Perfect Summer Popsicles

When the dog days of summer set in, we up the ante on our cool-down techniques. As refreshing as a dip in a pool, a fruit- and herb-infused popsicle is the perfect way to stave off a heat-induced meltdown. Easy to make and a healthy alternative to standard freezer-section fare, they require minimal advance planning and offer a great opportunity to incorporate what’s fresh and in season. Below, we break down the basics of how we prepare the frozen treat, but this project is really about improvising. Simply purchase some pop molds from your local kitchenware retailer, find inspiration at your farmers’ market, and chill.

For a sophisticated take, infuse. What’s more refreshing than cucumber water? Frozen cucumber water. In our version (top, right), we mixed coconut water, cucumber, mint, and lime juice for a delicious and hydrating snack.

Feel free to grab and go. For the yellow-tinged popsicle shown above, we “cheated” and purchased freshly pressed juice from our local market that we watered down by half. The spicy lemon beverage was quite concentrated, so the result was refreshing but still full of flavor. 

Incorporate your leftovers. For our final popsicle, we combined extra cut-up watermelon plus the juice of one lime in a blender and processed until smooth, adding enough water so that the mixture liquefied. Anything that has a clean, bright flavor is perfect for a popsicle, just be sure to balance any sweetness with something tart or refreshing.

Budget for freezing time. Note that once you’ve prepared your concoction, it’ll take at least four hours for it to freeze, so time your popsicle-making plans accordingly. 

Don’t waste a drop. Pour any leftover liquid into an ice cube tray to enjoy easy flavored water in the future.

TSG Tip 168 features pop molds from The Happy Cook in Charlottesville, Virginia. Find a local kitchenware store near you in the TSG Directory.