Imagine this: It’s a hot day outside (and – if you are particularly unlucky – a hot day inside), it’s been a long and dreadful day at the office, you’re all hot and the clothes stick to your skin while you feel the sweat running down your back. Actually, at the moment little imagination is needed. So this is when my inner child would put simply pout and say: “I want ice cream!!”. My adult (:D yeah, let’s pretend for a moment) self would rather go for a cocktail. So what to do? I’ll tell you….
Boozy Popsicles have grown very popular in the past couple seasons and therefore the idea is no novelty per se – but for optimal enjoyment there’s a few things to consider and – with the right gadgets – lots of fun to be had.
First of all: As you may know, alcohol doesn’t freeze easily, so whichever recipe you decide to try – do not add more than 10-15% of alcohol. Otherwise it’s not just your inner child pouting.
The base of the popsicle can be anything from soda, juices, syrup and even smoothies. So you really don’t need too many ingredients for this indulgence. A really cool idea to make great and tasty popsicles without too much of a fuzz is using Le Fruit by MONIN combined with your booze of choice. MONIN also offers a great selection of syrups for a broad variation of possibilities. If you wish to try something out of the box, try the selection of Sirupier de Berne which offers – aside from classic options – flavours like “Elfen” (elfs), “Troll” (ahm..troll), “Blüemli” (flowers) and – one of my favourites – “Alpenkräuter” (Alpine herbs).
Tip I: carbonated alcohol such as beer and sparkling wine taste rather disappointing when frozen solid. I do not really recommend you try it.
Tip II: When frozen, cocktails seem to taste less sweet than their in liquid state. If you don’t like that, make sure you add a little extra syrup (simple syrup or flavoured) to add a little sweetness. This also makes the texture of the popsicle more velvety.
Tip III: If you are using carbonated liquids such as cola, shake it well and release the carbon dioxide before freezing to make it smoother.
Here are a few simple recipes for you your inspiration:
Cuba Libre Popsicles:
- 1 part Gin e.g. Beefeater London Dry Gin
- 6 parts tonic water e.g. Fever Tree Indian Tonic
- Optional: Simple Syrup*
- 1 part Vodka (particularly good with Absolut Mandarin or Grey Goose L’Orange
- 6 parts orange juice
- Simple syrup*
- 1 part Limoncello
- 2 parts simple syrup*
- 3 parts water
- ½ part lemon juice
- 1 part vodka e.g. Absolut Vodka or Rum e.g. Brugal Blanco Rum
- 6 parts Watermelon juice (see my last blog post of you want to make it yourself)
- Simple syrup*
- dash of lemon juice
*Make simple syrup by mixing equal parts of sugar and water, heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Or you can get it here
Now that all the basics are covered… Go nuts! Or bananas. Or berries? Whichever it is: If you wish to add whole pieces of fruit (or gummi bears) to your frozen cocktail this mould is the one to use as you can evenly distribute the pieces without them sinking to the bottom/top. You can get them in 4, 3, 2 or even singles (see picture) and stack them on top of each other in the freezer. Also, the popsicle is rather easy to remove as the moult is very flexible.
Tip I: Try soaking the pieces of fruit in booze overnight before freezing them in juice or syrup.
Tip II: Tip I does not work well with gummi bears! 😀
I have to admit, what I like least about making popsicles is the needed preparation time. Patience is not my strong suit. Not at all. And hell, where’s the spontaneity if you have to anticipate the above described torture to determine your cravings beforehand? 😉
So what if I were to tell you, that you could make your desired cocktail popsicle in about 10 minutes time? Intrigued? I’m not making this up! This fellow right here does just that.
To be fair: With this you can’t make an endless supply of popsicles per session (this very much depends on the temperature of your freezer and of the beverage you use). But it sure is awesome! 😀 It comes as a single, a double and a triple mould. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can get this station for chocolate coating 😉
Next challenge: Booze isn’t just tricky to freeze, it also melts pretty quickly. And when your only two options to deal with this are either brain freeze or the popsicle running all over your hands, the fun of it melts away just as quickly. Thankfully there are a couple of wonderfully elegant solutions for this problem.
These popsicle sticks collect the melting fluid in a little cup with a built-in straw – just how neat is that?
A different solution is the calippo-style flute. No dripping, no mess. Your hands might get a little cold. But that – depending on your physical state – may even be a desired effect. Get them in a pack of two or three.
Granted, the just introduced moulds don’t share the cool retro look of the classic wooden sticks, but they are much more suitable for stress-free enjoyment.
The tougher scenario: You have had a particularly tough/hot day and 10-15% alcohol simply will not do the trick… Don’t worry – go slushy. Yes, that’s right! Meet my new favourite summer gadget: The single slushy maker! Just pour your cocktail into this little friend and you’ve got your slushy in 7-10 minutes.
Admittedly, this guy hasn’t got too much stamina. After one slushy he’s pretty much out of breath. Once done I recommend to always put it right back into the freezer to get ready for the next day.
I hope you have found your favourite gadget and are inspired to take action.
Drink it in! Cheers!