Popsicle. A happy little word that conjures memories from childhood summers, when there wasn’t anything else to do but sit on the porch with the neighborhood kids and fight over who got the last cherry one. We didn’t care that we were sticky or that it was blazing hot outside. Give a kid a popsicle and all is right in her world.
Today, popsicles have been enjoying a renaissance. I first encountered this Popsicle Revolution when People’s Pops took Brooklyn by storm with their handmade pops made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. With flavors like Raspberry & Basil, Blueberry & Buttermilk, and Apricot & Lavender, I was on board with this Frozen Confection Train.
Shortly after that, I heard of a place tantalizingly named Suck It Sweets in Studio City.* Oh, my. I could drive there. And I did. And it was Awesome.
I had their Cherry Cobbler pop and, may I say, it was not disappointing. SO not disappointing.
Sometime later, while cruising the frozen section at Whole Foods, I stumbled upon paletas. These are Mexican ice pops made from Mangoes and Chilies and Hibiscus and Coconut and a myriad of other wonderful, regional ingredients. ¡Muy deliciosos!
The signs were unmistakable. My mission became clear. I promptly ordered the following gear: pop molds, sticks, and the bible of frozen confections—the People’s Pops recipe book. I started out classic…trying out Straight-Up Raspberry for a visiting relative. Then I attempted their Blackberry & Rose. Both were Crazy Good.
Monin Violet Syrup
My latest fave is Cucumber & Violet. When I saw that recipe in the book, I gasped out loud.** It was serendipitous, because I had just bought some Monin Violet Syrup and was itching to try it. This violet syrup has the truest violet flavor I’ve tried. I can’t wait to experiment with it more. And I have always loved cucumber in spa water and cocktails—I couldn’t wait to try these pops!
They are super easy to make. The only ingredients are:
Simple. The taste? Fresh Floral Deliciousness. Neither flavor is overpowering, and they aren’t overly sweet, just really refreshing—perfect on a hot afternoon or even as a palate cleanser during a dinner party. Seriously, friends, who would not be absolutely delighted by a Cucumber & Violet frozen pop between courses on a summer night? Anyone who wouldn’t is not invited to my dinner parties! Even my husband Aaron, who is continually barraged by my floral flavored food, loved them.
I admire the gang from People’s Pops for taking a common treat and turning it into something unexpected and innovative. I’m happily working my way through their recipe book—Vive la Révolution!
CUCUMBER & VIOLET POPS (adapted from People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop)
1 ¼ lbs cucumbers (about 2 or 3), peeled
2/3 cup simple syrup (see recipe below)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup violet syrup (preferably Monin), or to taste
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
Simmer sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Makes about 1 cup.
Purée the cucumbers in a food processor and add to a medium-sized bowl with a pouring spout. Add the lemon juice and simple syrup. Add the violet syrup, tasting as you go, until you reach delicious violet goodness.
Pour into ice pop molds, leaving a bit of room at the top, since the mixture expands as it freezes. Insert sticks and freeze for at least 4 to 5 hours.
Unmold the pops by running warm water over the mold until they release easily. Give an adult a popsicle and all is right in their world.
Stuff Worthy Of Our Notice™ in this post:
Monin Violet Syrup is available from the company’s website. You can purchase pop molds, wooden popsicle sticks, and the People’s Pops recipe book from Amazon.
* This location has unfortunately closed. Come back to me!
**For more violet goodness, see previous posts on The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur and Kusmi Violette tea.