Summertime means swimsuits and suntan lotion, barbecues and lawn games, and, of course, popsicles and alcohol. That's right — 'tis the season for alcoholic popsicle recipes, a.k.a. poptails, a.k.a. your most delicious summer essential. Nothing goes better together than cooling off and getting a buzz during the hot summer months. While beers can get too warm and cocktails can get too watery, frozen pops, boozy icees, and beer floats stay cool from start to finish — probably because they're so tasty, you finish them long before they get a chance to melt.
It’s easier than you think to make your own alcoholic popsicle at home, no matter what kind of beverage — or frozen pop — you prefer. Whether you like something fruity, chocolaty, sweet, tart, slurp-able, or lick-able, you can always find a cocktail in frozen form to enjoy on the beach or in the backyard. The best part? These booze-infused treats are easily tailored to your personal preference, but in case you need some inspiration, here are nine DIY alcoholic ice pops that you can actually make at home (trust me, I tried them):
*All recipes below use a mold that makes six three-oz. ice pops, unless otherwise specified. For best results, let pops freeze overnight.
1. Sparkling Sangria Popsicles
Sangria is a fantastic tropical summertime drink, and it’s even better in frozen form. Make it your own creation by picking your favorite wine, switching up the fruits, or trying a different juice.
- 1 cup chopped fruit, lightly tossed in lemon juice (apples, strawberries, raspberries, and kiwis pictured)
- 3/4 cup sweet wine, red or white
- 3/4 cup flavored seltzer water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3 tbsp. sweetener (granulated sugar, agave syrup, or honey are good options), if desired
Combine liquids. Mix in sweetener until dissolved. Split chopped fruit into six popsicle molds, and fill the rest with liquid. Freeze for at least six hours.
2. Black & White Russian Pudding Pops
Fudgsicle fans, rejoice, because there is an adult version of your favorite pop, too! This pudding-based popsicle is a creamy, coffee-infused dream on a stick.
- 1 package instant vanilla pudding
- 1 package instant chocolate pudding
- 3 1/2 cups cold milk
- 12 tbsp. Kahlua of Baileys
- 4 tbsp. vodka
In separate bowls, prepare the puddings by combining a pudding packet and 1 3/4 cups milk. Stir until thickened. In each bowl, stir in six tbsp. of Kahlua and two tbsp. of vodka. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, layering one color on top of the other. Freeze for at least four hours.
*Note: These are a bit harder to remove from the mold than the other pops. Try running them under hot water for 15 to 30 seconds to help free the pop without pulling out the stick.
3. Dark And Stormy... And Frozen
A bite of ginger and zing of lime are what make this boozy pop stand out from all the rest. Spicy and fresh, it's sure to heat you up while cooling you down.
- 1/2 cup of dark rum
- 1 1/2 cup ginger beer
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 12 lime wedges, peeled
Combine rum, ginger beer, and lime juice. Mix well. Place two lime wedges in each pop mold, and pour in liquid. Freeze for at least six hours.
4. Sparkling Red Berry Champagne Ice Pop
Elegance extends to ice pops, too. This sweet, bubbly treat will make you feel glitzy and glamorous — even if, like me, you're munching on it in your underwear while you try and cool off in front of your busted air conditioner.
- 1 cup sparkling champagne
- 3/4 cup seltzer water (unflavored, or strawberry)
- 2/3 cup fresh red berries, washed and stemmed
- 2 tbs. granulated sugar (optional)
In a food processor, puree strawberries. Add in sugar, and stir until dissolved. Combine strawberry mixture, champagne, and seltzer water, stirring gently. Pour into pop molds, and freeze for at least six hours.
5. Beer Floats
Ice cream and beer, you say? Yes, yes I do. For a tart take on things, try combining your favorite shandy with a scoop of sherbet. If you're looking for something creamier, drop a scoop of vanilla into a frothy glass of coffee, or chocolate porter or stout.
6. Blueberry Mojito Popsicle
There is a reason mojitos are so frequently served poolside. The combination of refreshing mint and zesty lime cool you down even on the hottest of days. Add in some blueberries, toss it in the freezer, and you've got yourself an icy and invigorating poptail.
- 1/3 cup white rum
- 3/4 cup sparkling water
- 1 cup lime juice
- 2 tbs. sugar
- 24 mint leaves
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine lime juice, sugar, and mint. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool. Combine with rum and water. Place six to eight blueberries in each pop mold, then pour in liquid. Freeze for at least six hours.
7. Cinnamon Cider Frozen Pops
If you've ever had a Snake Bite at the bar, then it's time to step up your game with this frozen take on it. Sticky, sweet, and spicy, these promise to kick your summer up a notch.
- 1 1/2 cup cider
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup Fireball whisky
- 6 crushed Fireball candies
Combine all the ingredients, and stir until well incorporated, without letting candy dissolve. Fill pop molds. Freeze for at least eight hours.
8. Frozen Adult Arnold Palmer
Nothing says summer like an ice cold lemonade. That is, until you've had this frozen concoction, which is part ice tea, part lemonade, and completely satisfying.
- 1 1/4 cup lemonade
- 1/2 cup iced tea
- 1/2 cup sweet tea vodka
- 12 slices of lemon, peeled
Combine liquids, and stir until well mixed. Add one to two slices of lemon to each pop mold, and fill with liquid. Let freeze for at least six hours.
9. Pineapple Ginger Pop-aritas
If you like your margaritas frozen and blended, then you must try them in a pop form. This one is sweet and spicy — just like you after a tequila shot.
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 4 tbs. ginger syrup
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- Lime juice, Sugar in the Raw, and ginger zest, for topping (optional)
Combine juices, tequila, and ginger syrup. Split pineapple chunks up between molds, then fill with liquid, and let freeze for at least 12 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with lime juice, and roll in sugar and zest topping.
Images: Sadie Trombetta