Torn between a fresh-from-the-freezer sweet treat or an ice-cold cocktail as the best way to cool down this summer? Now you don’t have to choose because clever bartenders are adding a hit of hooch to pops in a rainbow of colors. Here are 7 boozy popsicles guaranteed to give you a buzzy brain freeze.
Nacional 27, Chicago, Illinois
Are you more of a Crockett or a Tubbs? Ordering the Miami Vice paleta allows you to indulge your fantasy of being either one of the pastel-prone policeman. The vibrant pop is a mix of strawberry daiquiri and piña colada. Playing Jan Hammer’s iconic theme song to the show on your iPhone while you’re slurping one down is perfectly acceptable, but doing air drums is forbidden. Make a reservation at Nacional 27.
Gracias Madre, West Hollywood, California
Knock back too many of these boozy popsicles and you just may wake up to find yourself somewhere in Mexico wearing little more than a sombrero. The svelte-but-deadly cocktail on a stick is made with tequila blanco, roasted pineapple, and jalapeño to add a kick of capsaicin. If you do overindulge, make sure you take a selfie of yourself in that sombrero, as it would make an unforgettable Instagram profile pic. Make a reservation at Gracias Madre.
Cindy’s, Chicago, Illinois
Every Saturday, executive pastry chef Jove Hubbard sells popsicles out a takeaway window on Michigan Avenue. Call it a pop pop-up. There will always be one boozy selection, such as his piña colada enriched with Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum. Not included: a paper umbrella or slice of pineapple. Make a reservation at Cindy’s.
Del Frisco’s Grille, Washington, D.C.
How do you improve on sangria when it’s already the ideal summertime sipper? You turn it into an icy pop, that’s how. Made with pinot grigio, peach schnapps, strawberry puree, and peach chunks, it’s equally breezy and boozy. Make a reservation at Del Frisco’s Grille.
Atrio, Miami, Florida
Dieting and drinking traditionally do not go hand-in-hand. That’s not the case with the Miami Bellini, which features a guava-jalapeño popsicle resting in a glass of zero-calorie Syltbar prosecco. Yes, you read that correctly; there’s a guilt-free sparkling wine on the market. You can toast this invention by downing as many glasses as you can handle, though you should remember that Syltbar is not hangover-free. Make a reservation at Atrio.
Barton G., Los Angeles, California
Barton G. is known for it’s ‘Oh, wait-you-can-eat-that?’ presentations that never fail to delight, and this playful potable doesn’t disappoint. It’s an orange vodka and watermelon liqueur martini accompanied by a chocolate monkey dangling off the rim. Not to be overlooked is the nitro-forged Champagne swizzle stick, which is essentially a miniature popsicle. Make a reservation at Barton G..
Studio Kraut, New York, New York
We are big fans of the bubbly. Whether we’re toasting the end of a grueling workday during happy hour or trying to clear away the cobwebs in our mind at brunch, a stem of sparkling stuff is always in order. That’s why we love this creation, which is basically a glass of prosecco with a mango mimosa ice pop garnish. Perfect at 5 o’clock or noon – or any other time of day for that matter. Make a reservation at Studio Kraut.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Eric Wolfinger (Gracias Madre); Kelsey Sullivan (Cindy’s).