Having a difficult time finding shaved ice or snowcone syrup? No problem! Here’s an Easy DIY Shaved Ice Syrup Recipe that you can make yourself with only 3-ingredients!

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What is Shaved Ice?

I grew up eating lots and lots of Hawaiian shaved ice. I think shaved ice is one of Hawaii’s most favorite and popular treats. It’s delicious, light, and the perfect way to cool down on hot days. It really is one of the best summer desserts to eat.

Image of shaved ice versus snow cone comparison
Shaved ice texture vs. Snow cone texture

Now, growing up, I didn’t realize there was a difference between shaved ice and a snow cone, but there is a difference. Shaved ice is a lot finer than snow cones and is made by shaving off thin layers of ice. This produces fine powder like ice that is soft and pillowy. Snow cones are made with larger bits of flake ice, so it has a crunchy texture. And if you’re wondering if this shaved ice syrup recipe can be used on snow cones, the answer is yes!

Fun Fact – You might hear ‘shave ice’ versus ‘shaved ice’ in Hawaii. Why? Because in the early years, there were a lot of immigrants working in Hawaii and they used Pidgin, a common way to simplify the English language, to communicate. Thus, ‘shaved ice’ was shortened to ‘shave ice’.

Why Make Homemade Shaved Ice Syrup?

Since my family lives in the desert, I had to get a shaved ice machine when we moved to Southern California. Summers here are hotter and drier than in Hawaii, so shaved ice is a must-have summertime treat to cool down and help beat the heat. The downside to making shaved ice at home is that it can be difficult to find shaved ice syrup or as it’s called here, snow cone syrup, in stores. In addition, snow cone syrup is usually a limited-time summer item, so once it’s sold out in stores, I have to pay more to buy it online. Don’t you hate paying lots of money for somethig that I can make for under a dollar? I do!

Another reason I like to make shaved ice syrup is that I can make it in a wide variety of flavors and control the amount of sugar in the recipe. I’m sharing my base recipe, but feel free to adjust it to your family’s liking. Lucky for me, I was able to find a lot of DIY shaved ice syrup recipes online. Some use a lot more sugar than this recipe, but I think this 1:1:1 ratio is a good balance of flavor and sweetness.

How To Store Shaved Ice Syrup?

water bottle recycled for shaved ice syrup
Recycled water bottle with flow spout for shaved ice syrup.

Homemade shaved ice syrup can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. We usually use up the shaved ice syrup within 2 weeks, so I never worry about it going bad. To store the syrup, I normally use plastic squeeze bottles with caps, but recycled water bottles can also be used. Just replace the water bottle cap with flow spouts. Shaved ice syrup can also be stored in glass bottles if that is your preference, but I prefer plastic as it doesn’t easily break if handled by children.

Note: The plastic bottles I bought on Amazon leak a bit around the cap edge. I just wipe around the cap before placing the bottles back in the fridge.

How to Improve Shaved Ice

We can’t talk about shaved ice syrup without talking about how to elevate your shaved ice experience. It’s super easy to make shaved ice better by adding good quality vanilla ice cream at the bottom of the cup or cone. When you get to the bottom, mix the Kool-Aid shaved ice syrup and ice cream for a delicious creamy ice treat. If you want to make an over-the-top shaved ice treat, top it with cereal, fruits, mini mochi, condensed milk, red beans, and whatever else you desire. Is you mouth watering yet? Mine is, so let’s learn how to make shaved ice syrup with Kool-Aid!

How to Make Shaved Ice Syrup (DIY Snow Cone Syrup)

Recipe card with instructions and video are shown below. Enjoy the recipe!

Easy DIY Shaved Ice Syrup Recipe

Easy DIY Shaved Ice Syrup Recipe

Yield: 13 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

How to make shaved ice syrup with Kool-Aid. Easy DIY Shaved Ice Syrup Recipe using 3-ingredients....Kool-Aid Drink Packet, sugar, and water.


  • 1 packet Kool Aid Drink Mix
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a small pot, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, about 3 - 4 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in the Kool Aid drink packet.
  3. Let cool completely and transfer to a squeeze bottle for easy dispensing.*
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


water bottle recycled for shaved ice syrup

*If you don't have a squeeze bottle, empty out a standard water bottle and pour the cooled syrup into it. You can buy pour spouts that fit perfectly into the bottle from Amazon (affliate link below). When you're done using it, replace it with the bottle cap to store in the fridge.

Did you make this recipe?

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What flavor of homemade shaved ice syrup will you try? Let me know in the comments below.

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