Spiked popsicles have been making the rounds lately, and with good reason. Few things are more fun than mixing up the pleasures of childhood popsicle eating with the pleasures of grown-up cocktail drinking!
A bit of booze adds a lovely lushy layer of flavor to frozen pops. Since alcohol doesn’t freeze well on its own (unless you go the liquid nitrogen route, that is) these are not super high in alcohol content -- less slamming-party-shots, more slightly-tipsy-making-treats. Here are some recipes to get you started, but from there, get inventive with freezing your own most beloved boozy concoctions.
As for popsicle molds: To avoid the classic plastic contraptions, you can purchase reusable stainless steel molds, or freeze them in paper cups. And since everyone uses different sizes and shapes for molds, you can adjust the rough proportions here to suit your volume needs.
1. Campari and Blood Orange (or Grapefruit)The bitter Italian apéritif, Campari, and citrus are a match made in Marcello Mastroianni heaven. These popsicles can be made in two ways, either use fresh blood orange (or grapefruit) juice, or use blood orange or grapefruit soda (Italian versions and Trader Joe's offer more natural renditions than typical soda). The soda concoction will be a bit lighter and effervescent.
For every cup of juice or soda, use two ounces of Campari, pour in the mold and freeze. If you are using fresh fruit, adding a thin slice of fruit to the mix is beautiful. If you are using soda, either let the soda sit out to flatten the carbonation a bit, or make sure to leave an extra 1/3 inch at the top of the mold to allow for additional expansion.
2. Dark and StormyFew things say "summer" like Bermuda's national drink, the ol' Dark and Stormy. And few popsicles are as refreshing as these, made with ginger ale, dark rum, and lime. Find the spiciest ginger beer you can (or make your own).
For every cup of ginger beer, add one ounce of dark rum and the juice of one lime (pulp included). Like above, let the soda sit out to flatten the carbonation a bit, or make sure to leave an extra 1/3 inch at the top of the mold to allow for additional expansion. Pour into molds and freeze.
3. Spiked Chili Mango Lassi
Part frozen yogurt, part spicy dessert, part cocktail, this may be the ultimate in luscious poptails.
Take 9 ounces of plain yogurt, the flesh of 3 mangos, 3 ounces of rum, 1 tablespoon sugar, red chili powder to taste and add to blender. Puree for two minutes or until smooth. Pour in molds and freeze.
If you're feeling adventurous, a sprinkle of sea salt mixed with more red chili powder before eating completes the sweet-spicy-salty trifecta.
4. Slushy Sangria PopChilled red wine is nice in the summer, frozen red wine is even better. Popsicles are a surprising natural conclusion for sangria. The wine and juice mixture is not too high in alcohol so it freezes well, and it's fruity and tangy and has a delicious kick.
To a bottle of red wine add one ounce of brandy, one cup of pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, sliced oranges and any other fruit you have on hand that you would like to use. Adding some fresh mint is delicious, too. Let it sit, refrigerated, overnight. Strain and pour into molds, adding some of the soaked fruit for a chunkier pop. Freeze and serve.
5. Kahlua Banana
Easy fudgesicles using yogurt and cocoa powder are simple and fun, but this recipe from Bespangled Jewelry takes the fudgesicle idea and turns it on its head by making a Kahlua-y banana pop that is really delicious.
It primarily relies on frozen bananas, so consider it healthy...heavy cream, Kahlua, chocolate sauce and grated chocolate aside. Ahem. Find the recipe here: Kahlua Banana Popsicles.
6. Mimosa CreamsicleMimosas: Not just for brunch anymore....they're for popsicles, too. Mix until well combined: 2 cups orange juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup organic half and half, 1 cup champagne, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Pour into molds, leaving an extra 1/3 inch at top to compensate for expansion. Freeze, serve on Sunday morning, or night, or any day of the week.
7. Frozen Watermelon CaipirinhaThis one is being called a caipirinha for its use of lime and the Brazilian spirit, cachaça, but the watermelon and mint make is some kind of Frankenstein Caipirinha Mojito, albeit a very delicious one!
Place 4 cups of seeded and rinded watermelon in the blender, add 2 teaspoons of sugar, the juice of 2 limes, 3 ounces of cachaça, and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Blend, pour into molds, freeze, and serve.
8. Spicy Orange-Tomato Sangrita
If you've never had sangrita before, there's no time like this very minute. A traditional side shot for tequila in southern and central Mexico, sangrita at its most basic is a mix of orange juice, tomato juice, lime and hot sauce. It's sweet, salty, spicy and divine.
For sangrita popsicles, you can add the tequila right into the mix for an all-in-one shot and chaser. For every cup of tomato juice, add 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, and 2 ounces of tequila. Taste, if the balance is off, add a little sugar or honey to sweeten the mix. You know the rest, pour into molds and freeze. And enjoy!