No-Cook Recipe: Poptails

popsicles, frozen drinks, alcohol, poptails, cocktail It's hot outside, and it's hot inside. Not the easiest time to host guests, especially if like my own, your air conditioning can't handle a lot of bodies in one room. Drinking alcohol doesn't help either, as it raises body temperature and leaves everyone feeling flushed.

I realized a couple of summers what to do to your cocktails to keep your friends around for a few more hours: Freeze them.

Poptails - cocktails in popsicle form - help to beat the heat.

The key to adding alcohol to popsicles is in the ratio. Because alcohols freeze at lower temperatures than water or juice, you need to dilute them. Depending on the proof of your alcohol and consistency of the other ingredients, you want to use about 1 part alcohol to 4 parts mixer, although less mixer for beer, wine, or Champagne.

It's fun (and really cute) to take a signature cocktail and adapt it for frozen form. The fruitier and more diluted the drink, the easier it is. Fruity isn't the only route, however. What about coffee with milk, sugar, and a little bit of a cream liquor?

Be creative, and have fun... just as if you were making liquid cocktails.

Here are three I've made (and much enjoyed):

  • Greyhound - Freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, sugar, and vodka.
  • Apple and Bourbon - Apple juice is sugary enough on its own, so cut the sweetness with a bit of lemon juice--and a shot of bourbon.
  • Tom Collins - Instead of sparkling water and lemon juice, just use lemonade in this remake of the classic cocktail. Add gin and an herb (mint, tarragon, or basil) for a sophisticated touch.

For the most successful, most-intact pops, get all of the details on how to make them.

Solar-Powered Popsicles€¦Huh?

Get ready to see the coolest (and hottest) ice cream truck you have ever laid eyes on! Solar energy company, Sungevity, just launched the Sungevity Ice Pop Truck to carry across the country free popsicles and news about their Rooftop Revolution. The truck not only passes out free organic ice pops, created by GoodPop, but also information for customers on how easy and affordable it is to bring solar energy into their homes. With flavors like Mango or Hibicus Mint, how can you pass up free info on how you can save money and the Earth? What a sweet way to find out how to help the environment! Now, if only all street food trucks were built that way!

The Sungevity Ice Pop Truck was just in NYC and is now making its way down the East Coast. You can track their truck for their next location of free ice pops on Facebook and Twitter. Check out this awesome video below on how the truck takes out its solar panels to prepare to pass out its free tasty treats.

[vsw id="26970662" source="vimeo" width="425" height="344" autoplay="no"]

Photo: Mat McDermott

Would you get solar panels for your home?

Weekend Project: Make Homemade Popsicles!

Now that it's late May, it's time to break out your popsicle molds and craft some refreshing and light summer desserts. In style across the country, popsicles are appearing in flavors such as strawberry rhubarb or blackberry lemon verbena. Whether you want to go for a classic like orange or perhaps try one of these new flavor concoctions, popsicles are easy to make and a fun weekend project.  Making popsicles is a great way to get your kids in the kitchen - popsicles only take a few ingredients to make and are easy.

Here are three fun combinations to get your started! Combine the ingredients and freeze in popsicle molds. Try a basic version or something with a fun design to get your kids even more excited!

1. Peaches and Cream: Place 4 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and roughly diced in a blender. Blend until pureed and then stir in 1 cup whole milk, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, and a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg. Stir to combine and then divide between popsicle molds. Freeze until solid.

2. Mixed Berry Blast: Pick up a few cartons of your favorite berries from the market, and combine them in a blender with water. (Use a ratio of 2 cups berries to 1/4 cup water for a super-berry popsicle.) Stir in two tablespoons of greek yogurt if you want a creamy version. Divide between popsicle molds. Freeze until solid.

3. Chocolate-Dipped Coconut-Banana: An elegant twist on the childhood ice cream truck classics, try this recipe for kitchen savvy kids who have a little bit more experience. It combines rich and delicious coconut milk with the flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, and almond milk.