Banana Slush Punch

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I don’t have a lot of grandparent memories. My parents, at least by 31-years-ago standards, were older when they had me and my mom’s parents had both passed away. My dad’s parents lived about 1 1/2 hours away, and we visited them often, but they were also quite a bit older and my grandma had Alzheimer’s for most of the time that I knew her, so most of the memories I have of my grandma and grandpa are from when I was pretty little. Which means I don’t have a lot of specifics.

But I do have the abstract memories–the way their house smelled and the steep linoleum steps (which seemed much steeper than they probably were in reality) and the graham crackers. My grandma always had a “back to school” party for each grandkid when they went to kindergarten–all the cousins and aunts and uncles would bring backpacks and school supplies for the kindergartner and we’d have a party in their backyard. Whether it was back to school parties or Thanksgiving or Easter, there were always lots of old-fashioned, incredibly delicious treats (like homemade, home-canned grape juice lemonade with real grapes in the canning jars–never seen it before or since but if it’s half as delicious as I remember it, I’d die of happiness if I ever found a recipe for it). And like Banana Slush Punch. It’s probably been, oh, 25 years since I had my grandma’s Banana Slush Punch, but I can still taste it.

With Easter coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about food and traditions and the kinds of food memories I have and what I want to share with my own kids. We had this slushy punch at every Grandma Randle Easter party that I can remember from my early childhood and even though I don’t have tons and tons of memories of my grandparents, I want this to be one of the recipes my kids take with them in their own lives.

Place 3 cups of water and 4 very ripe bananas into your blender. Like bananas that are starting to turn brown. Spotty bananas. The ones no one wants eat.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of sugar over the bananas.

Blend until smooth and then set aside.

In a large bowl or pot, combine 6 cups of pineapple juice, 2 12-ounce cans of orange juice concentrate, a 12-ounce can of lemonade (pink or yellow), and 3 more cups of water. Mix well. If you didn’t think ahead (like me) to thaw out the concentrates, pop an immersion blender into the mixture and mix until it’s smooth. Add the banana mixture and mix well.

Pour the banana mixture into 3 separate freezer-safe containers or gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Freeze several hours or overnight (at least). When ready to serve, place one frozen bag of banana mixture into a punch bowl or serving jar and pour 1 liter of Sprite or ginger ale over the mixture.

Break up with a spoon or ladle (or whip out that immersion blender again) and serve. You can garnish it with frozen raspberries or frozen sliced strawberries if you want.

This will serve a small army, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you’re not interested in feeding a small army.


  1. Oh this punch is such a memory here, too. My husband’s family calls it banana tropicana, and my family calls it banana slush. Although, my dad sometimes lovingly calls it fly-speckled punch (because of the banana seeds). I swear, every food we ate had to be called some weird name by my dad.

  2. The linoleum stairs were as steep as you remember! Grandma was the BEST old-fashioned cook–everything from scratch. You’ve brought back so many memories.

  3. Looks good! Similar to my Mom’s punch recipe. Kate, where’d you get the big glass serving jar? (I think you may have mentioned it in another post, but I can’t remember which one!)

  4. This post got me thinking about my grandmother as well. She had the most amazing tomato juice/shrimp cocktail drink EVER! We always had it at Christmas, with her homemade wassail. It might not sound good, but it was amazing.

  5. This was a recipe we used for our wedding. The college I attended used it often for catered events, and I grabbed the recipe from their kitchen. Yumm!

  6. This reminds me of my grandma’s slush, which I was lucky enough to have at her house at Christmastime. It’s a recipe I’ll always remember, too! By-the-way, my mom cans grape juice with the grapes in it. Do you want me to see how she does it? I don’t know if it would be similar to what you had at your grandma’s, but I could send it if you want! Email me if you’re interested!

  7. I don’t know about canned grape juice lemonade, but the Ball Blue Book has a recipe for canned grape juice where you put one cup grapes in a hot quart jar, add 1/2-1 cup sugar and fill the jar with boiling water. Process for 15 minutes. That’s the way my mom always makes it. I just thought it was the lazy way you did it if you had lots of jars to spare as it isn’t concentrated like the other methods are.

  8. My grandma totally made this when I was a kid! It seems like she always had several Cool Whip containers in the freezer with slush in them.

    1. My first instinct is to say mangoes because they have similar sugar content and texture, so you’d wind up wit a similar texture. I bet you could use strawberries, you’d just have to play around with the sugar proportions. Even after it’s frozen, it won’t be frozen SOLID because of the sugar and texture of bananas, so you’ll want to achieve something similar with whatever fruit you use.

