Brunch Cocktail Ring Pops
You know that blissed-out moment when you’re a sip or two into your second (or third) bloody mary or mimosa and you begin to think to yourself that you love brunch so much, you kinda want to marry it? Been there. Drank that. Bought the jewelry—or at least the ingredients to craft some of our own. Because if you truly find your bliss via brunch (like we do), you might as well put a ring on it. Or even better, put it on a ring, so you always have your favorite brunch cocktail close at hand—at least until it melts.
“Melts?” you ask. Yup. We’ve turned brunch cocktails into jewel-shaped, alcoholic ring pops. Think of the iconic Topps Ring Pop—the oversized candy or gummy “jewel” on a flexible plastic ring—and you’ve got the right idea, only way cooler. Extra Crispy’s chef and food stylist Jiselle Basile transformed five of her favorite brunch cocktails—a bloody mary, a mango margarita, a mojito, an Irish coffee, and, well, vodka—into wearable pops using her favorite recipes, tweaked just a little bit to allow for a hard freeze. It’s a commonly held misconception that alcohol doesn’t freeze solidly. Beer, wine, and spirits all do—just not at the temperatures that home freezers tend to run at. So unless you’ve got some liquid nitrogen or a ticket to the Arctic Circle, you’re going to need science on your side.
Let’s start with spirits. You know how it’s an excellent idea to keep vodka in your freezer because, while it might get a little thick-ish, it won’t actually freeze? That’s because vodka—and gin and bourbon—have an ABV (alcohol by volume—or the measurement of how much ethanol is in the beverage) between 40 and 50 percent. The way that shakes out is that it needs to be effectively diluted with five parts of nonalcoholic ingredients for each one part of spirit for it to freeze non-slushily. In other words, you’d need five ounces of your favorite bloody mary mix for every one ounce of vodka to make a fabulously boozy ruby. Margaritas are a little trickier because you have to account for both tequila and triple sec, but balance the combined amount of alcohol with five times the lime, sugar, and mango, and you’ve got, let’s say, a topaz.
If you don’t want to fuss too much over measurements that early in the morning (who could blame you?), take a page from Jiselle’s cookbook and do the heavy lifting ahead of time by soaking gummies or fruit in vodka. Then suspend them in the more easily freezable beverage of your choice—think lemonade, apple or white grape juice, or even lemon-lime soda. Once you get the hang of the ratios, you’ll be the ultimate pop star.
No, we’re not neglecting beer and wine. Since they’ve got a much lower ABV, it’s easier to freeze them—but they still need a little help to stiffen up from a slushy state (think of that beer you put in the freezer to chill—and promptly forgot). For a tart pop, mix one bottle of beer with two tablespoons of sugar or agave, and a tablespoon of citrus juice. On the creamier side, mix a bottle of stout with a quarter cup of half-and-half (or heavy cream because YOLO) and two tablespoons of sugar. Ring me. Beer me.
And finally, isn’t it time you and rosé took it to the next level? Sure, it would be sublime solid, but close your eyes and re-imagine it as a sangria. Add a little extra simple syrup to your favorite recipe, cut the fruit into a teensy dice, and—POP—you’ve DTR’ed. (Diamondized The Rosé.)