Slush Puppies, and the debate over the better flavor (blue raspberry vs. cherry), are iconic symbols of childhood summer. Will Radcliff, the inventor of the Slush Puppie, has passed away at the age of 74. He died in his home after his health declined due to a recent fall, said his daughter.
When Radcliff came up with the idea for a frozen drink layered with flavored syrup, it was not a new concept. Slurpees, snow cones, and other versions of the popular icy sweet treat had been around for years (the New York Times even claims that the concept even stretches as far back as ancient Rome), but Radcliff was the first one to market and brand the concept, as well as come up with the idea of using frozen ice crystals as a base, instead of a smoother or chunkier ice texture.
Radcliff came up with the idea while operating a slush-making machine at a county fair in 1974. He realized that he could make a slush-based drink mixed with syrup for pennies, and sell it for a dime. The original flavors were cherry, grape, orange, and lemon-lime. Radcliff also had a frozen cocktail business, in addition to his kid-friendly creations.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi