Boozy popsicles are back in Raleigh bars…or in your own kitchen.
At 10th and Terrace at the top of downtown’s Residence Inn, they are made of puréed fruit, simple syrup and Kölsch beer from White Street Brewing Co. in Wake Forest; what better way to beat the heat while soaking in the best of summer than enjoying one of these beer-infused treats? To make the experience even better, they come served in a glass of Anna de Codorniu Cava, or more White Street Kölsch.
Here’s a visual.
Imagine a traditionally shaped peach popsicle with the slight pear and melon taste of a crisp, German-style beer, slowly melting into a stemless glass of chilled Cava, like a Bellini. Or place a pop in your Kölsch straight from the tap, foam flowing like a fruity root beer float. You can dip the popsicle like an Oreo in a cold glass of milk, or you can let it seep into your drink, slowly transforming the flavor of what you’re sipping on until all you’re left with is an empty glass and a wooden stick. Yes, please!
For a change of pace this summer, 10th and Terrace is also offering a (non-alcoholic) lemon-lime popsicle—there’s actual lime zest in the pop—placed in a mixed drink of vodka, hard lime seltzer, green tea simple syrup, lime juice and fresh mint. Rachael Pair, the director of operations at downtown’s Residence Inn, calls it the hotel bar’s “zen poptail” for those who want a treat that’s light and refreshing.
“We were looking for something out of the box to set us apart,” says Pair, who introduced the restaurant’s boozy popsicles last summer with Chandler Pearce, formerly a business development representative at Lonerider Brewing Company. “The popsicles let us get creative and let your taste buds soar. The motivation for creating the popsicles is like being a kid in a candy store.”
Currently, 10th and Terrace has four popsicle flavor options, with peach and lemon-lime as this summer’s new additions. Last year’s favorites, strawberry and Piña Colada, are back and all four will be available until the weather cools down, likely after the Hopscotch festival in the fall.
While 10th and Terrace was an early player in Raleigh’s boozy popsicle scene, it’s not the only place offering these spiked delights. North Hills’ 41 Hundred Lounge also offers boozy popsicles with ever-changing flavors, so it’s worth checking them out, too. Last summer, 41 Hundred Lounge sold frosty Margarita and frozen Old Fashioned popsicles filled with boozy gummy bears.
Whether you find them at a Raleigh bar, order a box online or spend hours on Pinterest looking up “poptails,” there’s no shortage of ways to find this frozen treat. We tried our hands at making easy, flavorful popsicles we thought would be accessible to boozy pop novices. We think, with enough trial and error, you can make any cocktail into a “poptail.”
After experimenting with six recipes, we landed on three we think are straightforward and delicious:
Coconut Key Lime Pie:
- 1 part Key Lime Pie Cream Liqueur
- 1 part coconut rum
- 4 parts limeade
Spiked Arnold Palmer:
- 1 part Firefly Sweat Tea Vodka
- 3 parts lemonade
- Splash of unsweet tea
Cucumber and Elderflower:
- 1 part Cucumber and Mint Kettle One Vodka
- 1 part Elderflower liqueur
- 4 parts lemonade
Of course, you can get as fancy as you like with the ingredients, but we recommend starting simple. Liquor doesn’t freeze easily, which is common knowledge, so the trick is to include a flavored spirit with enough juice to freeze the alcohol. Also, choose your mold carefully. A popsicle mold with a plastic pull top can be tricky when you’re trying to pull the popsicle out of the mold—while still frozen and formed, popsicles with alcohol don’t hold up to the yanking that a popsicle full of only juice likely would. If you want to try your own recipe, use an ice cube tray with a silicon bottom to pop out the ice cubes. If they’re fully frozen, you should be able to try something bigger. Stay away from bitter or overly sweet flavors. If you’re doing something fruity, try adding real pieces of fruit to the mix. Happy popping.