pop! goes the cocktail

Last week’s food for fun post brought you ice cream to beat the heat. Seeing as how this week is hotter than last–at least here in St. Paul–I’m still searching out foods to cool me down. Which is why the following headline caught my eye: “Cocktails-on-a-stick look like kid’s food, but boozy treats are for adults.” A bit wordy, perhaps, but I was all over the concept. Cocktails on a stick? Sign me up!

The article appeared in a recent St. Paul Pioneer Press, but was originally written by Jill Wendholt Silva for the Kansas City Star. It introduced me to Laura Fyfe’s Poptail and though I’d seen a version of this frozen treat at Attempts in Domesticity, I’d not yet realized it was a trend in the making.

Silva mentioned that “plenty of folks are getting on the poptail bandwagon,” talked of the poptail’s popularity on Pinterest, and cited Food & Wine‘s July issue’s Mojito-Watermelon pops. Clearly poptails are the next cupcake and it’s a trend I couldn’t wait to follow. Setting my sights on the Gin Zing, I made a batch tonight.

1 1/4 cups chopped baby cucumbers

1 1/4 cups chopped baby cucumbers

Pureeing 1 1/4 cups diced cucumber and 1/2 cup St. Germain with a stick blender (though the recipe suggests a food processor), I then strained it through a fine-mesh sieve.cucumber puree

Half of the solids left behind were stirred back into the strained liquid and 1/4 cup gin was stirred into that.Straining

I had cut the recipe in half, so was set up to make three poptails (oh, how I love that word), but I used shot glasses and was able to fill six and still have enough left over for a chef’s sample. (It was way too sweet unfrozen.)

ready to freeze

ready to freeze

I popped the poptails into the freezer and checked back an hour or so later, when the mixture was frozen just enough to hold the (half) popsicle stick upright. Another hour and they were frozen enough to unmold. The recipe called for a seven-hour freeze, though I wasn’t patient enough to let it go that long.

single serving

single serving

They were pretty little things and also quite tasty and refreshing. Sweet was the first hit on the taste buds, but booze was a close second as was the fresh green flavor of the cucumber. Next time (because there most certainly will be a next time), I’ll stir in a few grindings of black pepper or a teaspoon or so of freshly grated gingerroot for extra kick. But even as-is, these simple poptails are the bee’s knees.

Gin Zing poptails

Gin Zing poptails

Which brings me to Silva’s other flavors: Bee’s Knees (!) containing honey, whiskey, and ginger beer and The Jaliscito with lime zest and juice, watermelon, tequila, and Grand Marnier–both must-makes in my book.

Silva recommends using wooden craft sticks instead of plastic popsicle mold sticks as wood grips the softer ice mixture better than slippery plastic. She also cautions against using too much alcohol lest the mixture fail to freeze completely. Though should that happen? Silva notes that these poptails easily morph into an adult snow cone or slush. And I won’t argue with that, especially in this heat.

37 thoughts on “pop! goes the cocktail

  1. Yay, for once I’m in the swing of the trend instead of chasing after it! =) These look fabulous by the way. I love the idea of a single serving in a shot glass, totally brilliant. And the color is so pretty. I love gin and have a full bottle of St Germain kicking around, so I think these will be the next batch I make. Might trying your idea of adding ginger because that sounds super refreshing. I’ll keep you posted!

    • wow–thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚ I loved that there were only three ingredients and I had all of them on hand. Bee’s Knees and the whiskey are a big pull, too, but no ginger beer on hand (yet). Looking forward to seeing your poptails on Attempts in Domesticity facebook! p.s. How awesome is St. Germain? If you have any smashing recipes where it stars (or even supports), please pass them on.

  2. Looks and sounds so refreshing. Your final picture is beautiful. I am glad you said that you would put ginger in it next time, because as I was reading through the recipe and looking at the recipe, I was thinking, “Hmm…ginger? I think that would be good…”

  3. I love a poptail. The cucumber and St. Germain sound like a great combination. Great idea and perfect for this hot sticky weather we are having. Next time I have friends over I am going to give these a try.

    • please do give them a try πŸ™‚ Have you made any type of poptail before? Would be curious what you’ve tried if you have. The concept was new to me and it struck me as brilliance.

      • No not poptails but I have made a lemon lime campari sorbet, I am going to try this combination as a poptail and see if it works. Campari and soda is one of my favorite drinks and the sorbet is so good, I love the idea of a poptail. I think I would like an assortment of pops, different drinks different pops including your delicious cucumber St Germain. I just think it’s brilliant.

