As I mentioned in my last post about our "food on a stick" themed meal, there was one more theme-related snack we enjoyed before dinner that I was saving for a separate post - these adorable and refreshing frozen watermelon daiquiri pops!
I didn't even know you could freeze watermelon until I saw a post recently (and can't remember where) showing how to insert popsicle sticks into watermelon slices and freeze them for a super easy popsicle. I then wondered about the possibility of adding alcohol, as watermelon often seems to be paired with booze, and then found a post on The Shiksa in the Kitchen that did just that!
I knew I wanted to try them, especially with the hot weather we've been having lately, but then I wondered if I could turn them into a Canada Day treat by shaping each pop into a maple leaf, and this is what I ended up with!
Tori from The Shiksa in the Kitchen gives some great tips about freezing watermelon; she says you can't just freeze it as is or it will lose a lot of flavour. Instead, it's best to soak it in some sort of sweet liquid first, and using alcohol to make cocktail-flavoured pops works perfectly! For those who want an alcohol-free treat, she also gives suggestions for that, so be sure to check out her post!
Tori made watermelon mojito pops, but I decided to make watermelon daiquiri pops using rum, triple sec, lime juice, and simple syrup. All you do is cut the watermelon into maple leafs using a cookie cutter (which worked so well!), soak the pieces in your booze mixture, insert popsicle sticks, freeze, and then you have a sweet and refreshing treat that's perfect for Canada Day and the hot weather!
There are two things to note about this recipe, the first is that you don't want to eat them the second they come out of the freezer, as they'll be a little too hard. Just let them thaw for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving, but make sure you don't let them thaw too much!
You can see the difference between a frozen and slightly thawed popsicle in the pictures above and below - the popsicles above are straight out of the freezer and still a little icy, and the popsicle below is one I had taken a few bites out of it already!
The second thing to mention is that these don't taste too strongly of alcohol, so if you're looking for a super boozy pop, these probably won't satisfy you! The original recipe said to soak the watermelon in the alcohol mixture for 20 minutes, and most other similar recipes I've seen call for about 15-20 minutes. I soaked mine a bit longer (for a total of 30 minutes), but of the seven people who tried one, I was one of the only ones who could taste the alcohol in them.
Now don't get me wrong, everyone still loved them, but I just wanted to warn you that they're not a super boozy treat! I'm guessing that if you wanted to taste the alcohol more, you could try soaking them even longer than I did, or maybe try injecting the alcohol into the watermelon with a syringe. Just note that I haven't actually tried those methods myself so I can't verify that they'll work, but leave a comment if you do give it a shot and let me know how it turns out!
Anyways, I didn't mind that the watermelon pops weren't too strong because they still tasted great, and I just used my leftover soaking liquid to make daiquiris afterwards by mixing it with some blended watermelon (I got about three drinks out of it, in case you're wondering). So tasty!
I hope you give this idea a try, and stay tuned because I have another Canada Day recipe coming your way soon!
Frozen Watermelon Daiquiri Pops for Canada Day
Makes around 7-8 pops, depending on the size of your cookie cutter
One quarter of a seedless watermelon (about a 4 pound piece)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup triple sec
Juice of one lime (2-3 tablespoons)
Special Equipment: Maple leaf shaped cookie cutter, popsicle sticks
Slice watermelon into 1-inch wedges (About 8-10 wedges). Use maple leaf cookie cutter to cut a leaf out of each wedge (make sure you don’t use any of the rind). You’ll have some scraps leftover, which can be used for another purpose, such as blending up for a drink later! Transfer pieces to an 8x8 dish, or a dish just big enough to just fit the slices in an even layer.
Note: If you just want a Canada Day-themed simple snack, you could stop here and just serve the leaf-shaped watermelon slices as is, or with a popsicle stick inserted as a fun snack!
Prepare simple syrup: Add sugar and water to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix simple syrup, rum, triple sec, and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the watermelon slices, and let soak for about 15 minutes per side (30 minutes total).
Carefully insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of each maple leaf, pushing through the center until it almost reaches the top. I found this easier if I made a small insertion with a knife first. Place the popsicles on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer to freeze for at least 1-2 hours. Reserve the soaking liquid to make cocktails later!
Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving so they're not too hard, but don't let them thaw too much!
Here's a quick step-by-step visual to help you out!