Have you seen those low calorie boozy "Vodka Martini" type ice pops showing up in Costco and other places?
They are a great idea for summer cocktail hour and parties; they're icy cold, refreshing and low ABV (alcohol by volume), which is very popular now and a good idea for hot temperatures. But, at only 100 ml. each (3.4 ounces), they're pricey and it will take a few of them to equal one typical cocktail. They sell for around 3 bucks each and are loaded with artificial coloring, flavoring and sweeteners. Furthermore, at less than 4 ounces each with an 8% ABV, how many would your happy hour guests slurp down at 3 bucks a pop?
You know what I say about that?
You can have healthy, refreshing ice pops galore, and at a price that won't offend your wallet.
LET'S FREEZE SOME ADULT ICE POPS!
Alcohol alone doesn't freeze at normal freezer temperatures but when you mix it with the right amount of non-alcoholic liquid that changes. I've found the formula that works the best is a 1 to 5 alcohol to mixer ratio, using a standard 40 proof spirit. This should give you approximately an 8% ABV ice pop. (Higher ABV spirits will require a higher mixer ratio to freeze, but standard vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whiskies are around 40 proof and some liqueurs even less.)
Each one of the 100 ml. (3.381 ounces) "vodka martini" pops are 100 calories. Homemade 100 ml. cocktail ice pops using fresh juices and purees will end up at or under 100 calories, BUT without the artificial sweeteners, flavors and colorings. If your mixer is tea or coffee that should be even lower. That gives you the same or a lower calorie count of the pre-packaged ice pops but without the artificial ingredients.
BINGO! HEALTHIER, HOMEMADE BOOZESICLE™ ICE POPS that are still low in calories and also meet the popular lower ABV cocktail trend! Because these cocktails are eaten, you can also use a fresh fruit puree instead of a juice and, because the puree includes all the pulp, each homemade ice pop is full of even more vital nutrients and fiber. Homemade alcohol infused ice pops are easy, a lot of fun to make and your choice of frozen cocktail flavors is endless.
Now I ask you, why shell out big bucks for their boring flavors when you can really punch up those ice popsicles for a lot less? Below are just a few of the flavors I came up with for this experiment. I've been chilling with fun ice pop cocktails all week and the rest are headed to a Fourth of July barbecue.*
The Martini Diva's
BOOZESICLE™ ICE POPS
Zipsickle style ice pop freezer bags. I ordered mind on Amazon.
Mixing pitcher, shaker or glass.
BASIC ICE POP DIRECTIONS
1. Add in 1 part of decent but reasonably priced 40% or less ABV spirit and/or liqueur.
2. Then add in at least 4 parts of a non alcoholic liquid like fresh juices or purees, tea, coffee, yogurt. Feel free to add in a splash of lime or lemon juice to brighten things up.
3. Freeze overnight.
I was not so concerned about calorie count as I was about creating healthy, delicious ice pops and used a few things like bitters for complexity and to balance sweetness. I also used homemade grenadine, flavored vodkas, cream of coconut and flavored yogurts to sweeten without adding sugar. However, the bitters were only a dash or two and have almost nil calorie count, the flavored spirits were already accounted for in the liquor ratio and the sweeteners like grenadine or cream of coconut were only around a teaspoon per pop.
SOUR APPLE: Apple vodka, Apple Pucker, Apple Juice
SPICY WATERMELON: Watermelon Vodka, Watermelon Juice or Puree, Lime juice, Dash of Hot Sauce.
STRAWBERRY SUNDAE: Strawberry Vodka, Strawberry Puree and Vanilla Yogurt.
You can play with the flavors to suit your taste and just multiply the ingredients to make batches of the each flavor.
* I even made a pile of booze free ones for the children where I just left out the booze. I used some natural food colorings to make the kiddies ice pops in blues, purples and greens to make sure the parents could be sure no little ones got a buzz on.