Monday, May 5, 2008

Blast from the past . . . .

As I was surfing blogs today I ran across a post from someone talking about a drink they had had during a vacation to Florida almost 20 years ago. Anybody remember Polar Cup? The post brought an immediate smile to my face. For those of you that did not have the great pleasure of growing up near a Polar Cup, I offer my sincere condolences. I can only say that on a classic hot Florida summer day there was only ever one thing that could immediately take you away from the heat. A large lemonade polar cup!! It was a cold refreshing lemonade slush drink that not only offered an immediate cool down but almost always had a lemon wedge hidden somewhere amongst the ice. When I read that post this morning I immediately googled trying to find anywhere that I could order polar cup items. I found nothing much to my dismay. But, I did find a recipe that is probably the closest to the original:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup cracked ice
  • 6 maraschino cherry, with stems
  • Directions

    1. In a blender or smoothie machine, process the lemon juice and sugar for approximately 30 seconds to blend well. Add 2 cups of water and half the ice and blend, crushing the ice. Add the remaining ice and water. Blend on high speed until the mixture resembles a frozen delight!
    2. Divide among 6 glasses and top each glass with a cherry.
    If you find yourself completely an utterly at your wits end in the heat, give the above recipe a try. And for any of you out there that remember Polar Cup, post a comment and share your memory!

    32 comments:

    Joyfull said...

    What a wonderful memory! As a little girl it was such a treat to stop at Polar Cup! Thanks for the recipe, I'll have to try it soon.

    Anonymous said...

    When I was a kid, oh, better than thirty some odd years ago, the Polar Cup truck used to come around our neighborhood. You'd always get the biggest they had because it was gone so fast. At some point, the trucks stopped coming around. About twenty years ago, I recall that there was a Polar Cup store (an old converted gas station) at the the corner of Oakland Park Blvd. and Andrews Ave. in Ft. Lauderdale. They served hot-dogs and other fare in addition to the Polar Cups. I've been moved away from Florida now for better than ten years and, the last few times I've been back for a visit, that stand is gone. I wonder what happened to the company. I will venture without fear of contradiction that, if any of you out there have ever had a Polar Cup, given the choice between the Polar Cup and the ice cream off another truck, the choice was hands down for the Polar Cup.

    S/RMB in Kentucky

    Danell said...

    Isn't that a coincidence? I lived not very far from the very Polar Cup you mentioned! That was the thing that my Dad and I did together quite often. We'd stop at the Polar Cup stand there at Oakland and Andrews and have the "large" cup. I agree, given a choice between ice cream and Polar cup, it's Polar Cup hands down!

    Anonymous said...

    Ahhhh! I found this blog looking for the original polar cup recipe! Growing up in central Florida we acually had a "polar cup" man sell it in a truck! Just like the ice cream man... I was a little girl- 5 years old. My grandma got the recipe and she made it almost on a daily basis for us. Its nice to know there are people in the world (Floridians-lol) that remember. That recipe is close but I think there is a splash of lime juice-(but only a splash!)A lot of restaurants have similar concepts- But none as original or yummy than the Polar Cup!!

    Anonymous said...

    Polar Cup WAS my childhood! I lived about 2 streets over from the Polar Cup on Oakland Park and Andrews in Ft Lauderdale. They were a franchise shop, then during the late 80's early 90's they sold their investment (the name) to private retailers. I actually did the accounting work for that Polar Cup during the early 90's. Business went south, and the store closed up. Now its a pizza place.

    Patrick said...

    I live in Michigan now but I used to live right up the road from that Polar Cup on Andrews and Oakland Park about 15 years ago!
    Years before as a kid we lived out in Palm Aire Village and a Polar Cup truck used to drive our neighborhood. I loved those things on a hot day. As kids, we used to concider it "good luck" to find a lemon wedge at the bottom of the cup. :) There was nothing better!

    Romann M. Weber said...

    I just got into a conversation about Polar Cup with a friend of mine, and that made me Google it to see what I could find. I have very fond memories of the yellow Polar Cup van coming by my street in Cooper City back in the 1980s. That frozen lemonade was great. Thanks for the recipe!

