Homemade Traditional Philadelphia Water Ice Recipe

There are several things that remind me of childhood…water ice is real high on that list. You would think that a simple sugar syrup and a little bit of flavoring wouldn’t be too hard to come by….but it is. There is a certain texture…not chunky ice like a snow cone….not shaved ice…but smooth ice…similar to the texture of ice cream….but without the cream. I was on a mission to share this summer time treat with my kids. I believe I perfected it….traditional Philly water ice…right here in the Bluegrass….love ;)

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Now…let me just say this….you gotta want it. The flavoring I ordered online…and you have to use an electric ice cream maker to get the perfect consistency. Also, it helps to have some individual containers that you can scoop the water ice in to freeze hard. Like I said….this is really simple to make….but a little forethought is needed:)

Here is where I ordered my supplies:

Flavoring (this is an amazon affiliate link) They have over 40 flavors. I ordered bubblegum, root beer, watermelon and coffee. Keep in mind, these are little 1 tsp doses…but it will make 2 full cups of water ice.

Cups: These make it handy to store in freezer….and make several flavors:)

And here is the ice cream maker I have….I love it! This is the key to getting the consistency of true water ice…very smooth and silky.

It is a basic simple syrup recipe….with just 2 add in’s….a touch of fresh lemon juice and your flavoring of choice. (Mine was bubblegum….takes me right back to 15th St. beach in Avalon…the bell of the ice cream man ringing on the end of the beach path….:)

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Homemade Traditional Philadelphia Water Ice Recipe

Homemade Traditional Philadelphia Water Ice Recipe

Tracie at CleverlyInspired
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Traditional Philadelphia Water Ice Recipe
Servings 2 cups


  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp flavoring I made bubblegum


  • Gently simmer water and sugar in a medium saucepan for about 5-6 minutes. Sugar should be completely dissolved.
  • Pour into a bowl and add lemon juice and flavoring. Stir and cool.
  • Chill in fridge for about 2 hours.
  • Pour into ice cream maker and turn on for about 20 minutes. Water ice will begin to form up.
  • Scoop water ice into containers and freeze.
  • A wooden scraper is handy (and traditional for getting water ice in your mouth.) A spoon works great too:)

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It is worth all the effort:)

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Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes...all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha's Circle of trusted bloggers.

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  2. I’m going to have to try this method. What a great non dairy alternative!

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