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Stir a watermelon champagne popsicle into a chilled glass of bubbly to cool you down on a hot summer night.
Ahhhhh summer. Warm days, long nights, and easy entertaining. And in the spirit of easy, I’ll create simple menus full of fresh, seasonal ingredients that require less time in the kitchen. The same goes for cocktails.
At the start of the season my friend and I always ask the same question….”What is our drink of the summer?”. We’re usually in sync…we love tart over sweet and a little heat is always welcome. Last summer I fell in love with spicy palomas, but this summer I’m ready to mix it up again.
And mix it up I did. And then I froze it!
Handfuls of seedless watermelon are blended with a little simple syrup and frozen into popsicles that are topped off with champagne. After they’re frozen, they get popped into a glass of bubbly where they melt into a frothy, fresh cocktail.
This is an easy recipe to tweak to your own liking. I love a hint of herbs in mine so I threw few sprigs of lemon thyme into the simple syrup as it steeped. It’s subtle, but it adds another layer of flavor. If you favor a less sweet drink, dial back the sugar or replace it with agave to taste. Want heat? Add some jalapeño slices into the simple syrup as it cooks and cools.
The great thing about these popsicles is that you can make a bunch well in advance and store them in the freezer. Then when you’re ready to entertain, the only thing between you and a fabulous cocktail is popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly.
One thing to note when you’re making popsicles with champagne or liquor is they will never freeze icy solid because of the alcohol content. So this just means that you need to work quickly as you unmold them and get them back into the freezer as quickly as possible to maintain their shape.
This is a fun and festive popsicle perfect for your 4th of July party. It’s easy, make-ahead and of course screams celebrate! I hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend and with these on your menu, it’s guaranteed.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- a couple sprigs of your favorite herb (lemon thyme or mint work well)
- 2 cups (heaping) seedless watermelon, cubed
- 1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup Champagne (or your favorite sparkling wine)
- * additional champagne, watermelon slices, and herb sprigs for serving
Combine the sugar, water and herbs in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 2 mins. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Strain the herbs from the sugar syrup and add the syrup, watermelon, liqueur, and lemon juice to a blender.
Blend until smooth and pour into popsicle molds. They will be about 3/4 full.
Top the popsicles with champagne until full, cover and insert popsicle sticks.
Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours or overnight. To unmold run water over the bottom of the molds and pull out.
To serve, pour champagne in a glass, place the popsicle in (stick-side up) and garnish with a watermelon slice and herb sprig if desired.
Special Equipment: Popsicle molds (12 - 3 oz molds)