    Anonymous said...

    Had it in Puerto Rico in the early '70s. Came around in a van and sold a small cup for 10 cents and a large for 25. Loved it.

    Anonymous said...

    I used to live off of 43rd St/Federal Hwy (Across from American National Bank) and NE 22nd Avenue/Country Club Drive, growing up in Fort Lauderdale. The neighborhood backs up to what used to be the American Golf Course.

    The Polar Cup truck used to venture through the neighborhood all the time. My sister and I used to go swimming and when we'd hear the Polar Cup song we'd dash from the pool to the hot pavement (still have burns LOL) to flag down the van. Then we'd watch reruns of the Addams Family on TBS... sitting on towels, in the freezing A/C, eating our Polar Cups.

    I remember that location, near the Kmart and All Books Record and Tapes, on Oakland Park Blvd at Andrews. I loved that place! Fantastic to see so many people remember such a great company!

    Chris Hopkins

    L. Barnard said...

    Such a Time Machine trip to find this blog and other people who loved Polar Cup!! Growing up in South Florida until 1981, Polar cup trucks all over Pembroke Lakes. We also used to stop at the storefront in Ft. Lauderdale to/from the beach or surf trips up north. The Polar Cup was "One of a Kind". I found this blog while searching for a Polar Cup recipe to make at home in Southern California...and bring back that feeling :) Cheers!

    Anonymous said...

    I, like all of you can fondly remember Polar Cup. The one my dad used to take me to was in North Lauderdale on 441 just north of Southgate. There is a walgreens there now(what a waste). For those of you that want to have a delicious frozen lemonade, I suggest this popcorn place in the Coral Square mall near the Macy's. To me it tastes just like polar cup, real pieces of lemon and all!!

    Joanne said...

    It is amazing how many of us remember that polar cup stand and used to live in that same area. I tried the above recipe, and it us not bad but still nothing like the polar cup we all grew up knowing.

    Danell said...

    I am surprised as well at the number of people that remember Polar Cup. And I agree that although the above recipe is wonderful it by no means compares to the original! Thank you all for the wonderful comments and memories!

    Sakkano Imako said...

    25 years ago, I lived in Florida and I remember the Polar Cup trucks. I remember they sold candies and temporary tattoos as well as shaved ice. Pina Colada was a popular flavor where I lived.

    Anonymous said...

    OMG! I lived on Polar Cups! The one on Oakland & Andrew's Ave was an everyday trip when the Polar Cup Truck didn't make it to the house. I would love to open a Polar Cup Stand!

    Anonymous said...

    As many of you have, I have arrived at this page searching for our beloved Polar Cup. I can taste it now even though I haven't had one since 1992. I lived in Bradenton, FL and I remember when the first store went in on manatee Ave. My parents owned a custom drapery shop about a block or so away. My dad would walk us down there to get one, then one day the van started showing up at our High School everyday after school. So sad to hear of its demise, but grateful for this recipe. Polar cup is a frequent memory on the Facebook group "If you grew up in Bradenton you remember..."

    Anonymous said...

    WOW- I can't believe others share the same wonderful memories as I do. Our family spent our entire childhood growing up in Margate, FL. We would wait daily for the pass of the Polar Truck, as others would wait for the Ice Cream Man. These tall cups of slushy lemon ice with pieces of real cut lemons, say Florida to me. I also remember being able to buy these at the Pier on Pompano Beach! Thanks for the memories.

    Bill said...

    I lived off of NW 9th Ave in Oakland Park in the late 1970's-early 80's. Spent many days at the beach & would stop off at that Polar Cup on Oakland Park Blvd on the way home. Something so simple was so good.

    Anonymous said...

    Polar cups were the ishhhh!!! I remember I would go to after school camp and summer camp and would buy one everyday!! I moved to another state because I got married about 4 years ago. Today I came to visit my family in Tampa and on our way back from adventure island there was a polar cup storeon Busch blvd!! ! Yesss!! I could not believe it! You better believe I had to get me some of that polar cup!! Ahhh the memories!!

