Ice pops have grown up a bit since you took sugary store-bought juice, Dixie cups and sticks to make homemade frozen pops as a child. One Portland company, Sloshy Pops, produces attractive ice pops with perfect consistency, mimicking the hand-made look rarely achieved at home, with the addition of one thing you shouldn’t have been adding as a child: booze.
A must in the Pacific Northwest food scene, locally sourced and fresh ingredients are exclusively used for these bright and charming popsicles. From the strawberries in the pops to the wine or spirits that provide the buzz, the ingredients are rounded up from local and familiar purveyors.
Working with like-minded and local companies comes easy for Sloshy Pops owners Cheryl Lisowski and Carl Forsman by virtue of their veteran status in the service industry. The business partners met at Tasty ‘n’ Sons nearly a decade ago, both with backgrounds in fine dining and having worked and made connections in some Portland’s finest establishments like the Toro Bravo restaurant group and Beast.
Lisowski came up with the idea for boozy pops in late summer of 2015. Always full of ideas and business ventures, she ran the idea of boozy popsicles by Forsman, and this time the idea was too solid to pass up. Since that winter, the pair have been producing pops reminiscent of cocktails, but more importantly using produce and products available seasonally. This means if you’re looking for a custom boozy popsicle for your event or wedding, they’ll create a truly original pop for your gathering.
A few of the mainstays include Strawberry Mint Julep (Oregon strawberries, lemon, mint and bourbon), Rhubarb & Crema Rumsicle (rhubarb, charred lemon, rum, crema, orange bitters and more rum) and Hurricane Pop (house-made passion fruit puree, fresh squeezed lime and orange, pomegranate grenadine and Bull Run Single Malt Whisky).
While Sloshy Pops can’t share all of their secrets, they have provided this recipe for making a Strawberry Mint Julep pop at home. Since you’ve grown up too, go ahead and add that bourbon.
Strawberry Mint Julep
Makes 12 pops
Four pints of strawberries
½ cup white wine
½ cup of sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
6-8 mint sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped mint
½ cup bourbon
Wash strawberries and cut off the green tops. Place strawberries in a large pot with a half cup of wine and a sprinkle of sugar. Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Blend the cooked strawberries until you have a nice smooth puree.
While the mixture is cooling, place 1/2 cup of sugar in a small pot with 1/2 cup of water and 6-8 sprigs of mint. Let the mixture come to a boil while stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool. Strain the mint sprigs.
In a large mixing bowl add 2 1/2 cups of the strawberry puree, 3/4 cups of the mint simple syrup, 4 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lime, the zest of one lime, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of bourbon and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped mint. Stir mixture until it is blended well. Fill popsicle molds almost to the top, stick in the popsicle sticks and let freeze overnight.