poptails recipes

Photo: urbanlight/Shutterstock

Half cocktail, half frozen treat. Cocktail culture and juicing overlap in many ways, making the frozen fruit pop the ideal platform for summer drinks. But there's one big problem: Booze doesn’t freeze. Kitchen chemistry fixes that problem: Using less alcohol provides the original cocktail flavor without turning popsicles into slush. Getting the blend just right takes a little practice but the process is simple: Chop, blend, mix, freeze and savor. Try these 5 summertime treats to beat the heat.

lemon limoncello ice pop
 
Lemon Limoncello
For a refreshing frozen cooler, spike lemonade with limoncello.

Prep time: 40 minutes  

Total time: 8 hours (freeze overnight)  

Yield: 6 pops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 6-8 sprigs mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4-6 cups filtered water
  • 2-3 ounces limoncello
  • 1-2 tablespoons mint simple syrup, to taste
  • Handful edible flowers, optional garnish
Cooking directions
  1. Set freezer to high.
  2. Make simple syrup: Bring 1 cup water to boil. Slowly dissolve 1/2 cup sugar into water. Remove from heat. Add mint. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  3. Combine sugar, lemon, and water in pitcher. Stir. Add limoncello. Add mint syrup to taste.
  4. Pour ingredients into molds about 2/3 full. Cover with plastic wrap and place molds in freezer, about 2 hours. When pops are slushy, slash small holes in covering and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours.
  5. Remove from freezer. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds. Thaw 2 to 3 minutes. Gently tug on sticks to release pops from mold and serve.
honeydew margarita ice pop
Honeydew Margarita
Tequila and fresh fruit is always a great combo. Mix with honeydew, watermelon or cantaloupe. It's all good!

Prep time: 15 minutes  

Total time: 8 hours (freeze overnight)  

Yield: 8-10 pops

Ingredients

  • 1 honeydew melon, sliced, about 3 cups
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
  • 2 to 3 ounces low- to mid-priced silver tequila
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 mint sprigs, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons mint simple syrup to taste
Cooking directions
  1. Set freezer to high.
  2. Prep and juice melon and cucumber.
  3. Combine juice in blender with tequila, triple sec, lime, mint sprigs. Process about 30 seconds. Add mint syrup to taste (see instructions above).
  4. Pour ingredients into molds about 2/3 full. Cover with plastic wrap and place mold in freezer, about 2 hours. When pops are slushy, slash small holes in covering and insert sticks. Freeze overnight.
  5. Remove from freezer. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds. Thaw 2-3 minutes. Gently tug on sticks to release pops from mold and serve.
strawberry banana margarita ice pop
Strawberry Banana Margarita
Tastes like a margarita should, not too sweet, and bursting with strawberry goodness.

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 8 hours (freeze overnight)  

Yield: 6-8 pops

Ingredients

  • 12 strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 ounces low- to mid-priced sliver tequila
  • 2-3 tablespoons organic sugar to taste
Cooking directions
  1. Set freezer to high.
  2. Prep fruit. Combine strawberries, orange juice and banana in blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add tequila. Stir and taste. Add sugar to adjust sweetness.
  3. Pour ingredients into molds about 2/3 full. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and place mold in freezer. When the pops are slushy, about 2 hours, slash small holes in covering and insert sticks. Freeze overnight.
  4. Remove from freezer. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds. Thaw 2-3 minutes. Gently tug on sticks to release pops from mold and serve.
peach strawberry bourbon ice pop
Peach Strawberry Bourbon
Combines dessert and a cocktail on a stick, making a good post-grill palate cleanser.

Prep time: 40 minutes  

Total time: 8 hours (freeze overnight)  

Yield: 6-8 pops

Ingredients

  • 4 peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec
Cooking directions
  1. Set freezer to high and set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prep fruit, place in small baking dish and sprinkle with sugar and vanilla extract. Cover and place on center rack of oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
  3. Combine in blender with strawberries. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add yogurt and blend until smooth. Add bourbon. Add triple sec to taste.
  4. Pour ingredients into molds about 2/3 full. Cover with sheet of plastic wrap and place mold in freezer. When pops are slushy, slash small holes in covering and insert sticks, about 2 hours. Freeze overnight.
  5. Remove from freezer. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds. Thaw 2-3 minutes. Gently tug on sticks to release pops from mold and serve.
white sangria ice pop
 
White Sangria
Light, tangy and deceptively potent, drink a bit and freeze the rest.

Prep time: 40 minutes  

Total time: 8 hours (freeze overnight)  

Yield: 6 pops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup white grapes
  • 2 kiwi fruits, sliced
  • 4 ounces triple sec
  • 750 milliliters low to mid-priced white wine, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Cooking directions
  1. Set freezer to high.
  2. Combine strawberries, grapes, kiwi and triple sec in a pitcher. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Add white wine and lemon juice. Pour ingredients into molds about 2/3 full. Add a little fruit to the mold or leave naked. Cover in plastic wrap and place mold in freezer. When the pops are slushy, slash small holes in covering and insert sticks, about 2 hours. Freeze overnight.
  4. Remove from freezer. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds. Thaw 2 to 3 minutes. Gently tug on sticks to release pops from mold and serve.

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Photos: Enrique Gili