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.
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