The 7 Best Snow Cone Syrups
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. On a hot summer day, there's nothing more refreshing than a delicious snow cone. It may be just a mix of crushed ice and syrup, but it's so satisfying that kids and adults alike find it hard to resist. With so many mouthwatering flavors to choose from, there's sure to be one from our selection that will hit the spot for every palate. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best snow cone syrup on Amazon.
A Brief History Of Snow Cones
It's one of those things we take for granted in modern times, but for most of human history, ice wasn't readily available.
It's one of those things we take for granted in modern times, but for most of human history, ice wasn't readily available. It wouldn't be until the Industrial Revolution came along in the 1850s that it was possible to buy ice year-round.
At that time, large ice houses in New England would sell giant blocks to businesses and consumers in southern states, and those blocks would be transported via train or wagon. When those transports rolled through the towns along the way, children would run up to them and ask for shavings; noticing this, those kids' mothers began to make flavorings using eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
Over time, it became increasingly easy to acquire ice, and since these treats required few additional ingredients, they became one of the few dessert items that were affordable for the vast majority of Americans during the Great Depression. Their low cost also made them easy to sell, and many people who were down on their luck took to hawking them as a way to get by.
In 1934, an inventor named Ernest Hansen patented an ice block shaver that he hoped would replace the crude (and largely unhygienic) push-carts that were ubiquitous in many cities. His wife, Mary, whipped up a few syrups to go over the ice, and these new treats — called "sno balls" — became a massive hit in their hometown of New Orleans.
When WWII broke out, almost all of the available ice cream was being sent to the soldiers overseas, and so people back home had to make do with the next best thing: sno balls. Once the war ended, ice cream and other confections became widely available again, and quickly pushed their way back to the forefront of America's dessert consciousness (yes, America has a dessert consciousness — just trust us on this).
While ice cream has proven to be vastly more popular, snow cones and shaved ice still have their place, especially since they continue to be a low-cost treat.
So, regardless of whether you call it shaved ice, snow cones, raspados, or anything else, one thing's for sure: you'd better call us when they're ready.
Making The Perfect Snow Cone
One of the great things about snow cones is how easy they are to make. It's almost impossible to make one that tastes bad — although you can certainly make one that looks terrible — so it's easy to see why so many people make their own.
It may require a little practice, but you should be a pro in no time.
The first thing you need to do is thoroughly clean your machine. It's simply hygienic, and you also don't want any leftover syrup residue affecting the taste of your cone. Different machines have different cleaning instructions, so check to see what the proper way to clean yours is before you begin.
You should also see what type of ice the manufacturers of your machine recommend using. Some require you to use special ice molds they provide, while others are fine with homemade or store-bought ice. It's important to find out for sure, though, both for quality and to ensure you don't damage your machine.
Consider leaving your ice out for a few minutes before you start making your dessert, as well. This allows the ice to soften a bit, which is better for your machine and makes fluffier ice.
Once you've got your cone prepared, it's time to pour the syrup.
The best way is to leave a little room on the outside of your cup, so that a slight pocket forms. Then, apply the syrup around the edge of the ice first, letting the excess drip down into the cup. Rotate your wrist as you move the bottle, ensuring you don't linger too long in any one place. Then, when you're done with the sides, give a last shot straight down the middle — this should only take a second or two.
It may require a little practice, but you should be a pro in no time. And, even better — all that "practice" time is the perfect excuse to eat more snow cones.
Benefits Of Eating Snow Cones
Listen, you don't need us to tell you to eat snow cones. You already know they're easy to make and delicious.
However, beyond that, they're actually one of the healthier treats you can eat.
Again, we're not trying to sell you on our revolutionary new snow cone diet.
Now, we're not saying they're actually good for you. Unless you get a sugar-free syrup, they're filled with a massive amount of sucrose, so don't overdo it. However, just about any other frozen dessert you eat will also have tons of sugar, as well as lots of fat, carbs, and other undesirable ingredients.
Since snow cones are mostly ice, however, you'll get a little extra hydration with each one, and your body will have to burn a few more calories keeping your core temperature up. All that additional water could help you feel full, as well, reducing how much you eat.
They're healthy for your pocketbook, as well. Since all you need is a machine, some ice, and a few inexpensive syrups, you can have a different delicious dessert every night of the week for a fraction of the cost of ice cream.
And because they're incredibly simple to make, you can teach your kids how to make their own. This gives them something to do, and prevents them from constantly bugging you to make one. It's a great way to entertain a group of children at a birthday party or sleepover.
Again, we're not trying to sell you on our revolutionary new snow cone diet. You should go easy on them, and don't gorge yourself. However, if you have a sweet tooth, there are certainly worse options for you out there.
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