In Frozen Cocktail Treats, Nerdery

20150708_225943_resizedWe’ve been having a lot of fun making boozy frozen treats this summer. So much so, in fact, that we’re planning to feature a new boozy freezer pop or popsicle every week at our tasting room for the rest of the summer.

Along the way, we found these cool Zipsicles, which are so easy to use and easy to enjoy!  Great for both alcoholic, and non-alcoholic, summer treats!

Here are a few other things we’ve learned along the way:

20150708_230639_resizedAbout Freezing Techniques

  • Time & Planning – freezing takes awhile, especially if you are trying to freeze a decent number of popsicles at a time, so plan ahead! We found that most batches froze overnight, but it took at least 8-10 hours, if not longer.
  • Freezing Alcohol – you need to keep your proof below 40 (20% abv), and ideally around 20-30 (10-15% abv) to get a good, solid popsicle/freezer pop. The higher the alcohol level, the longer the freezing will take, too.
  • Patience is Key – as with so many things, you have to be patient with popsicle molds. Let ’em sit out for a few minutes, and run the tips under lukewarm water to get the popsicles to loosen up. And, be sure to put the sticks in far enough so the popsicles have something to bond with in the freezing process. We had an epic fail on a large round of popsicles because we didn’t push the sticks in far enough- they all broke off halfway down. Who wants half a boozy popsicle?
  • Soak the Sticks – if you’re making popsicles in molds, be sure to soak the sticks in water for an hour or so before inserting into popsicles – that way, they won’t float out of the popsicles before they freeze.

About Ingredients

  • Sugar – you need to put in more sugar than you think; frozen drinks seem more tart than cocktails. So don’t be shy with your sweetener unless you like ’em tart.
  • Carbonated ingredients – these can add a fun texture to the popsicles – we like it, maybe you will too! Don’t be afraid to experiment with ginger beer, club soda, tonic water, etc. in your frozen treats.
  • 20150712_154946_resizedFresh Fruits & Fresh-Squeezed Juices – these work great in popsicles and freezer pops. However, we recommend that you fine-strain the muddled fruit or juice, unless you want to be stirring/squeezing your popsicles during the freezing process. The heavier stuff (the fruit pulp/chunks) will settle to the bottom, and pull the fruit juice along – so you’ll have all the fruit at one end, and all the booze at the other.  If you’re going for a great popsicle with a frozen shot at the end, go for it! If not, either strain out the solids through a fine sieve or else stir a few times before they freeze (or both).

Happy freezing, and enjoy the rest of summer! We’re glad that summer weather has finally arrived here in Chicago.