Power to the Popsicle
Nothing screams childhood more than making a sugary mess drowned in Red #7 and Yellow #6 AKA eating a popsicle in the sun at 3pm. Unfortunately the adult version of this–frosty margaritas, cucumber martinis, etc–don’t always have the same fantastic results. (Since sometimes you just want something completely frozen that you can eat with your hands, and lick off of them when you make the aforementioned mess).
Have no fear wine-loving, popsicle-adoring people everywhere! Wine popsicles do exist! And you can DIY them at home or consult professional recipes!
I recently read an article about iconic NYC ice pop company People’s Popspartnering with New Zealand wine giant Kim Crawford to create recipes for wine-infused ice pops. Little did I know I’d be invited to sample them, so I took matters into my own hands with a snazzy $4.99 popsicle maker and some inexpensive wine.
The trick, as you might have guessed, is getting the wines to freeze well. The secret is that pop infusions with 20% or less wine will freeze as well as anything else (this is the ratio with the People’s Pops creations).
Below, the results of my (more than 20% wine) experiments and tasting with the Pros.
Round I: Strawberry-Peach Riesling (Robert Mondavi 2011 Reserve Riesling, 1/2 c. peach juice, 1 handful pureed strawberries)
These didn’t freeze perfectly–ending up more like granita–but the sweet riesling was a great accompaniment to the peach juice. This was the favorite of my guinea pigs!
Round II: Mixed Berry Sweet Red (Fish Eye Sweet Red Blend, 1/2 c. water, 1 handful pureed strawberries and blueberries, 1tbsp. honey)
This was an exercise in why red wine should not be frozen–because it tastes terrible. Imagine overly-fruity, bad red wine mixed with ice chips and decide whether or not you think that would be pleasant. Next time, I’ll freeze something more sangria-esque rather than straight up wine.
Of the Kim Crawford infusions (which you can find here) I loved the Pinot Noir infused blackberry pop–it combined bold wine and bold fruit for a combination that was refreshing and still allowed the wine flavor to dominate. While the Sauvignon Blanc infusions were tasty, I wished there were heavier wine flavors, even if it meant sacrificing a bit of their sturdiness.
Overall, these experiments taught me that (a) wine granita is an easy dessert that people love, and (b) red wine generally tastes AWFUL if you freeze without several other ingredients, (c) experimenting is awesome–DO IT!
Wine Pops Uncorked:
Laura Loves: Spongebob Squarepants popsicles with bubblegum eyes.
Using a wine pop as an ice cube in sangria on a hot day.
The Popsicle as we know it was invented by an 11year-old boy in 1905–he originally called it an “Epsicle”.
People’s Pops cookbook has recipes for boozy pops (bourbon anyone?).
2 billion Popsicle brand ice pops are sold annually.
DIY Hint: Put your pop maker all the way in the back of the freezer, so they freeze more fully and faster.