  9. My favorite is this stuff with canned peaches and pears, fresh strawberries and bananas. Fruit cup! Yummy! Thanks

  10. How long could I keep the mixture in the freezer if I didn’t use it all at one time? Oh, btw- I love your turquoise immersion blender!

  11. What a unique recipe! It looks really good, you don’t often see banana in drinks (other than smoothies). I totally get you on the grandparent thing. My grandparents were all alive when I was born, but both sets lived thousands of miles away and both sets had a ton of other grand kids living near them. My brother and I were basically the forgotten grandchildren. Oh well, at least our parents were loving!

  12. My Mom made home canned grape juice with the grapes in the jar too! One time she shared some with my sister in law who had never seen this before and she drained off all the juice and made a “cherry” pie with the grapes! LOL

  13. My mom still makes banana pineapple slush for special occasions. There is bucket of it in their deep freeze from over a year ago!
    My mother in law does the grape juice, but I made her toss out 20+ jars that were brown from the decade of storage, I never got to try it, thank goodness.

  14. Back about 50 years ago my parents, from rural New York, made something similar to this. I thought it came from a plaid cookbook it was called, something punch. My how it brings back memories. Hope you can find the actual recipe. You ladies make my day.

  15. i can grape juice all the time. I do about 80 -100 qt. of concentrate each year. But i have done the grapes in a jar, its more like a punch. someone gave the recipe above. hope you can enjoy this great treat with great memories again.

  16. Grape juice with grapes in the jar is a snap. Really. The year I had a tiny baby at grape time, the 10 and 8 year old did everything but put it in the water bath. Different varieties of grapes will give it a little different flavor.

    In the bottom of a quart canning jar:
    1 cup juice/wine grapes, washed and pulled off the stem
    1/2 cup sugar
    Fill the jar to the ring at the neck with water.
    wipe jar lip, add lid and screw ring on hand tight.
    Process in a water bath canner for 30 minutes.
    Let sit for 2 months before you drink it.

  17. Dear Kate, I love this recipe. My Mom, Vola, used to make this for us and for her ladies luncheons. She would serve it in little glass tea cups, saucers,ice cubes made of the banana fruit mixture and a small spoon. With the Ginger Ale it all made a wonderful slush. LOVE, LHRandle

  18. My mom always made grape juice and lemonaide punch for family picnics. It was a family favorite. Now when we get together we always make it so we can reminisce about the good old days! It brings back so many happy memories and is still delicious!

  19. My family has been making this Banana Slush forever. We got the recipe from a cookbook called “Mormon Country Cooking.” Years ago, my sister got all of us copies of this book from a used bookstore in Utah. It makes me wonder if there is an old canning recipes cookbook that would have your lemonade grape juice recipe in it. I grew up with my mom canning just grape juice, and it was heavenly. I can’t imagine how much better lemonade grape juice would be.

  20. I am thinking of every summer baby shower I ever throw again. I LOVE bananna in this. And another way to use over ripe banannas! Yes! I sometimes wish I had a service that would drop fresh banannas off at my house like three times a week. I can only eat them if they’re still a little bit green. If I go to the store that often to buy banannas that fit my criteria I’d be broke.

  21. Kate, how long do you suppose the banana mixture would last in the refrigerator? Normally I’d think the banana would turn brown very quickly but the pineapple juice and lemonade could keep it yellow. I don’t usually have any need for large amounts of punch but I’m thinking of making a half batch and freezing it in 1 C amounts, then taking out the 1 C and keeping it in the fridge. That way we could add a bit to our glasses and top it off with ginger ale, using up the banana mixture within a couple of days.

    Also I wanted to say I have the exact same immersion blender in the same color. The same day that I saw this post, I read another post on another food blog (was it Pioneer Woman?) and they have the exact same one in the same color, too. How odd! Love my immersion blender though 🙂

    1. I bet you could keep it for up to a week if you’re brave–the acid will help keep everything on the okay side. 🙂

      Tha’s hilarious about the immersion blender! I love that color; using my immersion blender just makes me happy, haha!

  22. In the photo of the canada dry and frozen banana mixture in the large glass container, is that your punch holder? where did you get it? We make punch during the summer, and I hate our ugly plastic punch bowl lol.

  23. I made this slush punch last weekend for a girls night. I subbed 3 cups of Malibu rum in place of the additional water. Froze everything in a gallon ice cream bucket. Instead of mixing everything in a punch bowl, we just put 2 scoops of slush (almost like the consistency of sherbet) in a glass and added gingerale. That way you can refreeze what you don’t use for next time 🙂 I found the same glass container in your post at Walmart for around $10. I will use it so much over the summer! It comes with a cool glass apothecary lid to keep all those winged critters out of it when outdoors. Thanks for an outstanding punch recipe!

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