- Making popsicles inspired by alcoholic drinks can be easy to do at home.
- Two of Insider’s lifestyle reporters made 12 boozy popsicles inspired by everything from cosmopolitans to margaritas.
- Using basic popsicle molds and small amounts of ingredients, the reporters found the process to be enjoyable and simple – even in cramped apartment kitchens.
- Here’s how to make spiked frozen treats that are ideal for summertime.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Alcoholic popsicles have taken grocery store shelves and bar menus by storm in recent years.
Cocktails can come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and cups, but adult beverages seem to be even more enjoyable when they’re made into frozen treats reminiscent of summer.
Being lifestyle reporters and enthusiasts of festive drinks, we felt it was our duty to make and try our own versions of boozy popsicles.
While enjoying a spiked frozen pop at a rooftop bar or a bustling restaurant is likely not an option for most people this summer, we found that replicating the treat at home was surprisingly approachable and fun.
The process of making popsicles together – virtually, but still together – also made for a shared experience that could be a fun summer birthday video call with friends or family.
We both ordered a silicone popsicle mould for our experiment.
The teal mould can hold six popsicles, and it comes with reusable sticks for each slot, as well as a funnel to make pouring ingredients into the molds easier.
The purchase also came with a brush to make each slot simple to clean.
You can find out more about this mould here.
We concocted treats based on popular drinks and put the molds in the freezer for 24 hours.
We each made six popsicles inspired by recipes of some of our favourite alcoholic beverages. We also each created two of the same popsicle flavour, but with a variation.
For example, Samantha’s raspberry rosé popsicle had one version with fruit inside, and one without. Darcy tried a mojito popsicle that was made with a blended mixture, and one that was made in the fashion of a traditional “on the rocks” drink.
After a few test runs and research on popsicle preparation, we found that the longer the pops sit in the freezer uninterrupted, the better and more firm the texture will be. Our popsicles were frozen for nearly 24 hours, but some recipes advise that anywhere between 8 to 12 hours of freezing time could do the trick.
When we took the popsicles out of the molds, we were impressed at the vibrant colours and how most of them held up.
Along the way, we learned tricks to make the popsicles look and taste like professional creations – including the importance of filling the molds to the top, and why using too much alcohol could lead to a chunky, hard-to-eat consistency.
Keep reading to see how we made each flavour, plus our reviews on each frozen treat’s taste and texture.
Darcy thought that the spiked seltzer popsicle was foolproof to put together.
- Spiked seltzer of choice – I used a can of Truly in the Passion Fruit flavour
- Optional: Frozen fruit
This was by far the easiest popsicle to execute of the bunch. First, I added a small handful of pre-frozen blueberries and raspberries, which I happened to already have on hand. Then, I slowly poured in the seltzer directly from the can, letting the bubbles decrease before filling the mould with the drink.
I was left with plenty of seltzer in the can, considering I only used this for one popsicle.
The spiked seltzer frozen treat tasted slightly fizzy, and the berries added colour and flavour.
The great thing about using a spiked seltzer for a popsicle is that the options are practically endless. I liked the mix of fruity flavours I created with berries and the passion fruit beverage – but nearly any seltzer would work well when frozen overnight.
Plus, with just two ingredients, this treat couldn’t be any easier to whip together.
Samantha decided to start off easy with a simple Corona popsicle.
- Corona Light
- Sweetened lime juice
When it comes to beer, Corona screams summer to me. Naturally, I decided to make a popsicle with my favourite refreshing flavour as its main ingredient.
The beer popsicle was ridiculously easy to make. I was inspired by Live Love Pasta’s recipe, but I made it even easier by using lime juice instead of slicing up a lime to cut the beer flavour.
I poured the ingredients of a Corona Light into the mould, and added a dash of the juice once it was mostly full.
The Corona popsicle was surprisingly refreshing.
I thought the frozen Corona might taste like stale beer, but the icy treat was thirst-quenching, and the addition of lime prevented it from tasting too sharp.
Plus, the Corona pop was the most frozen of all of the popsicles I tried, making me feel confident I could re-create it another day.
Darcy hoped that she could make Ina Garten proud by concocting a cosmopolitan popsicle.
- Cranberry juice cocktail
- Triple sec (or other orange liqueur)
- Lime juice
I drew inspiration from the “Barefoot Contessa” host Ina Garten’s recipe for a cosmopolitan, which she demonstrated in an entertaining Instagram tutorial around 9 a.m. one day in April.
Using the same ingredients recommended by Garten, but substituting Cointreau for a triple sec that I found at my local liquor store, a single serving of the drink came together easily.
Garten’s recipe calls for two parts vodka, one part cranberry juice cocktail, and one part orange liqueur. For the purpose of the frozen treat, I used slightly more cranberry juice cocktail than triple sec and vodka to ensure that the popsicle would freeze properly.
Freshly squeezed lime was the perfect touch to make this look (and smell) just like a traditional cosmo.
