With summer comes the longing for everything sweet, cold, slushy, icy and -- well, let's admit it -- infused with alcohol too. We at Clean Plate Charlie love all those things -- there's just one thing. We're so over rum runners, pina coladas, and daiquiris. Leave those to the amateur spring breakers and Canadian vacationers.
If you're like us, you've graduated from all those slushy-lushy drinks and want to start having some real adult drinking fun -- and what better way to start than with alcoholic ices and ice cream? While we South Floridians readily admit to day drinking, even we can feel slightly ashamed after yet another round of cold ones midafternoon. For times like these, we have a solution: make your own alcohol-infused ice pops, or buy some like Tip the Wagon to make at-home adult beverages you can enjoy in the comfort -- and privacy -- of your own couch.
So grab your plastic containers, ice cream scoop, and a few bottles of booze and let us introduce you to some of our top picks for the best adult iced beverage products and homemade recipes around.
This duo, both professional food and lifestyle photographers with a blog dubbed White on Rice Couple, have an amazing recipe for do-it-yourself mojitos, the perfect summer cool-down treat. They use Marion blackberries (also known as marionberries) native to Oregon, which can be hard to find in their home state of California. Get your hands on some, however, and you'll have an amazing mojito. A cross between a raspberry and blackberry, they are the perfect mix of sweet and tart. If you can't find any, regular blackberries will do -- or try blending your own mix of raspberries and blackberries for the same taste profile. With this recipe's use of orange bitters, it's a tart treat for the summer heat.
Summer and margaritas are a match made in heaven, but that damn question gets you every time: frozen or on the rocks. Finally, you no longer have to choose! Learn to make your own margarita pops here with a little "bam" action thanks to the Food Network's very own Emeril. His recipe found combines fresh lime, lemon and orange juices for an amazing citrusy-treat with an extra special kick. To make it extra special, try adding fresh fruit -- like chopped strawberries -- to give them a real taste of summer.
Hey South Florida, don't complain about the heat come summer. At least we have the ocean breeze. For the people of New York City -- who have experienced some record breaking heat waves in recent years -- the city streets can be pretty miserable come the dog days, too. Which is why artisanal Mexican frozen ice-maker Fany Gerson began whipping up treats that help to cool your core and your palette in a fun, flavorful way. Flavors include cajeta (a goat milk caramel), pumpkin seed brittle, corn, canela, queso fresco-guava include a cucumber-lime and hibiscus-beet. We love her sour cream, cherry and tequila pops found on the Lottie + Doof blog. All you need are some every day ingredients like sour cream, milk, sugar -- and blanco tequila and cherries. You've got those in your fridge, too? Oh, perfect...
After three years of product testing and figuring out how to freeze alcohol, SnöBar creators and owners Shannon and Eddie Masjedi finally debuted their line of adult-only desserts -- the very first frozen cocktails of their kind -- at resorts, bars, and beverage emporiums in Las Vegas and Arizona last year. Now the California-based SnöBar treats are available in the Sunshine State at resort pool bars across South Florida, and sell for anywhere from $8.99 for an ice pop, to $29.99 for a 1.75-liter tub of ice cream. SnöBar delivers a full serving of alcohol ranging from 8 to 14% alcohol by volume in six flavors, including four ice cream and two ice pops that can be served the same way you would traditional ice cream (just not to anyone under 21, please). You can also blend it into your favorite cocktail for an extra-creamy kick. The Margarita and Cosmopolitan-flavored ice pops (10.9 and 14.6% ABV respectively) are by far the most popular. These two refreshing flavors are the equivalent to their liquid counterparts in every way, but come with a frozen ferocity that make them extra cool. We love the Brandy Alexander, a rich blend of chocolate ice cream and brandy (10.4% ABV). Right now you can find these adult
dessert treats at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Marriott Harbor Beach and Ocean Manor.
Founded in New York several years ago, this company has quickly expanded to South Florida where owner Richard Gagliardo -- a former Wall Street trader -- says Florida's warm weather beach market is the perfect place for his adult ices made from 100% real fruit and top quality spirits. After nine years on the trading floor, Gagliardo said he'd had enough, and put his own recipe for alcohol-infused ices out on the market. Sick of every product either using flavorings or high fructose corn syrup, nothing has the same taste as when it's made from real ingredients, Gagliardo told Clean Plate Charlie. To tip the scales, Tip The Wagon uses real fruit purees and sugar -- not corn syrup -- as well as vodka and rum where many other alcoholic ices and ice creams use wine-based spirits to save money. Tip The Wagon offers one-gallon tubs single-pint containers (about a 6-oz single serve cup) for about $8 -- a good deal considering there is close to four shots' worth of alcohol per pint, and about one shot of alcohol per cup. The apple martini gets our vote, a blend of several varieties of real apples that help to give it that perfect sour-apple note. The same with the chocolate martini, a product that was made to not be too sweet, allowing just a hint of vodka and Irish cream to shine through. Tip The Wagon flavors include lemon drop and pina colada. Soon, look for Tip The Wagon at Roger Dean stadium in Jupiter. For now, the product can be found at The Beach Market and Marathon Station in Fort Lauderdale, as well as the Gardner's Market in Coconut Grove, and coming soon to all Lorenzo's Gourmet Market locations in Miami.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole