Frozen ice pops that feature alcohol offer cool refreshment to adults at summer parties, but there’s more to making them than just mixing a cocktail and pouring it into molds. Because high-proof alcohol won’t freeze at temperatures that water freezes at, you must dilute the alcohol with the right mixers and chill the ice pops to as low a temperature as possible. Experiment to get the right mix of flavors and ingredients, so that the spiked popsicles freeze solidly and taste great.
Keep It Low
Use low-proof alcohol, such as wine or beer, in spiked popsicles. Or plan to dilute higher-proof alcohol so that the total alcohol by volume doesn’t exceed 10 percent. Check the proof of your alcohol. Vodka, for instance, is typically between 70 and 80 proof. Half of the proof is the percentage of alcohol, so that means that vodka contains between 35 and 40 percent alcohol. To dilute vodka to achieve 10 percent total alcohol volume, you’ll need to add at least 3.5 to 4 parts mixer for every 1 part of vodka. When in doubt, add more mixer and less alcohol for optimal freezing.
Blended fruits, fruit juices, soda and flavored waters all work as mixers for frozen spiked popsicles. The higher the sugar content of the mixer, however, the lower the freezing temperature of the popsicle. Add a mixer to the alcohol to create a cocktail that you find tasty. If the cocktail tastes good, so will the popsicle. Add creamy ingredients like yogurt or cream, if you like, or use contrasting flavors, such as a pinch of salt to a margarita popsicle or a dash of chili powder to a mango daiquiri pop.
After blending the liquor and mixers to your taste, pour the mixture into popsicle molds for freezing. If you don’t have freezer pop molds, use small paper cups. Add the wooden popsicle sticks after the pop is mostly frozen so that they will stay in place, or insert them through a lid that will hold them in place. Lower your freezer’s temperature to 25 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the popsicles in it for freezing. Place them as deeply in the freezer as you can, and avoid opening the door until they’re ready. Don’t freeze spiked popsicles in shot glasses, because they may expand and break.
Freeze spiked popsicles several hours or overnight before serving. To separate the popsicle from the mold, run slightly warm water over the outside of the mold before easing out the popsicle by the stick. If you are using paper cups to freeze the popsicles, simply tear away the paper, leaving the frozen pops intact. If the spiked popsicles simply won’t freeze solid because of your home freezer settings or too much alcohol, simply serve them upside down in small shot or rocks glasses, adding a little extra booze for a festive occasion.
References and ResourcesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Physics: Q & A: Freezing Wine
The Cocktail Club: A Year of Recipes and Tips for Spirited Tasting Parties; Maureen Christian Petrosky