Slush vs. Smoothie: Differences & Which Is Better?

slush vs smoothie

Both refreshing, fun, colorful, and incredibly easy to make, slush and smoothie are by far not the same thing. One is icy, playful, and grainy, and the other is silky, flavorful, and nutritious, and you can make them both at home. They may at times appear similar but are two entirely different products. So, what are the differences between a slush and a smoothie?

Slush has a very artificial flavor, while smoothie is mostly a natural product. Slush is a snow cone made of crushed ice to appear like snow. Many flavorings can be added to slush, including frozen juices. Smoothie is a blended mixture of fruit and milk or yogurt, resulting in a smooth and thick substance. 

Although they can sometimes resemble one another, slush and smoothie are entirely different drinks and need to be appreciated for their uniqueness. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will explain the difference between a slush and a smoothie, the key aspects in which they differ, and whether one is better.

Slush vs. Smoothie: Differences

Slush and smoothie are both tasty, fun, and refreshing, but by no means are they the same. They are differently made, contain different ingredients, and have different origins and nutritional values. 

Preparation and Ingredients

In terms of their preparation, slush and smoothie are very similar. They are both blended, and the process is incredibly straightforward. However, the ingredients for slush are nowhere near the ingredients for a smoothie. 

Of the two, the slush is the simpler one, involving very little work and very few ingredients. To make a slush, you’ll need sugar, a fizzy drink, kool-aid, and ice. First, you pour the fizzy drink, kool-aid, and sugar into the blender and add the ice; press the button, and a few seconds later, you have a slush. 

On the other hand, the smoothie is more demanding. You’ll need fruit, milk or yogurt, and water or ice. The work involved with the smoothie is a bit more delicate, and it requires more patience, as you’ll need to prepare the fruit for blending, which often involves washing, peeling, and chopping. 

However, even though the smoothie takes more to make, it is still a simple and easy drink. 

Both slush and smoothie have many variations and come with many different flavors.

slush vs smoothie

Serving and Appearance

Both slush and smoothie are served in a tall glass, but often you can see smoothie served in a jar, while slush is mostly served in a plastic cup. Of the two, the smoothie is considered the more elegant one, while slush is the simpler one. 

You will see slush at children’s parties or at the ice cream stand. Smoothie is served in almost every café and can be pricy depending on what’s inside. Slush, compared to a smoothie, is more affordable. 

Both look cheerful and playful, but the slush is more vivid of the two, with brighter and stronger colors. Because it contains milk/yogurt, the smoothie’s color is duller than the one of the slush but can still be pretty memorable. 

The smoothie is visibly thicker and more consistent than the slush, resembling a milkshake. The slush is grainy due to the blended ice, but as the ice melts, it becomes liquid and, therefore, much thinner than the smoothie.

Origin and Popularity

The slush was invented by accident. It is believed that a kid was drinking a glass of soda and left the glass outside where it froze. The kid took the glass of soda, crushed the soda, and made the first slush. 

Commercially, slush became famous in the 1950s when a man called Omar Knedlik, the owner of the Dairy Queen, kept the soda in the freezer to keep it cold because his ice machine broke. 

Much like the kid with the soda, Omar saw that the frozen soda was fun and started selling it to people as a slush, which it looked like. And the rest is, of course, history. 

The smoothie originated in the 1930s when Brazilian fruit purees became very popular because of their health benefits. People also loved these fruit purees because they were frothier, and they could make them of all types of fruit. 

Both slush and smoothie and became increasingly popular over a short period of time, so now they are globally known, sold in many places, and made in many homes. However, I would say that the smoothie is more popular than the slush, as it has another dimension, it is considered very healthy. 

Slush, on the other hand, is most popular in the US and Western Europe. 

Nutrition

Slush and smoothie are very different in terms of nutrition, and of the two, the slush has less to offer. 

Depending on the ingredients, the slush can be very nutritious. Since it contains fruit and milk/yogurt, it is bound to contain vitamins, fiber, and a certain amount of protein and fructose. There are also smoothies with nuts, so you’ll get more protein and healthy fats. 

In case you blend seeds into your smoothie, you’ll get minerals, possibly omega-3 fatty acids, and other healthy nutrients. 

The slush is nutritiously poor, with only sugar and water. It usually doesn’t contain vitamins or minerals, but that would depend on what you put in it. If you add fruit juice inside your slushy, you’ll get a more nutritious drink. 

Taste and Variations

Both slush and smoothie come in as many variations as there are types of fruit and fizzy drinks. You can make them with whatever you want, as it is virtually impossible to ruin the recipe. 

Generally, they are refreshing, energizing, sweet, and delicious regardless of the different tastes they contain.

Slush Smoothie
Preparation and ingredientsCrushed ice, fizzy drink, kool-aid, and sugar- all blended togetherFruit and milk/yogurt- all blended together
Serving and appearance Plastic tall cups
Bright and vivid color
Grainy and first and then liquid
Tall glass or a jar
Matte color and milkshake-like consistency
Origin and popularityCommercially originated in the 1940s in the USAOriginated in the 1930s in the USA from Brazil
Nutrition Water and sugar and potentially nutrients Very nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins
Taste and variationsSweet, refreshing, extraordinary, and energizing. It has wide varieties.Sweet, fresh, and rich. Comes in many variations.

Slush vs. Smoothie: Which Is Better?

Since they are both so different, slush and smoothie are both excellent depending on what you want at the moment. If you want a fresh drink to give you energy, go for the slush. If you want a nutritious drink or you want to substitute a meal, go for the smoothie.

Is Slush Smoothie?

Slush is not a smoothie since slush is made of ice and artificial ingredients, while smoothie is primarily made of fruit. Smoothie often includes dairy products, while slush never includes milk or yogurt.

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!