How To Choose The Best Type Of Alcohol For Boozy Popsicles

It's August. You're on the front porch. "I could sure use a cocktail," you say. We'll do you one better: How about a boozy popsicle? Like any popsicle, the most important part of nailing a perfectly refreshing and delicious alcohol-infused version is the ingredients. Popsicles are just a couple of liquids mixed together, so if the flavor profile isn't right, there's nothing left for the treat to hide behind. However, consistency is also a huge part of a successful freeze — nobody wants a runny popsicle that melts before they can finish it. 

Juice freezes at 15 degrees Fahrenheit, says LEAFtv, which is convenient considering appliance giant Whirlpool recommends keeping your home freezer at 0 degrees. Still, freezing juice is much easier than freezing liquor. According to Bogue Sound Distillery, vodka has a freezing point of negative 16 degrees, while tequila requires even icier temperatures between negative 100 to negative 170 degrees, per Liquor Laboratory. Since achieving these intense subzero conditions is largely impossible in the average home freezer, the key to avoiding runny popsicles lies in getting the ratio of ingredients right. For a firm freeze, Veggies Don't Bite recommends using 4 ounces of juice for every 1 ounce of liquor. Now that you know what measurements to use, it's time to dive into the sweetest part of making boozy popsicles: the ingredients.

Put your mixology skills to the test

Mixology is all about combining flavors that work well together. The same craft beverage you love to sip in a cocktail glass can be easily converted into a popsicle mold. Choosing the best type of alcohol for boozy popsicles depends on which ingredients you're using to build your flavor profile — and, like your slices of fresh fruit or juice, liquors have their own distinct tastes. 

If your popsicles feature lime or orange juice, tequila makes a good fit; this would emulate classic cocktails like the margarita or tequila sunrise. If you're using pineapple juice or coconut, opt for rum to mirror a tropical piña colada or Painkiller. For cranberry juice popsicles, use vodka to create a frozen Cosmopolitan. Or, for an easy freeze, simply combine gin and a highly sweetened lemonade in your popsicle mold for a fresh take on a classic Tom Collins. You can even use wine for a sangria-inspired popsicle. 

At the end of the day, if you aren't sure which liquor would pair best with the flavors in your boozy popsicles, go with vodka. Unlike the smoky or pungent flavors found in many liquors, vodka's lack of distinct flavor allows you to try out more complex combinations, per Veggies Don't Bite. Its versatility makes it a mixologist's bread and butter (but, a lot more fun than bread and butter).