Food & Drink : Fizzology 101

When I was 5, my life revolved around toys — especially one called the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. For those of you who do not remember the now-vintage item, it was a small, red-and-white, dog-house-shaped machine used to shave ice for the most delicious snow cones any kindergartener could imagine.

Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker: mixed-drink training ground for kids?

Today, an updated invention, which reminds me a lot of my Peanuts product, can provide just as much fun for kids and adults when it comes to making refreshing summertime treats.

Designed by toymaker and self-proclaimed “chief fizzicist” David Chodosh, the Fizz ( $9.99 for a “six pack”) is a plastic cup used to make quick and easy custom ice-cream floats.

Here is how it works: Open the lid of the cup and place the desired flavor of ice cream into the container. Seal the lid on the cup and insert a straw into the bottom. Then, tightly twist the cup onto the top of your favorite soda (plastic bottle, please). With some gentle squeezes to the soda bottle, the liquid will rise through the straw and blend with the ice cream in the “mixing chamber” above, creating your own personal float as you go. You drink your creation through the small sip slot on the lid. For my experiments, I chose to combine original vanilla with root beer, cherry-vanilla ice cream with Coke and, because I was curious, Big Red and strawberry (Hey, it’s not like I picked Mountain Dew and cookies ’n’ cream.)

Overall, the Fizz worked favorably, but heeding a couple of tips will enhance your enjoyment. First, do not use a standard straw, because once the soda drops to a certain level, said straw will not reach the last portion of the drink; invest in the long straws with bendy ends. Second, when placing the ice cream in the cup, do not overload. If you pack the ice cream in too tightly, it will take much longer for the soda to combine with it. Also, using an excess amount of ice cream may cause volcanic eruption through the sip slot.

Chodosh said there are other uses for the Fizz if floats do not float your boat. Milk in a bottle with Apple Jacks in the cup can make for a sweet-flavored breakfast. Juice in a bottle with yogurt in the cup will produce a healthy smoothie.

“Or like some guy told me,” Chodosh said. “‘I like putting ice in the cup and Jack Daniels in the bottle.’”

That was never an option with Snoopy.

- Kiko Martinez

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