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For the First Day of Summer, Five Great Options for Snow Cones

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, summer begins tomorrow, June 20, in the northern hemisphere at 8:09 p.m CST. Besides mosquitoes and A/C repairs, a sure sign of summer are the refreshing beverages that cool our heat-riddled bodies.

With the help of some friends, below are five of Dallas' best bets for welcoming in summer, sans the brain freeze, with a snow cone:

1. Yesterday we talked about the snow cones at LaGrange in Deep Ellum. But, really we can't talk enough about the tender-delicate snow flakes bloated with syrup and booze. These shaved ice concoctions are served in funky little plastic cups, then stabbed with a shot-in-a-tube, which you pour in yourself. The mint julep snow cone above has simple syrup infused with fresh mint served with a shot of Jack Daniels.

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2. The Twisted Root Burger Company on SMU Boulevard also has adult snow cones. They make all their syrups in-house using organic ingredients, except for the vodka or rum, of course. This summer they're debuting a new flavor: Jalapeño and Astronaut Tang.

3. Whitney Filloon prefers Aunt Stelle's Snow Cones at 2002 Clarendon Drive in Oak Cliff. They originally opened in 1962 and are celebrating their 50th year in the snow cone business. They even have a commemorative calendar to show for it. After you order, be sure to ask about it. Then buy one. They're open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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4. A couple years ago Alice Laussade wrote about Cool and Hot Tacos: "Lemme tell you what I know about heaven." Her feelings about the East Dallas spot at 930 E. 8th St. are unwavering. In addition to delicious tacos, she noted their "honest trashiness" approach to creating comfortable spaces. Tacos and snow cones just might be the perfect summer pairing.

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5. Last but not least, Sonic slushies. Yeah, I said Sonic. It has nostalgia. Sonic reminds me of being a kid and collecting those crazy plastic animal thingys they used as bling on their drinks. Sonic reminds me of grape brain freeze in my mom's huge green clunker of a car. And, Sonic reminds me of the time my dog Buster snatched the wiener from my brother's foot long chili-dog. Funniest shit ever in a Sonic parking lot. Bonus: Half-price drinks all day since it's the first day of summer!

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.