Remember the childhood joy of slurping an icy popsicle on a hot day? These pretty pastel pops serve up summer nostalgia with a boozy adult twist.
The secret ingredient is Campari, the scarlet Italian aperitif made from herbs, spices, and fruit. It's traditionally served over ice with soda water and a slice of lime or a splash of juice. A great summer barbecue drink, Campari is refreshing in the heat and mild enough (25 percent alcohol) to sip all afternoon without worries.
The pops are sweeter, fruitier, and just plain fun. You only need four ingredients and a couple of kiddie popsicle molds from the 99-cent store.
The pink grapefruit pops are perfect for Campari lovers — tart, with the alcohol's distinctly bittersweet flavor. If they were served in a little glass at a fancy restaurant, you'd call them palate-cleansing. The orange version is sweeter, a mouthful of frosty orange with just a little extra something. Mix up a batch of each — popsicles never felt so classy.
Campari Citrus Popsicles
Makes 10 to 15 popsicles, depending on the size
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups grapefruit juice or orange juice (add a squeeze of lemon if using orange)
1/2 cup Campari
Mix the water and sugar together in a small pan over low heat, and bring up to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the simple syrup to boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat. and cool (makes a little over 1 cup of simple syrup).
Combine the citrus juice and Campari and add 1 cup of the cooled syrup. Adjust to taste (for the grapefruit pops, you may want to add a tablespoon or two extra syrup if you prefer them less tart). Remember, the mixture will taste slightly sweeter in liquid form than it does when frozen.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight. To remove, run the molds quickly under hot water, and gently pull out the pops.