The cosmopolitan-inspired popsicle was refreshing without being overbearing.
I was delighted at the sweet cranberry and citrus flavours of the frozen cosmopolitan. This particular pop was one of my favourites because I was able to taste all the components (and the hint of alcohol), but it wasn’t anything too strong.
Plus, the treat itself held up well and came out of the mould smoothly and frozen solid without big ice chunks or shavings, which made it easy to enjoy.
The vodka lemonade popsicle came together in a snap.
A vodka lemonade cocktail is a go-to in my home state of Georgia in the summertime, so it seemed natural to turn the drink into a frozen treat.
I used the measurements from My Crazy Good Life’s recipe, but I condensed them for one serving size rather than a pack. It was a breeze: all I had to do was pour vodka and lemonade together.
My Crazy Good Life’s recipe warned that the popsicle would be more like a slush rather a fully frozen popsicle since vodka doesn’t freeze.
Samantha thought the vodka lemonade pop tasted delicious, though it fell apart when she took it out of its mould.
The warning I read on the recipe from My Crazy Good Life proved true, as the lemonade vodka popsicle was slushy rather than fully frozen. It didn’t fully freeze, so the top of the popsicle fell off the stick quickly.
Although the popsicle was smaller than I intended it to be, it was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. The pop was also on the strong side; I could feel the alcohol in my system after just a few bites. I thought it would be perfect on a hot summer day.
Making a sangria popsicle seemed like a fun take on the classic Spanish drink.
- Red wine
- Cranberry juice (or orange juice)
- Fruit of choice
While there’s no shortage of sangria recipes to follow, I was inspired by red sangria, which is typically a blend of fruits like oranges, cherries, and darker, more tart flavours.
I took inspiration from a recipe from the Minimalist Baker, but simplified the ingredients to make one serving of sangria that was for a popsicle. I started with about 1 cup of dry red wine and mixed in one shot of brandy and a splash of cranberry juice, which I read can also be used in sangria.
I sliced an orange and removed the rind, then placed those in the mould. Finally, I poured in my sangria mixture.
Darcy thought the taste of the sangria treat was spot-on, even though the popsicle itself wasn’t very visually appealing.
The red wine added a potent punch of flavour, and the citrus tang from the fresh orange gave a refreshing bit of fruit juice.
Tasting the cold treat, I could imagine myself sipping a glass of sangria at a bistro in Barcelona, which is where I first tried an authentic version of the beverage.
That being said, the presentation of my attempt at a sangria popsicle wasn’t the best. Maybe I piled too many oranges in the popsicle mould. I also could have used more cranberry juice to balance out the red wine and brandy.
Nonetheless, it was still edible – I just needed backup from a plate to make it easier to enjoy.
Samantha simplified a riff on Irish coffee for a popsicle with a kick.
- Iced coffee
- Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Vanilla extract
Most Irish coffee popsicle recipes, like Feast and West’s, require you to make three separate layers – one for the cream, one for the coffee, and another for the Bailey’s – but that’s pretty time-consuming, as you have to freeze each layer separately to make them distinct. I decided to simplify it by mixing all of my ingredients together in one popsicle.
First, I mixed together a cup of milk, 1/4 of a cup of sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract in a bowl, and I poured the mixture into the mould. Then, I poured coffee and Bailey’s directly into the mould, making sure not to do too much Bailey’s to ensure it would freeze.
I gave the ingredients a stir when they were all together, and popped them in the freezer.
The Irish coffee popsicle would make a nice after-dinner treat in summer.
I thought of the Irish coffee popsicle as a grown-up version of a Fudgesicle. The sweet cream, Bailey’s, and coffee blended together perfectly for an energising treat.
I could definitely taste the alcohol, but it wasn’t overpowering. The popsicle tasted like an iced coffee with an added kick.
Mixing the ingredients together directly was a big success too. I was excited the popsicle would be simple to re-create going forward.
A frozen take on the mimosa was a joy to replicate.
- Orange juice
I created a mixture of equal parts Champagne and orange juice and poured both directly into the mould, being careful to gradually add Champagne to avoid an overflow of the bubbly liquid.
While mimosas are traditionally made with more sparkling beverage than orange juice, for the purpose of the popsicles, which require more juice content than alcohol to freeze effectively, I opted for a 50:50 ratio.
The mimosa popsicle would pack a punch at any brunch spread.
I personally think it’s difficult to criticise anything about the lovely combination that is orange juice and Champagne, so it made sense to me that the mimosa popsicle was divine.
Plus, the firm, evenly frozen texture of the popsicle proved that using equal parts orange juice and Champagne was a good move.
Now I know what I’ll be making the next time I can safely host an in-person brunch.
Samantha was excited to bring fruit into her popsicle endeavours with a rosé raspberry pop.
