In the wake of the craft cocktail movement, could poptails be far behind?
“Poptails” (Octopus, $12.99) is the clever name for tipsy adult ice pops infused with a jigger of booze. The cookbook that recently crossed my desk is the brainchild of London-based food stylist Laura Fyfe.
I was initially intrigued by the idea of freezing alcohol, something that can be difficult to do. “You have to go easy,” Fyfe told me in a telephone interview regarding the amount used to spike each recipe, “but they still have quite a kick.”
Indeed, it’s a delicate ratio. Still, Fyfe’s ice pops are saucy even though they have only 4 tablespoons of alcohol per recipe. “Freezing dulls the flavors of the ingredient so the alcohol tastes stronger than if you mixed it in a glass,” she said.
To ensure the sticks pop out of the molds properly, Fyfe suggested wooden sticks.
“Wooden sticks are much better,” Fyfe told me, “because they hold and offer a bit more friction.”
She also advised dipping the molds in hot water to help get just enough melt to loosen the ice pop.
And remember: If your poptail fails, there’s no reason not to slurp it up as a snow cone or slush instead.
Pomegranate, vanilla and vodka
Makes 4 pops
½ vanilla bean
¼ cup super-fine sugar
1½ cups pomegranate juice
4 tablespoons vodka
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and place pod and seeds in a saucepan with the sugar and ½ cup water. Slowly bring to a boil, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Let simmer gently for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
Remove the vanilla pod from the syrup and mix in the pomegranate juice and vodka. Pour into four frozen ice pop molds.
Place the molds in the freezer. Let set for 2 hours, insert the sticks and allow to freeze until completely solid (about 4 more hours).
Per pop: 135 calories (1 percent from fat), trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 26 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 11 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.
English summer cup
Makes 6 pops
¼ cup superfine sugar
4 tablespoons Pimm’s gin-based liquor
1 cup ginger beer (or lemonade)
¼ cup sliced strawberries
¼ cup sliced apples
18 small mint leaves
Place the sugar and ½ cup water in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Let simmer gently for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Add the Pimm’s and ginger beer or lemonade. Let cool completely.
Divide the strawberries, apple slices and mint leaves among six frozen ice pop molds. Pour over the Pimm’s mixture and insert the sticks.
Place molds in the freezer for 6 hours, until frozen solid.
Per pop: 76 calories (1 percent from fat), trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 14 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 3 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.
This is one of Laura Fyfe’s favorite recipes.
Makes 6 slushes
½ cup super-fine sugar
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup lime juice (3 to 4 limes)
2 cups chopped watermelon
6 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Put the sugar and lime zest in a saucepan with 1 cup water. Place over low heat. Gently bring to a simmer, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Let bubble gently for 5 minutes, remove from the heat and pour in the lime juice.
Place the chopped watermelon in a food processor or blender, add the lime syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier and agave nectar and blitz until well combined.
Pour into a freezer-safe container, cover, and place in the freezer for up to 6 hours, giving it a good stir every 2 hours. Remove from the freezer, blitz in a food processor or blender, and pour into glasses. Allow to thaw a little (approximately 10 minutes), then serve.
Per slush: 136 calories (2 percent from fat), trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 24 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 2 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.
Makes 6 pops
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons whiskey
2 cups ginger beer
Put the honey and whiskey into a bowl and, using a small whisk, mix together until well combined. Gradually whisk in the ginger beer, making sure that everything is thoroughly blended.
Pour into six ice pop molds and place in the freezer. After 2 hours, give each one a good stir. Freeze for another 2 hours, stir and insert the sticks. Return to the freezer and freeze for another 2 hours, until completely solid.
Per pop: 76 calories (none from fat), no fat, no cholesterol, 15 grams carbohydrates, no protein, 11 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.
Makes 6 pops
2½ cups chopped cucumber
1 cup elderflower cordial
½ cup gin
Place the cucumber and elderflower cordial in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.
Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and stir half of the pulp in the sieve back into the cucumber and elderflower juice. Mix in the gin until well combined, then pour into six frozen ice pop molds.
Place the molds in the freezer. Let set for 3 hours, give it a good stir, insert the sticks and allow to freeze solid (about 4 more hours) or leave overnight.
Per pop: 160 calories (10 percent from fat), trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace protein, 2 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.