May 31, 2012

Frozen Drink Wars

So, who’s thirsty?

I wish I had discovered the simple joys of the Slurpee much earlier, but since I never really lived near any 7-Eleven stores, I didn’t catch on. However, I learned the error of my ways thanks to my good buddy Guber, who was sired in the Slurpee capital of the World, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnepeggers love their Slurpees. Guber lived in Montreal for many years, a city devoid of 7-Eleven stores, so whenever he was in Toronto he’d go on and on about the coveted and elusive Slurpee. I didn’t really see the big deal because Guber is kind of a weird dude anyway, but I got it eventually. They really are good.

Before I moved up here to the barren wastelands, I made a point of taking a solo journey to downtown Toronto and taking in as much of the cool places that I like as I could. Before I went back home, I made sure to get a Slurpee. Even though it was a cold day, I just had to get one because I knew it would be a long time before I got one again, as there are no 7-Elevens up here. It was a Strawberry Kiwi flavor and I still remember how good it tasted.

I mostly forgot about the Slurpee-scene and went about my way until I noticed another challenge: The Froster. Produced by Mac’s, a home-grown Canadian convenience chain, Frosters are a lot like Slurpees. I tried a really small one once, and though it was alright, but I started paying more attention when Mac’s ran a special promotion this month where you could buy any sized Froster for $1. At that price, I gave it a shot, and of course I got the largest size possible (1000 ml). I got hooked. Even though there are no 7-Elevens around here, there are 4 or 5 Mac’s in walking distance from me, and I made frequent excursions to all of them, sampling all the different kinds and multiple combinations, scrapping together a dollar’s worth in dimes and nickles each time I visited. So I drank a lot of Frosters. And the Froster would be the only thing I get, prompting many clerks to ask “That’s it?!” before I handed them my annoying handful of change.

The Froster is a decent alternative to the Slurpee. The flavors have some punch and they come in sturdy plastic cups with thick, wide straw. So they are a good product overall and not just a cheaply produced rip-off like I expected they’d be. And yet, I still miss the Slurpee. Froster can have a gritty ice texture while the Slurpee is much smoother. Slurpees also seem to have more unique flavors and I was never able to try very many. But beyond that, maybe it’s just the unattainable appeal that makes Slurpees so treasured to me in comparison to Frosters. I can get a Froster any time I want, but I haven’t had a Slurpee all year, and dammit, I want one! Much like the plight of Guber when he lived in a Slurpeeless land, not being able to have one makes me want it that much more.

What’s your favorite icy drink? Who wins the Frozen Drink Wars?



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