Growing up as a kid making something “from scratch” was a pretty loose term in our household. We made our own birthday cakes “from scratch” with the help of Betty Crocker, every year. In fact I think the first birthday cake that we purchased was a hilariously ironic giant Barbie doll ice cream cake for my 18th birthday (I once almost set one of my few Barbie doll’s hair on fire because I thought that if her hair changed color in sunlight the same would happen if I stuck her head against a light bulb; lesson learned).
One thing that we made “from scratch” quite often was popsicles. We had this great 6-pop mold with red circular stick/drip-catchers that made tiny 3-4 inch column-shaped popsicles. Without fail we always used Juicy Juice. Maybe you remember the kind that came in the giant tin can and you had to use the old rusted bottle opener to punch holes in the top to pour from. Maybe they still make them that way, I’m not sure. Anyway, those were our go-to popsicles.
Now that I’m a bit older I bought my own fancy popsicle molds from the dollar store. They have a sippy-straw built into the bottom drip-catcher so it doesn’t slosh all over your hand while it melts. I know, super fancy. But honestly I eat my popsicles so fast it doesn’t really matter.
The popsicles I make these days inevitably always involve booze. I’m not a huge fan of mixed drinks, I think they’re a little too sickly sweet, but for some reason if you freeze one of those drinks in popsicle form, I’m hooked. I know, it defies logic.
Over the summer my friend Adrienne dropped by for a girl’s night of food, movies and drinks. We made two pitchers of these drinks, like two giant pitchers, and watched a requisite crappy early-2000s girlie movie (Centerstage) and the classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail (“Fetchez la vache!”) and proceeded to get slightly gigglier as the night wore on. It was just what the doctor ordered.
These drinks were awesome. They were pink, had blended vodka and champagne. We’re both suckers for champagne. I have been known to drink a giant bottle of champagne (or two) through a straw on my birthday (turning 25 was rough). I tweaked the second batch to make it a little more boozy, of course, and when we didn’t finish the “base” because we ran out of champagne I stashed the pitcher in my fridge. Three days later, I was sick of the lack of space in the fridge and decided to try and turn the pitcher of pink booze into popsicles.
The original recipe has a blended base with club soda that you then pour into a glass half-filled with champagne. Because the mixture was sitting in my fridge for a few days and had already been blended with the ice, it’s fair to say that a lot of the fizz from the club soda was gone. Even still, the finished popsicles aren’t nearly as dense as ones that don’t have a fizzy drink in them so be careful removing them from the molds as the stick may slide out a bit before the popsicle unmolds itself. Also, if you make these fresh, don’t fill the molds all the way to the top since I’m certain the mixture will expand quite a bit from the carbonation of the club soda and you want to give it room for that. If I make these again I might find a substitute for the club soda so there’s less expansion when they freeze. Or maybe I’ll just stick to my tried and true tequila pops. But that’s for another post.
Pink Lemonade Vodka Pops and Champagne Fizzes
Adapted slightly from “Any Bitch Can Party Cookbook” a cookbook for entertaining by Jackie McClure.
2 cups ice
½ can frozen pink lemonade
½ cup vodka
1 cup orange juice
1 cup club soda
½ tsp vanilla
1 bottle of champagne or prosecco
Pour all ingredients except the champagne in a blender. Put the ice in first so it doesn’t splash when you add it later. Blend until no more ice chunks remain. Fill the pop molds to within a centimeter of the top. Put sticks/drip-catchers in filled mold and freeze over night.
Pour the remaining base mixture into a pitcher. In the bottom of a wine glass place about two ounces of champagne. Top with base mixture and enjoy.
Makes 6 pops and about 8 – 10 servings of champagne fizzes.