Happy Cinco de Mayo or Derby de Mayo, or as today is also the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Church Hill Downs!
Sweet Tea Julep or Margarita Pops are a festive way to cool down and enjoy a frozen cocktail to kick off your summer fiesta, Cinco de Mayo or Run for the Roses celebration. You can make these easy pops in an advance and in keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
A Sweet Tea Julep is a marriage of two classic Southern drinks, the mint julep and sweet tea. Enjoy it as a boozy frozen popsicle!
Sweet Tea Julep Pops, adapted from Southern Living
Makes (12) 3 oz. or (9) 4 oz. pops
2 cups water
2 family size tea bags
1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
(3 or 4 oz.) paper cups (I used 4 oz.)
lemon slices, 1 per cup
wooden ice-cream spoons or Popsicle sticks
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan or microwave. Add tea bags, and stir in 1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags and mint. Stir in sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add 1 cup cold water, bourbon and lemon juice. Pour mixture into paper cups. Freeze 1 hour.
Make a small slit in a lemon slice to hold spoon in place. Add spoon with lemon slice to partially frozen mixture, return to freezer for another 7 hours or overnight until firm. Serve immediately after removing from freezer. (The alcohol will prevent a hard freeze so mixture will melt quickly.) Mixture will soften to remove pop from cup within 5 – 10 minutes, depending on room temperature or tear off paper cup and serve pops on ice if desired.
Margarita Pops, adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Makes (6) 3oz cups or about (4) 4oz
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Zest of 1 lime
4 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
Lime slices, 1 per pop
wooden ice-cream spoons or popsicle sticks
3 oz. or 4 oz. paper cups
Combine sugar, lime juice, water, lemon juice and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add tequila, orange liqueur, and lime zest. Pour mixture into the cups. Freeze pops 1 hour.
Make a small slit in a lime slice to hold spoon in place. Add spoon with lime slice to partially frozen mixture, return to freezer for another 7 hours or overnight until firm. Serve immediately after removing from freezer. The alcohol will prevent a hard freeze so mixture will melt quickly. Mixture will soften to remove pop from cup within 5 – 10 minutes, depending on room temperature or tear off paper cup and serve pops on ice if desired.
I found Rainbow Chevron Scalloped Cups (24 for $3.99) and Mini Rainbow Wooden Spoons (12 for $1.99) at Party City for a festive way to serve these pops! The cups hold 4 oz. or are a fun way to serve other party treats or you can bake in them and are available in other colors. I photographed these pops out of the cups in an aluminum bowl that I put in the freezer to chill before adding ice. They melt pretty fast with the alcohol preventing a hard freeze so serving these pops in the cups is a better way to go as it contains the drips and you can use your spoon to eat the slushy mixture or slurp up every last drop!
Cheers and Happy Cinco de Derby!