You Should Try Turning Your Favorite Cocktail Into Poolside Ice Pops

Whether you're searching for a convenient way to enjoy a cocktail at the pool or you're looking for the perfect boozy dessert for a backyard cookout, alcohol-infused ice pops are a surefire way to get the party started. From fruity drinks like cosmopolitans or palomas to creamy sips like spiked horchata or Irish coffee, you can transform almost any tipple into a frozen treat. And don't forget about savory beverages, too — what brunch couldn't be made better with a frozen version of a Bloody Mary?

You might already know that liquor with a high ABV (80 to 90 proof) is resistant to freezing, but that doesn't make cocktail-inspired ice pops impossible. With a few ingredient adjustments and other tips, your pops should solidify successfully. Reducing the alcohol also makes them more sessionable — you can enjoy a few of these treats without getting as tipsy, compared to having multiple drinks.

The most important factor is to make sure your liquid mixture clocks in at about 5% to 10% ABV. A simple ratio can help you achieve this. After getting the hang of it, you'll want to try this treatment with all kinds of refreshing summer sippers: Margaritas, piña coladas, and other tropical cocktails would be particularly fitting.

How to turn your cocktail into a popsicle

Whether you're using whiskey, tequila, vodka, or another liquor, craft your ice pops using one part alcohol for every five parts of your other ingredients. For instance, if you're using a coffee base, use five ounces of coffee for every one ounce of liquor. If you're creating a pop based on a spirit-forward beverage, and you're worried it won't freeze, try using alcohol-free mocktail ingredients that are meant to imitate alcoholic staples. Check out these bar cart essentials for low or non-alcoholic cocktails, as well as Alton Brown's favorite non-alcoholic spirits.

If you don't mind altering the flavor profile of the original drink, you can reduce the amount of liquor and pour in ingredients like fruit juice, milk or condensed milk, or just plain water to compensate for volume. Mix your boozy popsicle base in a large pitcher, or whip it up in a blender — the latter should be your choice if you're using frozen fruits, such as in frozen strawberry margaritas.

To finish, pour the mixture into ice pop molds. You can invest in actual plastic molds, or use paper Dixie cups and popsicle sticks as a substitute. In a pinch, you can even use a loaf pan to make ice pops. Freeze your treats for at least four to five hours before serving. If they get stuck in their mods, hold them under warm water for just a second to make it easier to get them out.

Tips for making the best alcohol-infused ice pops

Once you make sure you're not using too much alcohol, making boozy ice pops is fairly foolproof. However, there are a few tips to make them even better or easier. Firstly, you may want to avoid using fizzy drinks like soda water, which can expand quite a bit when frozen. If you do choose to use sparkling ingredients, leave plenty of room in the ice pop molds for expansion, or you could wind up with an explosion.

You might also find that spiked ice pops turn slushy more quickly than their non-alcoholic counterparts. While it may be impossible to counteract melting, you can prevent sticky fingers or stained clothes by fitting a cupcake liner onto your popsicles. And to help your pops stay frozen before you enjoy them, bury them in ice in your cooler, especially if you're transporting them to a party or event.

Finally, if you're short on time but still want to pair an icy treat with alcohol, consider grabbing a clear glass, sticking a popsicle inside, and pouring your drink over it. This looks visually stunning and adds a pop of color, flavor, and cooling power to your drink. An easy and refreshing combo is prosecco poured over fruity ice pops, but you can use any liquor or cocktail you'd like.