Happy #popsicleweek, friends!! Yay! This week always makes me feel so confident that I am doing the correct summer thing. I am such a bad summer-er, with my fear of mosquitos and dreams of snowstorms and hotdish season, but this week I will stay in the climate controlled indoors and engage in the colorful frozen treats on sticks that are one of summer’s true gems. I am so excited to peruse all of my friends’ recipes this week and also look back on pops of years past, like pistachio pudding pops, coconut rainbow pops, and bloody mary pops.
This year’s popsicle week contribution is inspired in part by my new-ish daily green juice routine, which has made me feel all kinds of good and bright (and most importantly less guilty about my other new-ish daily routine of macaroni and cheese for lunch), and in part by the Gin Motek at Bar Bolonat, which features gin, honey, and za’atar. I like this cocktail because it’s the opposite of those cloyingly sweet cocktails that are the reason I avoid cocktails most of the time. It’s light, fresh, balanced, and zinged up with earthy savory za’atar.
This is the the type of treat you want on a golden summer evening, after—or even alongside—a supper of fattoush and lemony smashed potatoes, or something like that.
They have a crisp Persian cucumber base that I’ve enhanced with just a few great things: za’atar sent from my friend Inbal in Tel Aviv, just enough honey from Eggbro’s bees to prevent this pop from tasting like a salad, and gin distilled from local Minnesota grown single vintage organic yellow corn. Prairie Organic Gin is not the gin you sipped at dive bars in college, and avoiding it for post-college years of your life because it reminded you of such (like I did) relies on about as much logic as avoiding summer tomatoes because you’ve only ever had tomatoes in the winter. Which is to say that this gin is a good smooth gin, one where you can taste the sage, juniper, and spices. It’s great and it comes in a pretty bottle, which I will never complain about. I am fairly new to Prairie Organic but once I started mentioning it to people around here, it quickly became clear that all of my friends with extremely good taste are fans. So I now count myself fan and love that these pops get a lot of their specialness from this Minnesota gin.
*Clinks two pops together* Cheers to #popsicleweek, friends!
Cucumber Cocktail Pops with Honey and Za’atar
1 pound persian cucumbers, coarsely chopped
1/4 c Prairie Organic Gin
1/4 c honey
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp za’atar, plus more for topping
Combine cucumbers, gin, honey, lemon, and za’atar in a high speed blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into 8 dixie cups or pop molds and sprinkle each with a small pinch of za’atar. (I prefer dixie cups since it makes them easier to unmold, you just rip them off, and also I can literally never find my popsicle mold.) Freeze for 20 minutes and then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze for 6 hours or until frozen solid. Rip off dixie cups and enjoy.