This week, I reached out for a Minute Maid Sweet Peach Slushie, new from America's No. 1 burger slinger, McDonald's, with 15,000 restaurants nationwide, probably there's one within five minutes of where you're reading this... unless you paid extra for Wi-Fi aboard a plane (total ripoff, it never works).
Sweet Peach joins Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch in the Arches' esteemed collection of summer drinks that'll give you an ice cream headache if you drink 'em too fast. Those aren't fun for about 15 seconds. Then you go ahead and do the same thing again.
Here's the Minute Maid Sweet Peach Slushie breakdown: The slushie base is made with water, high fructose corn syrup, apple juice from concentrate and citric acid. The peach syrup is made with high fructose corn syrup, water, 2-percent (or less) apple and peach juice from concentrate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, yellow dye 6, and red dye 40. (I love red dye 40! It's a thousand-percent improvement over red dye 39.)
Okay, Minute Maid Sweet Peach Slushie is one of those products where maybe you don't want to read the ingredients.
Total calories: 180 (for a small). Fat grams: 0. Sodium: 15 mg. Carbs: 48 g. Dietary fiber: 0. Protein: 0. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.59.
First, let's define our terms. For the most part, a "slushie," like we're discussing here, is a non-carbonated mixture of flavoring, sugar (corn syrup), and water that is in constant swirl below 32 degrees. The sugar and movement keep the water from freezing solid. The sugar acts like anti-freeze, but please don't put this in your car's radiator. A "Slurpee" or "ICEE" tends to be a carbonated version of a slushie.
Now that chemistry and auto mechanics class is over, let's get to ... how does the Minute Maid Sweet Peach Slushie taste? In a word, peachy. So peachy, it's like they took a bag of frozen peaches, ran over them with a steamroller and poured the slurry into your cup — the peach flavor is that rich.
This drink tastes like summer. In fact, it's more like a dessert than a drink. The fact that Minute Maid also has naming rights for the Houston Astros stadium is the cherry on top. Going to an Astros game when Justin Verlander is pitching is like watching Picasso paint a picture.
A bit of irony. While this is a frozen peach drink, I just watched a TV show that says you shouldn't put peaches in the refrigerator. Cold temps turn a peach mealy and unappetizing. You should just leave them on your kitchen counter. A ripe peach will last three to five days at room temp before starting to rot. I always put peaches in the fridge. I like cold fruit. I'm just not going to watch that TV show again.
McDonald's doesn't serve a diet or low-cal or low-carb version of its slushies. It's the same way with Slurpees and ICEEs. All three drinks need sugar or corn syrup to create the proper consistency.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.