    Anonymous said...

    Polar cup in West Palm Beach was a drive thru or walk up location...only sold Polar Cups...the 2 flavors available were Lemon or Strawberry. Everyone got the lemon...you went and got one on the way back from hanging out at the beach all day....everyone we knew frequented that Polar Cup!

    Coffeehoundpm said...

    LOL I can't believe I found a blog on the infamous Polar Cup!
    I was fortunate enough to have the job of flying around in that green and yellow step van! What a fabulous college part time job. I sold 10-12 5 gallon buckets of that everyday I was out!! It was so much fun and I met soooo many nice people! I have thought about the fond memories as well. Wondering what my manager Buddy is doing these days and if the owner Angelo is around. ???

    KAL said...

    Oooh! I can't wait to try out this recipe! Thank you :)
    I've been wanting a Polar Cup for so long. Glad I stumbled on your blog.

    Nobleman said...

    Hi All,

    The official Polar Cup recipe was bought by Pop's Corn. If you live in the Coral Springs area of South Florida, then stop by Pops Corn in the Coral Square mall for a REAL Polar Cup!!

    I had one the other day, it's definitely the same one I grew up on.
    -Jeff

    Clint Haynes said...

    Thanks for the recipe I just tried it very good, but there's something missing? Thank you for bringing back such great memories for me! I lived in Largo and the Polar Cup van would come down our road. I can close my eyes and go back in time thinking about lost friends and I drinking Polar Cups on a hot summer day! Thank you!

    Anonymous said...

    Does anyone remember the song that would play from the polar cup vans??

    Anonymous said...

    My wife abd I were just talking about this very topic this afternoon hear in sunny and extremely hot (109 ) Phoenix AZ Wishing that we could find a polar cup. We'll try that recipe maybe tomorrow when is will be 110. But that recipe is missing something. I moved to Fl in 84 and my new wife then, introduced me to this delicious treat. Whenever we would get aone is always had bits of lemon rind in it. Don't know if this was just something Polar cup owner in Orlando added to it I sure enjoyed the added bitter taste added to the sour/sweet of the my cup. My wife would always get the small one but I always had to that the largest. My mouth is puckering now just thinking about it. Sure wish tomarrow would get here faster. Being retired I don't have to wait till I get home from work to whip it uyp. LOL

    Anonymous said...

    Just made it...it doesn't seem like there is near enough ice in it. The Polar Cups I remember could be eaten with a spoon...in fact I think they served it with a big ladle.

    I ended up adding 2x 16oz glasses full of ice, and it is just now approaching slurpee consistency.

    Were you using "cups" like is marked on the side of a measuring cup?

    SuperNinja said...

    Polar cup is back from the dead!

    There is one place that is selling it.
    It is called "Pops Corn", in the Boynton Beach Mall in south florida.

    http://www.simon.com/mall/boynton-beach-mall/stores/pops-corn

    Anonymous said...

    I used to frequent the one right off of 441 and kimberly blvd in North Lauderdale. It was right beside the small private school I went to and in the afternoons, Polar cup was the place I hit first before going home. I remember the lemonade was the standard at the small stands and they always had a rotating 2nd flavor. Sometimes strawberry, watermelon, cherry and I think a few others. The strawberry was my second favorite to the lemon. I haven't had a Polar Cup since I moved away from Florida in 1987 and I have come close a few times with my own recipe but nothing will ever beat a large Polar Cup on a hot Florida Summer day.

    mike sanders said...

    too funny. I grew up in Dr. Phillips near Orlando. I loved the polar cups as a kid in the early 80's. wish they were still around.

    Mike Saugus Mass

    Anonymous said...

    I stop for a polar cup at least twice a week on my way home from work. There is a little store that sells them on Sligh Ave and Armenia Ave in Tampa.

    Elliot Sande said...

    I fondly remember the Polar Cup serving up the goods around our neighborhood in Pompano. All four flavors we great Tangerine topped my list.