    • am with you on the cucumbers–it’s almost like a little bit of good nutrition in a cocktail, right? all over very refreshing. Had something called a meadow mule at a local restaurant and it was based on housemade cucumber gin. Nice! Thanks for always being here and at deLiz, poppy:-) I have liked your page, but don’t always get your posts. Thinking I will reach out as a “friend” to see if I can pick more up that way. I already know you have really good taste πŸ˜‰

  4. Oh, Liz. You had me at “gin”. And the super fun green colour just kicks it up a notch! These look amazing! Thinking they’ll be a great menu item when I host Deb and the bridesmaids at my place next month πŸ™‚

    • yes, do that and send or post pictures of the pops! If you haven’t already, go ahead and read the original article as that has tips etc. And the recipe for Bee’s Knees which made me totally think of you. Also thought you’d like this one as it seems a bit gin-and-tonic-like. Wonder how one of those would freeze? I might just cut down on the gin and give it a try.

      Always glad to have you here, amb.

    • with you on that one, andi. Popsicles, meh; poptails, wow. Am always astounded at brilliant ideas like this that seem no-brainers, but didn’t occur to my brain! They’re tasty and maybe you’ll end up with a poptail Pinterest page of your own?

    • Thanks, Ada! Could go lots of directions with flavors. What do you like best? fruity? spicy? creamy? sangria would be yum, yes? key would be having enough other ingredients to make sure it freezes. Maybe you’ll have to check out the poptails book πŸ˜‰ Am sure there are lots of recipes online, too. Let me know what you try!

    • Thanks, Fannie. Bloody Mary pop sounds good! Am sure it’s all in the alcohol level and there’s plenty of other stuff in a bloody, so… Give it a go and let me know.

    • I love the idea, too, Trace. Creative and I wish I’d thought of it! Perfect for summer, yes. Seems the “brandy slush” of 2013 πŸ™‚

    • Glad if you enjoyed, Josh. Thanks for stopping by and am glad to have found your blog as well. Looks like fun stuff! These pops would go mighty nicely with that steak you just grilled up.

  5. Seems like you’ve been on a popsicle kick lately. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of gin popsicles before. And the names of his other two designs: the bees knees and the Jaliscito – pure brilliance. Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes has been my favorite Spanish language song ever since I heard Ted Kennedy croon it back in 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r958GpasFrM

    I wish I lived closer to Minnesota. Then again, maybe it’s for the best that I don’t. You’d probably be kind of disturbed by some guy who always found his way into your kitchen and ate your food and gin popsicles!

    I’ve told you that Arto and Leslie have made a few of your dishes lately. This one looks like something even I can manage!

  6. Thanks for coming on by, Dave, even if it’s only virtual. You’re welcome here–and in my real kitchen–anytime. I can always buy more gin and make more popsicles πŸ˜‰

    Your video cracked me up–does diddy know about this one? He’s become my youtube filter and am curious if he’d give your pick a thumbs-up. I’ll be making the bee’s knees as soon as I get my hands on ginger beer and the Jaliscito will happen soon as it’s watermelon season πŸ™‚

    Good luck at tonight’s Trivia Night. Will be sending you culinary trivia vibes should anything food-related come up.

  7. Very very cool. And you are right- the poptail thing is going off right now. Would certainly prefer one over a cupcake (but would settle for one with a cupcake πŸ˜‰

    I think we will be trying this…as we seem to with almost all things booze related. The tequila concoction sounds particularly appealing.

    • the beauty of living on a coast–you knew about this poptail thing way before a midwesterner such as myself did. The article I quoted was the first I’ve seen of it. Would love to see the results of what you do as it’s bound to be stunning. Congrats on your latest wordpress honor!!

      And yes, one poptail and one cupcake coming up, please πŸ™‚ Had a limoncello cupcake recently that really rocked and would have been lovely with some sort of champagne poptail. Will leave it to you to work out the details πŸ˜‰ Thanks for coming on over.

  8. Liz,
    I could have used these two weeks ago when the heat was way toooo hot for me. I had a Cosmo Poptail last year, which was nice but a bit sweet. I really like your combo of the cucumber and gin – it sounds so refreshing. Am going to try these during the next heat wave in about a week (I am told we are going to have an Indian Summer this year!).

    • Never too late to make a poptail, Claire πŸ™‚ Love that you had a cosmo version last year already. I’m so behind! The cucumber and gin were divine and what better way to make use of fresh garden produce?

      Appreciate you being here and good luck with that heat wave. We’re having one, too, so better put my poptail-making hat on πŸ˜‰ Let me know if you make any and if you like.

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