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Three Ways: Boozy Popsicles

Few things summon summer nostalgia like a popsicle—and while we may not get three months of vacation anymore, the upside to being an adult is that now we can spike our frozen treats. From creamy and decadent to bright and refreshing, these boozy popsicles, or “poptails,” are perfect for sunny afternoons on the porch or to serve as a playful dessert at parties.

Cocoa Blast

In her book Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker (Countryman Press, 2016), Jules Aron whips up fresh interpretations of classic cocktails, subbing in superfoods, seasonal ingredients, and healthy alternatives. For her creamy Cocoa Blast Pops (pictured), Aron blends together the rich flavors of chocolate and coconut with bourbon and a tart kick of cherries. In a blender, combine 4 pitted Medjool dates, 1/4 cup of dried, unsweetened cherries, and 2 Tbsp. of raw, unprocessed cacao powder with 1 cup of coconut milk, and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a handful of ice cubes and blend until frosty, then pour in 4 oz. of bourbon and blend just to incorporate. Pour the mixture into two pop molds and freeze for a minimum of four hours.

French 75

Photographer Carey Nershi dabbled in boozy ice pops on a particularly hot and humid Northeast summer day. Knowing she wanted to incorporate Champagne, Nershi decided on the classic French 75 for “the perfect mix of refreshing and boozy.” Taking this one from cocktail glass to a stick is a snap. In a pitcher or large measuring cup, combine 12 oz. of sparkling wine, 4 oz. of gin, 4 oz. of simple syrup (1:1), and 3 oz. of fresh lemon juice. Pour into pop molds (it will fill about 10) and freeze for several hours or overnight.

Berry Sake

The flavors of berry season mingle in these fresh and fruity pops by Mitch Einhorn, owner of Chicago’s Lush Wine & Spirits. Unfiltered sake adds to the depth of flavor while keeping these pops relatively light on the boozy barometer. Combine 1 cup each of fresh raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries in a food processor. Add 3/4 cup of unfiltered sake, 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Blend until puréed smooth and pour into pop molds (yielding about 10 to 12) and freeze for at least 2 to 3 hours.

TIP: To make your pop sticks stand up straight, freeze the pops until they are slushy, about an hour and a half, then insert the sticks.

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