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7 Slurpee Facts for Free Slurpee Day 2023

Updated: May 23, 2023

July 11 is Free Slurpee Day! Get the scoop on the famous drink before that brainfreeze sets in.

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Free Slurpee Day 2022

Summer has arrived, which means it’s time to switch from drinks that are hot and steamy to drinks that are cold and icy. Luckily, beloved convenience store 7-Eleven has your back—with Slurpee Day!

You may know everything about 7-Eleven—like why the 7-Eleven logo looks like that, or why 7-Eleven is open 24 hours, but did you know that the Free Slurpee Day tradition was started in 2002 to celebrate 7-Eleven’s 75th anniversary? They’ve continued it ever since except for in 2020, when it was canceled due to COVID-19.

When is Free Slurpee Day 2022?

Monday, July 11, 2022 (otherwise known as 7-Eleven’s birthday), is Slurpee Day! Between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. you can go into any participating 7-Eleven and receive a free, 12-ounce Slurpee in the flavor of your choice. With at least 34 flavors available across America, and even more if you like to mix your own drink, plus What the Fanta, a special limited-time-only Slurpee Day 2022 flavor, there’s something for everyone.

Plus, new this year, for 7-Eleven’s 7REWARDS and Speedy Rewards members, the perks begin on Friday, July 1, with $1 deals and an option to grab your free small Slurpee drink from July 1 through July 11. While you anxiously await 7/11, you’ll have to satisfy that Slurpee craving with some delicious Slurpee facts and general food facts.

7/11 store front
Nils Versemann/shutterstock

The Slurpee was invented by accident

In 1959, the soda fountain in Omar S. Knedlik’s Kansas Dairy Queen franchise was often malfunctioning, so he started storing his soda in the freezer instead. Customers loved the semi-frozen pop (the high sugar content means that the soda does not completely freeze), and began requesting it.

Realizing he had a slushy phenomenon on his hands, Knedlik began tinkering with a car air conditioner and eventually created an all-in-one machine that could create the drinks. He called it the ICEE. But that was just the beginning of Slurpee’s invention story.

slurpee machine

What’s in a name?

The ICEE Company, which first distributed Knedlik’s ICEE drink, allowed businesses to license a specified number of ICEE dispensing machines and own exclusive distribution rights in their territories. One of these businesses was 7-Eleven, which started using the “ICEE machines” in their store, with drinks of the same name.

However, executives soon decided they would brand the drinks as a new product. In a May 1966 brainstorming session with 7-Eleven’s ad agency, director Bob Stanford was drinking the product through a straw when he commented that it made a “slurp” sound as it was coming through the straw, and the Slurpee was born. By the 1970s, there was a Slurpee machine in every 7-Eleven in the country. Learn more interesting facts here!

overhead photo of two slurpees on slurpee day at 7/11
TIM SLOAN/Getty Images

What’s your flavor?

Although there have been over 300 flavors of Slurpee sold worldwide, including in Canada, Australia, and Japan, the most popular flavors in the U.S. are Coca-Cola and Wild Cherry. Limited-time flavors have included Peach Perfect, Major Melon (Mountain Dew with watermelon), a lemonade-flavored collaboration with Vitaminwater called Squeezed, and many more!

Some Slurpee lovers like to DIY their drink by mixing together different flavors, such as Lemonade and Blue Raspberry. There’s even an extreme version, where you mix a little of every flavor together to make a monster Slurpee! Maybe something to think about on Slurpee Day?

The Slurpee soundtrack

In 1970, 7-Eleven released a vinyl record with two tracks written just for the Slurpee: “Dance the Slurp,” a catchy and danceable tune that was later sampled by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist for their 1999 album “Brainfreeze,” and a short comedy skit on the other side. The 45 vinyl record was given away with purchases, and copies now fetch as much as $50 on eBay. Next, check out how these iconic stores got their names.

Panoramic Still Life of Colorful Frozen Fruit Slush Granita Drinks in Plastic Take-Away Cups with Lids and Drinking Straws in front of White Background

Slurpee revolutionized the straw

If you’ve ever tried to drink a milkshake through a regular straw, you know the struggle. Slurpees, with their thick, icy chunks, are even more challenging. In 1968, MIT mechanical engineering grad Arthur A. Aykanian invented the spoon straw: a straw with a little spoon on the end so you can sip and spoon with just one utensil.

Over the years, 7-Eleven has had various novelty straws including edible candy straws, animal straws, tongue straws, and mustache straws, while some have switched to biodegradable or paper straws. We like these reusable straws, which you can keep on hand to make it easier to enjoy your treat and be kind to the planet this Slurpee Day.

A Fanta Wid Cherry Slurpee is photographed on Monday, July 10, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
MediaNews Group/Getty Images

Some flavors are kosher!

Those who keep kosher and enjoy a soda most likely already know that brands such as Dr. Pepper, Sunkist, and Canada Dry are kosher-certified—and so are their Slurpee versions! In fact, over 34 Slurpee flavors are certified kosher by the OU Kosher Certification Agency. These include old favorites such as Fanta Grape and Coca-Cola, but also exciting picks like Master Chill Cherry Limeade and Fanta Kiwi Strawberry.

Slurpees truly are for everyone, and not just on Free Slurpee Day. On the topic of kosher, did you know this is why some Coca-Cola bottles have yellow caps?

7/11 store sign
SOPA Images/Getty Images

The Slurpee Capital of the World may surprise you

You might not think of our neighbors to the chilly north, Canada, as lovers of the world’s iciest drink. But in 2019, Manitoba was crowned the Slurpee Capital of the World… for the twentieth year in a row. Apparently, they serve them at summer weddings, at winter football games, to new mothers, and for breakfast year-round—when you arrive at the airport in Winnipeg, your friends and family might even greet you with a Slurpee. That’s some Slurpee love! Remember, Free Slurpee Day is July 11!