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Archive for August 26, 2016

RECIPE: Make Cherry Ice Pops For National Cherry Popsicle Day

Cherry Juice Ice Pops

Cherry Yogurt Ice Pops

Twin Popsicle

[1] Frozen cherry juice ice pops in Tovolo molds. [2] Greek yogurt and cherry ice pops from [3] The first Popsicle was a single: one pop, one stick. Then came the twin Popsicle to share with a friend (photo courtesy Popsicle).


August 26th is National Cherry Popsicle Day. First, a bit of law:

Popsicle® is a registered trademark of Unilever, which owns the brand. Any other frozen juice on a stick is a generic “ice pop.” Now…

In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson mixed together a fruit drink (believed to be orange-flavored) from powder and water and inadvertently left it on the porch. It was an unseasonably cold night in the San Francisco suburbs, and when Frank found his drink the next morning, it was frozen.

He eased the frozen liquid out of the glass and, holding it by the stirrer, ate it. While Frank may have enjoyed his frozen fruit drink over the years, the public story doesn’t continue until 1923.

A 29-year-old husband and father working in the real estate industry, Frank made what he called Epsicles for a fireman’s ball. They were a sensation, and Frank obtained a patent for “a handled, frozen confection or ice lollipop.” His kids called the treat a Popsicle, after their Pop.

So Frank created the Popsicle Corporation and collaborated with the Loew’s chain of motion picture theaters for the nationwide marketing and sales of the product in movie theaters. By 1928, Epperson had earned royalties on more than 60 million Popsicles.

But his happy days ended with the Great Depression. In 1929, flat broke, Frank had to liquidate his assets and sold the patent to, and his rights in, the Popsicle Corporation. Following three more corporate sales over the years, Popsicle® and the other “sicles” are now part of Unilever’s Good Humor Division.

While the record isn’t clear, Frank may also have invented the twin Popsicle, with two sticks. The concept was that it could be broken in half and shared by two children.

Over the years, the Popsicle Corporation continued to create frozen treats on a stick, including:

  • The Fudgsicle, a chocolate-flavored pop with a texture somewhat similar to ice cream.
  • The Creamsicle, vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet.
  • The Dreamsicle, vanilla ice milk with orange sherbet (now discontinued).
    In additional to National Creamsicle Day on August 25th, there’s National Creamsicle Day on August 14th.

    We’ve got three different ways for you to make cherry ice pops. The first couldn’t be easier: Just freeze cherry juice.

    Pick a recipe and get out the ice pop molds.



  • 1 32-ounce bottle Montmorency cherry juice (see note)
  • Optional inclusion: 1/8 to 1/4 cup fresh mint or basil, cacao nibs, lemon zest, pitted fresh or frozen cherries
  • Variation: Mix with lemonade or limeade to taste; for a diet pop, use 1/3 or more Crystal Light lemonade or cherry pomegranate

    1. POUR the cherry juice into ice pop molds and freeze for 6 hours. If using inclusions, add them when the juice turns to slush, stirring each mold with a chopstick or other tool to distribute the ingredients.

    NOTE: Ice pop molds vary in size, often from 2.5 to 4 ounces, and from 6 to 8 pops. A 32-ounce bottle of juice, or concentrate reconstituted to that amount, should cover all bases.


  • 1 bag frozen tart cherries
  • Sugar to taste
  • Optional: fresh mint, chopped

    1. PURÉE the frozen cherries in a blender. Taste and add sugar as desired.

    2. ADD the optional mint, process and pour into ice pop molds.

    This recipe was published with permission from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure, by Matt Kadey, RD, via


  • 1-1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey (more to taste)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1-1/4 cups Montmorency tart cherry juice
  • Juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Variation: coconut milk instead of yogurt (see recipe)

    1. STIR together yogurt, honey, and lime zest. In a separate bowl, stir together the cherry juice, lime juice, and mint.

    2. SPOON two alternate layers of the yogurt and cherry mixtures into each popsicle mold. Insert the sticks into the molds and freeze until solid, about 6 hours. They will keep in the freezer for 2 months.

    3. UNMOLD: Run the mold under warm water for a few seconds, being careful not to thaw the pops.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Sgroppino

    Hot enough for you? Cool off with sgroppino.


    Sgroppino (sgro-PEA-no), which originated in Venice, is a refreshing, frothy sorbet cocktail: a slushy combination of lemon sorbet, vodka and prosecco.

