Put together a few grown-up friends with a flair for flavor exploration during a sizzling hot summer and you have a recipe for mischief-making in the kitchen. That’s how “Vice Pops” were born. What could be cooler than an ice pop or more relaxing than a summer cocktail? And what could make more sense than putting them together in one handy frozen lolly?
This experiment came with its challenges. Too much booze and the pops won’t freeze. Too little and…well, what’s the point? Ashley, Maryanne and I put our heads, taste buds and (pathetic) math skills together to figure out the right flavors and proportions. We also had to strategize. It takes up to eight hours for alcohol-laced pops to freeze. When would we test drive them? We sorted it out and took advantage of a get-together with friends two days later to get feedback.
And the feedback was terrific. “The espresso pop gets three thumbs up,” said Cara. It also had to be consumed the most quickly; it didn’t freeze hard and has great potential as a slushy.
The cilantro mojito reminded Jainy of cilantro water drunk in India to keep cool. It was probably my favorite, as I like tart much more than sweet and I think they are the coolest looking.
The orange mango (which had the least alcohol) froze the most solidly. Me being me, I’d add a dash of lemon or bitters the next time for more complexity. And we all liked the passion fruit; nothing could be more tropical. We did notice that for some reason the alcohol in the passion pops really concentrated on the bottom. And…if you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain….(had to do it, sorry), you will really like the coco loco!
You will see that the basic proportions for freezing are 1.5 cups of juice to 5 Tbs alcohol (except for the mango-orange). So there really isn’t a lot of alcohol in there; just enough to take the edge off, as it were. I hope to have time to try some more variations; once my mint grows back from the scalping I gave it recently, mojitos will be on the frozen menu. That brings caipirinhas to mind as well. I am also interested in how berry syrups will work.
The other lesson learned from this experience: if you are going to serve pretty frozen pops at a party, make sure you have a few nonalcoholic ones for the kids! We didn’t and the kids were very keen to get their hands on the vice pops. Teetotallers will appreciate an alcohol-free pop too…
(stir ingredients together and pour into pop molds. If you don’t have pop molds, use ice cube trays, cover with foil and poke toothpicks through the foil for little handles. Freeze for eight hours)
“Oh-wow!” (Mango-orange with rum)
¼ cup orange rum
3.5 cups orange-mango juice
“Passion Pop” (Passionfruit and rum)
1.5 cups passionfruit cocktail
5 Tbs white rum
“Coco Loco” (Ashley asks if this name is lame. I think so, but I leave it up to you, dear reader. Pineapple with rum)
1.5 cups pineapple juice
5 Tbs coconut rum
“Java Rocket”(coffee and chocolate)
5 Tbs Van Gogh Double Espresso vodka
2 Tbs Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup
4 oz whole milk
“Cilantrojito” (cilantro and lime)
1/8 cup (1 oz) white rum
¼ cup lime juice
1 cup water
1 tbs cilantro leaves, slightly crushed
2 tsp agave