When Kristen spotted 100-calorie vodka popsicles at Costco recently, our Cool Mom Eats team got a little too excited about the idea of summer evenings by the pool with our own private stash of totally grown-up boozy popsicles. But unless you’re a Costco member in California, Arizona, Nevada or Colorado, you’re out of luck.
The rest of us will just have to search our local liquor stores for frozen alcoholic treats — or, we can always DIY, right?
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Here’s how to do it if you want to make your own boozy popsicles. The results should be worth it.
NB: Just be sure to label your vodka popsicles very clearly in your freezer. No one wants a babysitter accidentally passing these out to try to cool off the kids.
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Step 1: Stock up on frozen popsicle sleeves
You can use any old popsicle mold (like this affordable set at our affiliate Amazon) to make a boozy popsicle, but if you’re planning to transport them, I suggest using ice pop sleeves.
While there are silicone ice pop sleeve style molds that will last quite a long time, I like this Reuse-a-Pop brand of reusable ice pop bags, in part because you can see what’s inside, and because you can easily and clearly label them.
If you don’t want to invest in tools before you know if you like them, you can get creative and freeze your vodka popsicles directly in a Yeti mug and eat them like you’re eating a slushy.
Just remember, popsicles melt pretty quickly. In part, because Vodka doesn’t freeze to begin with. (Science!)
Step 2: Stir up your favorite cocktail mix…with a caveat
A true vodka martini is vodka and vermouth, but straight alcohol like that won’t freeze solid. That’s where Costco’s fruit flavors come into play. You need to have enough juice, soda, seltzer, crushed ice, or other non-alcoholic mixer.
I use a ratio of 2 cups fruit juice and a 1/2 cup alcohol to get the right balance of cocktail flavor and actual frozen popsicle. And, of course, you can get creative!
My favorite combo is an adaptation of a Salty Dog: 2 cups grapefruit juice and a 1/2 cup vodka makes for a nice citrusy cooler and an even better boozy popsicle. You could also substitute the grapefruit for lemonade, cranberry juice, lime juice…even a r with crushed berries in it and some club soda. You get the picture.
Quick tip: I made a batch of homemade boozy popsicles using some of our favorite canned cocktails — a can of White Linen for me — and it was a lot cheaper and easier than buying a new bottle of elderflower liquor or juicing cucumbers.
Related: The most delicious rosé wine cocktails to toast to summer
Step 3: Fill your molds
It’s easy. You don’t need directions. But, you may want a funnel.
Step 4: Freeze, and enjoy
I’ve found that freezing boozy popsicles takes a lot longer than regular popsicles, and the higher the alcohol content in your mix, the longer it will take. In fact, if you put too much alcohol in them, they won’t freeze past slushy phase at all.
So, remember: go light on the booze and give yourself plenty of time to freeze these before you’re ready to picnic or serve to guests. Mine took a full 24 hours. Then, enjoy!