Liquor pops

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TASTE - By JACKIE BUR­RELL

SOME som­me­liers and food writ­ers have started tak­ing kid-friendly, icy sweet pop­si­cles in new and adult di­rec­tions. Hello, Sau­vi­gnon­blanc­si­cles and Prosecco pops! Salu­ta­tions, frozen san­gria. And is that bour­bon we taste in that peach pop­si­cle?

It seemed like an anom­aly when word first trick­led west­ward in the United States that som­me­liers at the Fair­mont Chicago-Mil­len­nium Park ho­tel were freez­ing wine onto sticks, but it has quickly be­came a trend.

While the Chicago crowd made Sau­vi­gnon­blanc­si­cles from white wine, pineap­ple juice and St Ger­maine elder­flower liqueur, their mixology col­leagues at the Fair­mont Pittsburgh in­tro­duced Peach San­gria Sor­bet Push-Ups and Berry Lemon­ade Vodka Pop­si­cles.

Now, it’s spread­ing. Even re­spectable Betty Crocker is tout­ing beer snow cones. A recipe for beer granita, driz­zled with fruit syrup, can be found at www.bet­ty­crocker.com. And two new books up the ante. Matt Ar­men­dariz’s On A Stick! (Quirk Books, 184 pages) fea­tures mint-flecked, rum-soaked hon­ey­dew melon wedges and frozen san­gria – both on sticks.

And Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia author Char­ity Fer­reira’s new Per­fect Pops: The 50 Best Clas­sic & Cool Treats (Chron­i­cle Books, 96 pages) in­cludes eight booze-in­fused pop­si­cles, in­clud­ing Cam­pari-laced Ne­groni Pops, Bour­bon-Peach Pops and frozen choco­late milk­shakes made with Guin­ness beer.

Fer­reira dab­bles in frozen san­gria too, be­cause, she writes: “You know how easy san­gria is to drink on a hot sum­mer day? These pops go down even eas­ier.”

De­pend­ing upon the pop­si­cle moulds and gar­nishes, some of these colour­ful cre­ations aren’t just

cool off with liquor on a stick. back­yard party-ready. Fer­reira’s Prosecco Pops, for ex­am­ple, laced with rose water and frozen with lay­ers of mul­ti­hued rose petals, are per­fect for swankier af­fairs.

The trick for any al­co­holic pop­si­cle is to in­clude enough non-al­co­holic ingredients – fruit juice, for ex­am­ple – so it will freeze prop­erly. As any­one who stashes vodka in his freezer knows, spir­its don’t freeze at the same tem­per­a­ture as water. They just get syrupy, which is a prob­lem in the pop­si­cle world.

Wine doesn’t re­quire truly glacial tem­per­a­tures, but an 84-proof liquor needs to reach -34°C in or­der to freeze and a 64-proof booze won’t pop­si­cle-ize un­til it hits -23°C.

But di­lute the bour­bon with pureed peaches, or add orange juice to the Cam­pari, and even a nor­mal home freezer can churn out cock­tail-sicles.

Bour­bon Peach Pops

250g very ripe yel­low peaches 6 tbsp su­gar, di­vided 2½ tbsp bour­bon 1 tbsp le­mon juice Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut an X on the bot­tom of each peach. Blanch peaches 1-2 min­utes, rinse un­der cold water and slip off skins. Cut peaches in chunks and place in a large bowl.

Add 5 tbsp su­gar, the bour­bon and le­mon juice. Mash, then whisk un­til well com­bined. Add su­gar to taste.

Pour mix­ture into ice pop moulds and in­sert sticks. Freeze un­til firm, at least 6 hours. Makes 6-8 pop­si­cles.

Sauvi­gnon Blanc­si­cles

700g pineap­ple juice 1 bot­tle sauvi­gnon blanc, prefer­ably New Zealand 85g St Ger­main elder­flower liqueur Com­bine ingredients in a pitcher.

Pour into pop­si­cle moulds, in­sert sticks and freeze overnight or un­til solid. Makes 8-10 pop­si­cles.

Prosecco-Rose Pe­tal Pops

1 cup white grape juice 1 cup cold, flat Prosecco (Ital­ian sparkling white wine) 1/3 cup rose water 1½ tsp freshly squeeze le­mon juice About 30 red rose­bud petals, rinsed. Com­bine the grape juice, Prosecco, rose water and le­mon juice. Fill ice pop moulds about a third full. Drop 2 or 3 rose petals in each and freeze un­til set, about 30 min­utes.

Fill the moulds an­other third of the way full and drop 2 or 3 more petals in. In­sert sticks. Freeze un­til set, about 30 min­utes.

Fill all the way with re­main­ing mix­ture, and drop 2 or 3 more petals into each mould. Freeze un­til set, at least 8 hours or up to 1 week. Makes 6 pop­si­cles. – Con­tra Costa Times/MCT In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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