- Frozen raspberries
As the unofficial wine of summer, rosé was definitely going to make it on my list of boozy popsicles. I liked Recipe Runner’s take on the treat, but I decided to skip the lemon juice listed in her recipe.
I combined 1 and 1/2 cups of rosé, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 cup of frozen raspberries in a blender. I added a few unblended raspberries to one mould, and once the other ingredients became a smooth mixture, I transferred them to the mould as well. The recipe gave me enough for two popsicles, so I made a separate popsicle without full raspberries in the mould.
Recipe Runner suggests straining the mixture before you put it in the mould because of the raspberry seeds, but I decided to skip that step. My favourite popsicles from childhood had seeds in them, so I didn’t feel the need to remove them.
Samantha was surprised by how strong and bitter the rosé popsicle was.
Of the two rosé popsicles I made, the version without unblended raspberries froze better.
That being said, both of the popsicles were too strong. The rosé was overpowering, and I wanted to water it down immediately. I expected the raspberry to soften the treat’s pungency, but it just added to the sickly sweetness.
I think the popsicle might taste better if you used a higher-end rosé or found a way to make the flavour less sharp. But I would rather just sip on a glass of wine than go through the trouble of making a popsicle.
Darcy tried two different ways of making a mojito popsicle.
- White rum
- Club soda
- Lime juice
- Sweetener (optional)
There’s a reason why experts consider mojitos to be one of the best cocktails to make at home. They’re fizzy and incorporate fresh elements, thanks to the mint leaves and freshly squeezed lime.
I loosely followed a recipe from Tasting Table, substituting the 2 cups of water for club soda and skipping the sugar, as I tend to avoid adding artificial sweeteners to my cooking and drinks in general.
With the majority of the liquid being club soda, I added in one shot of white rum, the juice of one whole lime, and a small handful of mint leaves that I had chopped roughly.
I put the leaves into the mould first, then poured in the liquid.
For a second version, I poured the ingredients into my Nutri Ninja Blender and gave it a quick pulse. This was in the hopes of creating a smoother popsicle texture – sort of like a cold, blended cocktail.
The blended mojito popsicle was a fail, but the “on the rocks” mojito popsicle was on-point.
The popsicle made with my blended mojito mix resulted in a striking green colour, but the mint settled at the top, which made for a pretty pungent-tasting frozen bite.
The mixed mojito popsicle resulted in a savoury aftertaste in my opinion, which was not what I was expecting.
However, the mojito popsicle that I prepared like a traditional, on-the-rocks cocktail was much more enjoyable.
I loved the fizzy element from the club soda, and I certainly got the notes of rum. Plus, since the mint leaves settled at the bottom, I enjoyed the herbal flavour without having to physically bite into the leaves.
Honey and orange juice added some sweetness to a margarita popsicle.
- Orange juice
- Sweetened lime juice
- Salt (optional)
Margaritas are my favourite cocktail, so I knew I was going to make a frozen version of the drink.
I modified Food With Feeling’s margarita popsicle recipe, leaving out the lime zest. Two parts orange juice, one part tequila, and a quarter part lime juice made up the bulk of the recipe, and I tossed in a dash of honey as well to give it some sweetness.
Once I poured the mixture into the mould, I added in a bit of table salt, as I usually take my margaritas on the rocks.
The margarita recipe tasted good, but it didn’t freeze as it should have.
I must have added too much tequila to the recipe because the treat was more of a slush than a popsicle. But it tasted just like my favourite drink, and it reminded me of the frozen margaritas I often treat myself to in the summer.
Plus, the treat was strong; it would definitely get the drinker tipsy if that was their goal.
If I was going to try the recipe again, I would add less tequila to the mixture. But if I ended up with slush again, I would happily drink the frozen margarita I was left with.
We had a blast making all the popsicles, but we both had flavours that stood out among the bunch.
Darcy thought that the mimosa popsicle was a winner for its evenly frozen texture and hint of Champagne. The cosmopolitan flavour was also a top contender for its fresh, fruity taste that was effortless to create but tasted (and looked) like an elevated icy snack.
To Samantha’s surprise, the Corona popsicle was her favourite of the bunch. The zing of the bubbles in the frozen popsicle was refreshing and sweet without being overpowering. It was followed closely by the Irish coffee treat, which balanced the sweetness of an iced coffee with the novelty of an after-dinner drink.
If you’re going to make alcoholic popsicles at home, we recommend keeping things simple.
We found that our favourite pops were some of the no-fuss takes on iconic cocktails.
The less work you have to put into the frozen creation, the better – as it will likely taste good, freeze better, and be easy for you to make.
- Read more:
- Amazon is selling a motorised pool float that lets you effortlessly move around the water
- I tried the cardboard box hack that lets you see your laptop outside in the sun, and it’s a game-changer for summer remote working
- 8 things you can buy to cool off this summer, from racing water slides to heart-shaped pools
- You can soon buy boozy popsicles that contain as much alcohol as a canned margarita
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.