The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Exploring the Hot Cool Popsicle Trend

Posted on | July 25, 2011 | Written by Alexandra Hill | No Comments

Avocado-cilantro-lime popsicle

The latest hot trend is a cool one indeed: artisanal, often adult, popsicles. Popping up in foodie reports on New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Gourmet and, most recently and influentially, the New York Times, popsicles are the new nostalgic treat that gourmands can do better than they remember. It’s not too big a stretch to say that popsicles are this summer’s cupcake.

I am not immune to trends. I am quite easily swayed by the peer pressure of cool, to be quite frank. More to the point, I have long enjoyed popsicles, and the idea of having a popsicle that is made of natural, even organic, perhaps alcoholic, ingredients is deeply appealing. Add to this general idea of high-quality coolness the prospect of savory popsicles, and I admit my willing and ready seduction.

This past weekend, I enjoyed the piquant citrus tartness of the Campari-grapefruit popsicle. It was everything you’d want from a popsicle on a hot Friday evening in July. It was drippy, icy, mouthwatering joy, in short, and if you’re a person who enjoys Campari, you’re going to fall in bittersweet love all over again.

Yesterday, I had an avocado-cilantro-lime popsicle spiked with tequila (recipe found in Mark Bittman’s NY Times piece). It was delicious. The fat in the avocado keeps the ice-pop from melting too fast, and the combination of the flavors makes for a summer concert in the mouth. I’ve peaches soaking in bourbon to make a yogurt-based creamy peach, bourbon and pineapple sage version later today.

Once you begin experimenting, you realize that the popsicle world is ripe for the exploration. As long as you keep the alcohol below thirty percent by volume (or forego it altogether), you’re fairly golden. All you need is a blender, a good popsicle maker, and a freezer—this is one of the easiest artisanal foodie trends known to human. I’ve plans for a yogurt-based lavender honey popsicle (you could add vodka to this, or not), a Pimms cup twist with honeydew melon and cucumber, and a St. Germain popsicle with grapefruit juice and basil.

The world is my quiescently frozen oyster, so to speak. Shelfish is a poor base for popsicles. But everything else—from gazpacho to cashews—is open to chilly plunder.

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