Sweet (Boozy) Treats for Summer Days
I love gourmet, homemade popsicles. They are the quintessential summer treat. I enjoy them so much, I seek them out when I travel. My favourites, besides the amazing Pop Cart here at home, Pop Bliss in San Francisco and Las Paletas in Nashville – love!
The endless possibilities of flavours makes for fun treats for both adults and kids. The last few years I’ve been bringing popsicles to our ladies’ week at the lake, adult versions with white rum, vodka, or tequila. They’re fun to eat while bobbing around in the water on a floaty.
I’ve determined the base to any good popsicle is simple syrup. 1 part sugar to 3 parts water, boiled until the sugar has dissolved then flavoured with fresh fruit, juice, or herbs. With an amazing selection of fresh fruits all around us, I’ve used strawberries, saskatoons, black cherries, and raspberries to make the following popsicles.
The recipe is basically adding different berries to the syrup. Here’s what you’ll need to make these popsicles:
3 cups water
1 cup white sugar
Blender – I use a hand blender
3 basil leaves
Choice of liquor if you’re making adult versions
Strawberry & Basil Popsicles
Once you’ve made your simple syrup of 1 cup sugar to 3 cups water, set it aside.
Pour some of the simple syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat, add a few fresh basil leaves and bring to a boil. The longer the leaves sit in the syrup, the stronger the basil flavour will be. I’ve found that leaving the basil leaves in for 5 minutes on a gentle boil is long enough. Remove the leaves once you’ve reached your desired flavour and set to the side.
Take a handful of strawberries, place in a bowl and blend. Add the syrup from the sauce pan, stir and pour into molds. I cut up a few extra strawberries and add them into the mold before I pour. If making adult versions, pour your liquor in first, then the puree and mix so the booze doesn’t sit at the bottom.
Strawberries and Cream
Add strawberries to simple syrup in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, remove from heat and cool. This is important because you’ll be adding cream and you don’t want the cream to curdle.
Once cooled, add chopped strawberries to the mold, pour blended strawberries and syrup to the mold, leaving enough room to add cream. Mix well.
Raspberry and Lemon
Slice a lemon and add to a sauce pan with raspberries and simple syrup. Bring to a boil. Remove lemon and blend syrup and raspberries. Pour into mold.
Pit cherries, add to sauce pan with simple syrup and bring to a boil. Transfer cherries to a bowl and blend before pouring into molds.
Saskatoon and Lime
Squeeze lime juice (2 tablespoons) and add to sauce pan with simple syrup and saskatoons. Bring to boil, remove from heat, blend and pour into molds,
A few things to keep in mind
My ratio of sugar water may be too sweet for you. Once you’ve made the simple syrup, try it. If it’s too sweet, add more water. You can also skip the simple syrup for maple syrup or agave.
Partially freeze your popcicle, usually an hour or two, before adding the stick otherwise it’ll fall over.
Liquid expands when it freezes so avoid filling your mold to the very top, it’ll spill over.