Boy, could I go for one of these things right about now.
I’ve finally returned to VT after my house-sitting stint at my parents’ place in cool, woodsy upstate NY, and the northeast has decided to welcome me back with yet another heat wave. I feel like a bit of a weenie complaining about 90°+ days as I realize it’s plenty hotter in other places (and I’m lucky to have power to run the AC), but I suppose everyone’s tolerance for heat varies depending on where they were born/raised or the climate they’ve grown accustomed to. (I still remember my college friend Nishi, who grew up in South America, raving about the “perfect weather” on a particularly hot and humid day while I sat wilting in a chair in our stuffy dorm room, wondering if crying tears of misery would cool me down a little, or just feel like hot, boiling liquid running down my face.) So for someone who’s a product of shady, middle-of-the woods living, 95° = major grossness. Even my mother greeted me on the phone today with, “man, it’s [bleeping] hot.” (Mom!)
And now, let’s talk cocktail popsicles. (Or “poptails,” as they’re apparently being called these days.) This is one food trend I can totally get behind. (Not like those darn kale chips, for which I have the utmost contempt.) I decided my first attempt at these would be a champagne-based cocktail, and the French 75 seemed like the perfect mixture of refreshing and boozy. (A little history: This cocktail was named after the French 75mm field gun, thanks its smooth-yet-powerful kick.) Each popsicle works out to be around 1/3 of a cocktail, which seems like a modest dose of booze per treat. But one thing I didn’t keep in mind is that your average cocktail is enjoyed over the course of half an hour or so, while a popsicle needs to be polished off in a couple of minutes. I chowed my way through one of these last week after I’d wrapped up the photographs, and I definitely felt a little loopy by the time I finished it. Weee!
French 75 Popsicles
yield: 10 popsicles (plus a little bit left over to drink!)
- 12 oz. of champagne
- 4 oz. of cognac or gin (There’s a bit of debate over which of these should be used, although a reader has since noted that gin is the original ingredient, and cognac was introduced later. Either way, both are a good choice. I prefer gin, so that is what I used here.)
- 4 oz. of simple syrup
- 3 oz. of fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients together into a large measuring cup, then evenly distribute in your popsicle molds, leaving about 1/4 inch of room at the top. (You’ll have around 3 oz. left over after filling the molds.)
Since this was my first attempt at popsicles, ever, I read a lot of reviews before deciding on a mold (this one). One of the reviewers had a ton of very helpful tips, including using large binder clips to hold the sticks on place. I was only able to dig up one binder clip at my parents’ house (which worked perfectly). For the rest, I left them in the freezer for about an hour and a half until they’d just begun to set, then stuck the sticks in. If you follow either one of these methods, don’t bother soaking the sticks ahead of time. (Especially if you’re using a mold that has a top like this one — the sticks will swell and it will be very difficult to get the top off.)
Oh yeah! I had originally made these for a joint post to celebrate my good friend Nicole’s giveaway over at her blog, but opted for brownies at the last minute instead. For anyone who’s still interested in the giveaway, it’s not too late! You have until midnight tomorrow (Sunday) to hop over there and check it out.