Popsicles always scream summer to me! These Boozy Firecracker Popsicles are a grown-up twist on a classic. Here in the US, the Firecracker Popsicle is a rocket-shaped frozen treat, with red, white and blue layers. In this adult version, each layer contains a different type of alcohol. Plus, the colors are from natural sources instead of food coloring (and actually similar to what they use in the Firecrackers these days!)
Using Alcohol in Frozen Desserts
It can be a bit tricky to add alcohol to frozen treats like popsicles and ice cream. It can't have too much alcohol in it, or it won't fully freeze and you'll be left with a kind of slush (or just stay liquid, like if you freeze your limoncello).
With the right proportion, though, it freezes beautifully! A great rule of thumb is to use 1 part alcohol (40 to 45% ABV -- this is important, so check the bottle) to 5 parts non-alcoholic liquid. You can read more about the science behind boozy popsicles in this article.
Coloring the Popsicle Layers
In order to color the layers, I wanted to use more natural sources of color instead of relying on food coloring. Especially for the blue. If you've ever eaten a ton of blue food coloring, you know what I'm talking about!
For the red layer, I actually used two sources of color: I infused vodka with strawberries, and I added red beet powder to it in order to amp up the red. For the white layer, I used heavy cream. And for the blue layer, I used a blue spirulina powder for the color. I honestly love the blue spirulina! It works so well, and you just need a little bit for a vibrant color.
Making the Boozy Firecracker Popsicles
Start with the red layer
Since we want the red layer to be at the top of the popsicle to match the Firecrackers, we have to add it into the molds first. Start by making the strawberry infusion, which you can just make by cutting up strawberries and letting them sit in vodka overnight (make sure they are completely covered by the vodka). Strain out the strawberries. Then, add in a little red beet powder and stir until the powder disappears.
Mix together the simple syrup, lime juice and water, and add the red vodka. Then distribute that evenly among your popsicle molds. You can add the stick at this point, but make sure you don't push it all the way down to the bottom. Stick the mold into the freezer for about 2 hours.
Add the white layer
I decided to use heavy cream for a really standout white color. If you are avoiding dairy, just substitute this with coconut cream, almond milk or another non-dairy creamer.
Mix the gin, simple syrup, lime juice and water, and stir in the cream. Optionally, you can mix the ingredients for this layer and stick it in the fridge to cool down before adding it to the molds. Carefully pour it into the popsicle molds, trying to put an equal amount in each one. Freeze for another couple of hours.
Finish with the blue layer
Finally, the blue layer is the last to be added. Again, you can pre-mix this and let it chill in the fridge while the white layer freezes.
Mix the lemon juice, simple syrup and water together with a little of the blue spirulina powder. Then add in the rum. When the white layer is frozen solid, you can pour the blue layer on top, taking care to put an equal amount in each mold. Then, freeze the finished pops for at least a few hours before serving.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Cool off with this Frozen Strawberry Campari cocktail
- Another frozen cocktail, this Smoky Peach Margarita is perfect for summer
- You can make a non-alcoholic version of these popsicles by using this Pineapple Limeade as a base
Did You Make These Boozy Firecracker Popsicles?
I would love to know if you made these popsicles! How did they turn out for you? Please leave me a star rating or comment below and let me know!
Boozy Firecracker Popsicles
- Popsicle molds
- Measuring cup or jigger
- Mix the red beet powder into the vodka until it is fully dissolved. Add more if you would like a stronger red color.
- Mix together the simple syrup, lime juice and water, and add in the red-colored vodka.
- Using a funnel, carefully pour the red mixture into your popsicle molds. Try to put an equal amount in each pop.
- Add in the popsicle stick according to the directions on your molds.
- Place the molds into the freezer, making sure they are level. Freeze until solid. The freezing time will vary based on your freezer and the size of your pops, but probably 2 hours or more.
- Mix together the lime juice, simple syrup and water.
- Add in the cream and mix well.
- You can pre-mix this white layer and let it chill in the refrigerator while you wait for the red layer to freeze.
- Carefully pour the white liquid into the molds, distributing it equally among the molds.
- Put the molds into the freezer on a level surface and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.
- Put the blue spirulina powder into your mixing glass and add in the rum, lemon juice, simple syrup and water. Mix until the powder is dissolved.
- If you are pre-mixing, chill the mixture until the white layer is completely frozen.
- Carefully pour the blue liquid into the molds so there is an equal amount in each pop.
- Put the molds back in the freezer on a level surface and freeze until solid, 2 hours or more.
Serve or Store
- Once the pops are completely frozen, take them out of the molds. You can serve them immediately, or wrap the individual pops and put them back into the freezer.