one downside is that by the time you get to the end of it, the flavor’s mostly gone and you’ve got tinted snow pooling at the bottom of your cup.
* All of this is true of Dr. Pepper too, but it tastes like Dr. Pepper and not Coke, if you’re into that sort of thing.
5. Kiwi Strawberry
Kiwi Strawberry is one of those flavors you can’t mess up, regardless of what form it comes in. Soda, “fruit juice,” flavored water, or Slurpee, it’s consistent. That’s both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, you always know what you’re getting and if you’re in the mood for it, you’re golden. But then there’s nothing daring about going for the KS. Can you actually taste the kiwi? Questionable. Is the Slurpee refreshing? Probably. Is it Wild Cherry. NOPE.
Orange is one of those off flavors that isn’t a one to one translation of what orange soda tastes like. Kel loves orange soda, it’s unclear that he’d love orange Slurpees. The taste is passable, and its mixability is fairly high, but as a standalone it falls a little short.
7. Hawaiian Punch
Honestly, when was the last time you drank Hawaiian Punch? As a “fruit drink” it can be hit or miss and unless it’s cold, it’s both astringent and saccharine. The Slurpee incarnation of Hawaiian Punch manages to avoid that completely because it’s frozen, but the drink still has an odd flavor palette. Hawaiian Punch works best as a supporting Slurpee, backing up a more leading flavor like Pina Colada.
Artificial banana flavoring is one of those weird accidents of modern food science that you either love or hate. Does it taste like bananas? Not really? Is it a bad taste? Not particulrly. The thing about banana Slurpees is that you’ve got to know what you’re getting into before hand. It’s mouth-filling, heavily sweet, but not entirely offensive to the senses. You might think to add it to pina colada. Do not. It’s that sweet. Try mixing it with Lemonade to cut through the sugar.
9. Sour Patch Watermelon
All Slurpee flavors are opportunities for cross-branding, but there’s something strange about Sour Patch Watermelon. Specifically, Sour Patch Kids are candies and we don’t drink our candy. Say what you will about soda being liquid candy parts, but you’ve never actually drank a Skittle, have you? If you’re into watermelon flavor and you’re a die-hard Sour Patch Kid fan, try it out but otherwise…nah.
10. Orange Creme
Creamsicles are a known quantity in our universe. They are citrus, they are vanilla, they are sherbet, and they are ice cream. They are not meant to be “lite,” which is to say that they are supposed to be full of sugar and calories and delicious, conflicting flavors. Orange Creme Slurpees, which are billed as being low-calorie Slurpees are none of these things.
The Idea behind a low-calorie Slurpee makes sense. Slurpees are packed with calories unless you’re getting the smallest size possible (8oz), which nobody does. Why not opt for a healthier Slurpee?
Because the taste is all wrong. Orange Creme tastes less like an interpretation of a Creamsicle, and more like a dosage of sugar-free orange cough medicine that’s been cut with tap water. If you’re in 7-Eleven thinking about buying a Slurpee, commit to the cause. Go full sugar, or go home.