Watermelon Sorbetto Popsicles

When I was a kid one of my very favorite things to eat in the summer was a popsicle. Specifically, those Fla-vor-ice Freeze Pops – they came in the little plastic sleeve, to eat them you’d snip off the top and push up the popsicle from the bottom as you went. Anyone remember them? Blue was my favorite, and you could always tell when I’d been eating them because they left my lips and tongue an alarmingly bright blue shade. I loved that they were a relatively non-messy treat you could take outside on a hot summer day and enjoying while playing with your friends; even if they melted, it wasn’t dripping down a popsicle stick all over your hands!

I don’t buy those now, but sometimes I see them in the store and feel just a little nostalgic. Fortunately, these days, I know it’s super simple to make popsicles at home and having found a cheap popsicle mold at Target, I did just that recently. These watermelon popsicles were much more flavorful than my favorite childhood ones, but just as refreshing. The vodka keeps them from getting too hard, but mine definitely held their shape long enough to eat. If popsicles don’t happen to be your thing, you could chill the mixture overnight then freeze it in your ice cream maker instead.

(PS – I tried to add mini chocolate chips to my popsicles but they all sunk to the bottom – anyone know a good trick for suspending them throughout?  I also attempted to wait until the mixture had partially frozen and then add them but had trouble distributing them that way too.)

Watermelon Sorbetto Popsicles
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

3 cups watermelon juice*
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vodka
popsicle mold (or 3 oz paper cups and popsicle sticks)

Combine 1/2 cup of the watermelon juice, the sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mixture to the remaining 2 1/2 cups of watermelon juice. Stir in the lime juice and vodka.

Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds. Freeze until solid (I like to freeze mine overnight). (If you use the paper cup method, pour into the paper cups and let freeze for a few hours, until the mixture can support the sticks, then insert them and continue freezing until solid.) To serve, run warm water over the popsicle mold until you can remove the popsicle. (If you use the paper cup method, just peel away the paper.)

*Just chop your watermelon into pieces and puree in a food processor or blender. The author notes that a 3 lb melon (including rind) usually yields 3 cups of juice. I forgot to take notes when I made this recipe – I know I scaled back quite a bit, I think I made 1/3 of the recipe and wound up with 6 popsicles.