    It’s served as a digestif (after-dinner drink) or liquid dessert. You don’t want very sweet drinks before a formal European-style dinner, but it works with hot and spicy cuisines. Sgroppino is no sweeter than a frozen Margarita.

    Sgroppino was created by an anonymous kitchen servant in 16th century Venice. At that time, only wealthy households had the means to keep an ice house* and the staff to make sorbet (sorbetto in Italian) by hand.

    In the Venetian dialect the drink is called sgropin from the verb sgropàre, which means to untie a small knot. The reference is to the knots in one’s stomach following at the multi-course dinners of the wealthy. A sweet drink was believed to aid in digestion; hence the after-dinner liqueur.

    Sgroppino was also served as a palate cleanser† to refresh the taste buds between the fish and meat courses as well. This “intermezzo,” used to cleanse the palate of fish before moving onto meat, is still served at some fine restaurants today.

    The classic was made by whisking softened lemon sorbet with prosecco until frothy (it was described as “whipped snow,” although today we call it a slush).

    The recipe evolved to include limoncello, sambuca or vodka. Today it can be both liqueur and vodka.

    More modern variations substitute grapefruit, orange or strawberry sorbetto. If a larger percentage of sorbetto is added, you get a thicker drink.

    In its simplest form, it’s a scoop of sorbet topped with Prosecco, or vice versa.

    The drink separates if left to stand, so in Italy the waiter will often prepare the drink at tableside.


    You can serve sgroppino in a martini glass, coupe, flute or wine glass…or those “sherbet Champagne” glasses‡, designed for Marie Antoinette but not actually good for serving sparkling wine.


    Pomegranate Sgroppino

    [1] If only every bar and restaurant served these (photo courtesy What’s Cooking America. [2] Chef Bikeski adds pomegranate arils for a bit of color.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1/3 cup lemon sorbet
  • 3 ounces prosecco
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon liqueur—Limoncello; orange liqueur; sambucca, pastas or other anise liqueur
  • Optional garnish: citrus curl or zest, fresh mint, pomegranate arils, micro-herbs

    Lime Sgroppino

    [3] Some people prefer the cocktail to be separated. In this version, from Zoetrecepten, a scoop of lime sorbet is added to the top of the alcohol.



    1. WHISK together the sorbet and a splash of prosecco until fully blended, using a cocktail shaker or a stainless steel bowl. Continue whisking while slowly pouring in the vodka and prosecco.

    2. If using a liqueur, you can blend it with the vodka or drizzle it, Venice-style, into the center of the glass right before serving.

    3. SERVE immediately. The drink will separate as it stands, so provide iced tea spoons or straws so people can re-blend as desired. If you take the modern approach of adding sorbet on top of the alcohol, you save the trouble of whisking!

    Some mixologists don’t blend the drink in the first place. Instead, they place the scoop of sorbet on top of the alcohol (see photo 3). So separation is not a bad thing, but a choice.

  • Do not use a blender, but hand-whisk this drink.
  • If you don’t have a whisk that’s small enough, get this graduated set. The smallest is handy for whisking instant cocoa that doesn’t dissolve. They’re inexpensive: here’s a set on Amazon.
  • Don’t add extra alcohol or the drink will be too liquid.


    *Before refrigeration, only the wealthy could afford to have ice cut from lakes and rivers in the winter and stored in ice houses for summer use. The oldest known ice house, built by a king in Persia, dates from about 1700 B.C.E. Most other people dug ice pits, lined with straw and sawdust as insulation. While commercial refrigeration was available by the late 1800s, the home refrigerator didn’t arrive until 1930. Prior to then, the wealthy as well as the middle class used an insulated metal “ice box,” which held a large block of ice delivered from the “ice man” to keep perishables cold. When the ice melted, it was replaced.

    †The tartness and citrus acid of lemon sorbet clear the taste buds. Citric acid elicits salivation, which aids in cleansing the palate. Lemons and limes have the highest level of citric acid, which can constitute as much as .3 mol/L, depending on the cultivar and growing conditions. By comparison, grapefruits and oranges have just .005 mol/L (source). Passionfruit also can work. It has 38.7 mg/100g compared to 30 mg/100g (source).

    ‡“Sherbet champagne” glasses were purportedly designed by Marie Antoinette, who had them molded after the shape of her breasts. Here’s a photo. They are rarely made anymore, as modern knowledge shows that a wide mouth-glass is not appropriate for sparkling wine: It lets the bubbles escape that much more quickly. But if you have these glasses, they’re just fine for serving sorbet, fruit cocktail and other foods…or sgroppino.


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