Popsicles are a remnant of childhood that will never go out of style. They’re (usually) easy to make, filled with flavor, and are the perfect pick-me-up when you’re not in the mood for ice cream. In their new book, “Ice Kitchen Poptails: 50 Sensationally Intoxicating Cocktail Lollies,” authors Cesar and Nadia Roden transform these kid-friendly treats to a “strictly adult culinary experience.”
Who would’ve thought alcoholic popsicles could be fun, much less delicious? (I was definitely skeptical, but damn, the taste tests proved me wrong)! One of my favorite things about this book is the variety of ways you can “dress up” a popsicle – whether it’s with a fruit garnish, directly into a cup of booze, or even in lieu of sugar and cream in your coffee!
The book is organized like so:
Super simple and straight-forward, which I really appreciate because the no frills organization leaves all the creativity to the recipes themselves. There are fifty recipes in total, ranging from classics like a pink negroni and peach bellini, to more creative options like zabaglione and bloody mary.
For my taste tests, I wanted to try a variety of poptails that ranged in difficulty, so the first three I did were fairly easy, and the last one was a bit more technical. So, without further adieu, some pictures and test test first impressions!
SIDE NOTE: For anyone interested in making some of these recipes, my best tip for the boozy part is to go to Bevmo or a local alcohol vendor and purchase minis instead of full-sized bottles. I was able to find small versions of almost all of the alcohol used in these taste tests (minus the limoncello, which only came in a full-sized container). Not only will this help cut down the cost of making these recipes, but it will also save you some counter space if you’re not a big drinker and are only purchasing the alcohol for the recipes.
RASPBERRY LIMONCELLO (p. 30): Limoncello is a liquor that’s made from lemon zest that’s steeped until all of the oils leave the peel. If I had done this taste test with regular popsicle sticks instead of store-bought popsicle molds, it would’ve been fun to put a sliver of lemon at the top for decoration before freezing.
The ingredients for this one are super simple and it tasted exactly like a drink made up of raspberries and lemon, without being too overpowering.
WATERMELON MARGARITA (p. 32): I was curious how a margarita could take form in a popsicle, and this definitely didn’t disappoint. The only tricky part was separating all the watermelon seeds before freezing, but if you’ve got a good sieve, you should be fine. (I used a pasta strainer because I didn’t have one on hand and it worked a-okay).
This one’s fun to decorate with slices of lime; but if you’re using traditional popsicle molds with tops (like I did), it could be hard to get the lime in there. I tried both with and without a rind; I would not recommend cutting off the lime peel…it makes it loose shape.
PIÑA COLADA (p. 42): If you like getting caught in the rain, not much into health food, and into champagne, this is your girl! A word of caution for the impatient souls: this recipe might get a little messed up (ahem, yes, I screwed it up the first time; you have to freeze the mixture until it is a slushy consistency, then put the sticks in and freeze it until it becomes solid. WHOOPS…yeah, my first attempt got lost in the molds and the sticks didn’t stick…so I had to scoop them out with a spoon).
While there are worse problems, if you want to be successful on your first go, I’d recommend following the two-part freezing directions exactly (aka don’t do what I did). Other than this minor snafu, these turned out beautifully (and if you’re into aesthetics, you can roll these in shredded coconut and slide a maraschino cherry on top for that extra pizzaz). These would be perfect at a pool party or as a light dessert!
GRAND MARNIER CUSTARD & RASPBERRIES (p. 108): So the last three taste tests are all very similar in terms of steps (aka not that difficult…if you read the directions). This recipe takes the cake for technical skill (aka I’ve never made custard before and may or may not have let the egg cook too long and put scrambled egg remnants into my first batch of popsicles). I’d say half the fun in trying these recipes is me messing up so you don’t have to. It also just means making more batches, which my friends and family don’t complain about when I ask them to taste my attempts at some of these recipes (because I’m all about getting different palates to try things and give me input).
This recipe pays homage to the Claridge Hotel’s tearoom, which is a five-star spot in London that is known for its high tea service. The reason why this recipe is complicated is because you have to create a custard mixture that’s cool enough to put into the molds, but not cool enough that it’s congealed. This were by far my favorite of the bunch, but I’m kind of a custard/creme brûlée fiend, so maybe that’s why?
There are lots of other recipes in the book, so if you’re looking for a specific ingredient, like chocolate, mint, or even something floral, you’ll find it. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think it’d make a great gift for a graduate this time of year. This would also make a really fun hostess gift, because not only is it whimsical and the photography inside is quite fun, but it will last a lot longer than a bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers! That’s not to say those wouldn’t pair well with this book, but it’d also be a great gift on its own!
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own unless noted otherwise; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Purchase this title — Ice Kitchen Poptails: 50 Sensationally Intoxicating Cocktail Lollies
Score Card: Cover Art 5/5 | Content 5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5
Book Stats: Ice Kitchen Poptails: 50 Sensationally Intoxicating Cocktail Lollies by Cesar and Nadia Roden
Genre-Cookbook (alcoholic popsicles)
Page Count- 128
Binding- Hardcover with color photography
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I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.