Summer is in full swing! In Italy, that means hot days and warm evenings. This time of year brings charcoal grills, endless daylight, and of course, boozy desserts!
We don’t need much of an excuse to celebrate with a cocktail here in Italy – the fact that it’s summer is enough for us! This year my sister and I have been spreading the word about wine-infused popsicles, a trend that’s taken America by storm and that makes perfect sense for us here at the winery. (We’re even loving the nickname, “Poptails!”)
Want to make your own wine popsicles this summer? Here’s what you need to know…plus a useful base recipe.
Wine Pops Make Great Desserts
You can, of course, eat popsicles any time of day, but we love wine pops for an after-dinner treat. When popsicles are infused with wine they give off a bit of an acidic bite. That taste can be a perfect complement to a richly sauced or grilled, meat-centric meal. Don’t expect wine pops to be creamy like traditional popsicles; they freeze with the texture of granita and taste more like flavored ice shavings than ice cream.
It’s All About the Ratio
Although it can be done, we don’t necessarily recommend freezing wine all by itself. (The alcohol content can make them a little hard to eat this way, and they won’t freeze solid.) Ideally, you’ll want a little sweetness to balance out the natural acidity of the wine – we often use mashed berries or pure fruit puree to accomplish this. The only exception is Rose…it can be frozen plain or with a few berries added in because it’s naturally sweeter than most white or red wines but even so, the texture of plain frozen rose will be very slushy. As a general rule, you want your pops to be about 8% alcohol-by-volume for the best texture. This works out to about half wine, half “other stuff” like fruit, juice, sugar, etc.
Our Favorite Wine-Pop Recipe
½ bottle of your favorite Italian Wine
2 cups water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh berries
In a large bowl, combine wine, water, and sugar, stirring until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add in berries, then mash slightly with a spoon while stirring to combine. Pour into popsicle molds leaving 1” of room at the top for expansion. Freeze 6 hours or until completely frozen; run water over popsicle mold to release the pops.
Remember, this recipe is just a starting point! You can use any wine you like: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Rose, etc. Instead of water, consider juices or purees that would work well like orange, mango puree, or half-water-half-simple syrup (holding the sugar.) With the berries, consider adding chopped up fresh herbs, like basil or mint for an added burst of flavor!
Do you have a favorite wine popsicle recipe? We’d love to hear about it on the Candoni Wines Facebook page!
Barbara Candoni De Zan