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Happy 7-11 Day (aka Free Slurpee Day)! This year is particularly special, as the Slurpee is turning 50, and 7-11 is celebrating with two new flavors: Birthday Cake and Sour Patch Redberry.
Free Slurpees will be available at your local 7-11 from 11 am to 7 pm, but I didn't want to send you in there uninformed, so I dragged my slightly-hungover body out of bed at 8 am and sauntered up to my nearest 7-11. The place was empty, save for the shaggy-haired youth manning the till. He seemed slightly concerned by the photo-taking, but didn't ask any questions. I paid for my Slurpees (as it was not yet 11) and doughnuts (more on those in a minute) and headed back home.
As I walked — un-showered and bleary-eyed — through my neighborhood with a Slurpee in each hand, I had to repress the urge to yell "It's fine! This is my job!" at everyone I encountered.
It turns out it was not fine and that, even if you are me and even if this is your job, you should not start your day with a Slurpee.
Let's start with this whole Sour Patch Redberry situation. It's not just a Slurpee flavor — it's also a doughnut! — and one is definitely more successful than the other.
The Slurpee tasted exactly how you would expect it to: like someone had melted a bunch of red Sour Patch Kids and poured them into a Slurpee machine. It was very sweet, slightly tart, and synthetically fruity. If this had existed when I was a Slurpee-slurping child, I would have loved this flavor. (I also would have combined it with the Coke flavor, as was my custom.)
Sadly, as a doughnut, Sour Patch Redberry really struggled, and by "struggled" I mean "tasted like bubble gum." I do not enjoy bubble gum or bubble gum-flavored things, so I did not enjoy this doughnut. (Though I do think it's kind of pretty and I love how the little Sour Patch guy looks like he's being held down by ropes of green icing.)
With the Birthday Cake flavor, we have the opposite situation, with the doughnut being much more enjoyable than the Slurpee. Though it is billed as a "Birthday Cake Slurpee Doughnut," it's really just a "Birthday Cake Doughnut," because "Slurpee" is more of a temperature/textural description than a flavor.
The "dough" portion of this situation was a pretty standard cake doughnut with the Birthday Cake flavor being confined to the frosting, which tasted strongly of imitation vanilla (this is not an insult) and Funfetti. (Yes, I consider "Funfetti" to be its own flavor.) It was edible, though a little one note.
Then we have its counterpart.
It's rare that I get to use the word "problematic" in my writing, but I find this Slurpee to be problematic. This is an item that was not meant to be. It's described as "the perfect combination of traditional birthday cake and vanilla ice cream flavor" and while both of those flavors are present, the cake flavor just doesn't translate well into an icy medium. Here again we have imitation vanilla in all of its synthetic glory, but there's also a "baked" flavor that is unsettling in this context.
Oh, and I'm sure it goes without saying that the Birthday Cake Slurpee is teeth-shatteringly sweet but, just in case there was any confusion about that, know that this is one of the sweetest things I've ever tasted.
I'm also not sure why it's orange.
HOWEVER. Do not let this misstep discourage you from getting in on that free Slurpee action, as there are still many great flavors to choose from, like Coca-Cola, Coke, and Cola. (Oh, and the Sour Patch one, if you are very into Sour Patch kids and wish to drink, rather than chew, them.)