When it comes to getting through the hottest days of summer, at least for us, the popsicle is an undisputed necessity. It's a portable, syrupy, ice-cold alternative to spending the afternoon with your head stuck in the freezer. And here’s the thing, while popsicles are a nostalgic hallmark of the lazy summer vacations of your childhood — of blue-stained lips, sticky wrappers and hours spent in the pool — they’re not just for kids anymore. Because you’re a grown-up now and, while you may no longer get summers off from your real life, you do have the luxury of filling your adult popsicles full of booze.
Additional pros: you don’t have to sit around waiting for the damn ice cream truck — wailing down the street with its tinny music blaring, kids sprinting in its wake — to get your Choco Taco fix. You don’t have to settle for your health-freak Mom’s apple juice with flax seed popsicles. You are completely in control of your frozen treat destiny.
And you can make them yourself. Find yourself a cheap silicon popsicle mold (they’re everywhere this time of year, from Target to CVS to Amazon. Just try and find one with built-in handles — popsicle sticks are still a drag) and try your hand at these recipes. Plan ahead, so they can freeze up nice and solid overnight, and the next time Mother Nature kicks up the heat, you’ll be ready — with bells on.
French 75 Popsicles
Combine 12 oz. of champagne, 4 oz of gin, 4 oz simple syrup*, and 3 oz of fresh lemon juice in a large, glass measuring cup, then evenly distribute into your molds. Freeze until set, then go nuts in a distinguished manner.
*Simple Syrup—1 part sugar to 1 part water. Just simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then let cool! This is good to have on hand in the fridge anytime.
Bloody Mary Popsicles
Place 6 medium-sized tomatoes, 1 celery stalk, the juice of half a lemon, 4 tbs Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbs Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp fresh pepper, and a pinch of salt into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Strain the mixture, discard the solids, and return liquid to blender. Add ½ cup vodka and pulse until blended. Pour mixture into molds, and freeze until set.
Honeydew-Cucumber Margarita Popsicle
Remove the seeds and rind of a honeydew melon, then slice into manageable pieces. Place the honeydew and half a cucumber in a food processor or a blender and process until everything is pureed. Add ½ cup tequila, 1 tbs triple sec, 1tbs fresh lime juice and 1 tbs mint syrup* and process for another 20-30 seconds to blend well. Pour mixture into molds and freeze until set.
*Mint Syrup—You will have more syrup than you need. Save for other cocktail uses. Place ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a pot over heat, simmering until the sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then place mint leaves in mixture and muddle. Allow mint leaves to steep for 20 minutes. Strain and discard leaves.