Photo: wentongg, Flickr
My partner Demián and I live in the desert in Baja California Sur, Mexico. This time of year the heat is rising and the humidity is heavy. Two of our favorite ways to cool off is to crank up the blender for frosty libations and to pull out the vintage Tupperware popsicle sets for adult ice pops.
Here are a few tips if you're going with a blender drink:
• People always fret over how much ice to use, but an easy way to figure it out is to simply build the drink in the glass you're going to use, then dump all of the ingredients with the ice into the blender. You'll wind up with a tiny bit extra that you can mound up at the top of the glass, making your drink look all pretty.
• For easier blending, add liquid, fruit chunks, and then the ice.
More tips and a recipe for Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops after the jump.
• Crushing ice puts a lot of strain on a blender, so get the best one you can afford with a very strong motor. Crushing your chunks of ice into smaller bits before putting it into the blender is easier on your machine. If you don't have an ice crusher in your fridge dispenser (or one of those hand-crank antique ones you can pick up off e-bay), just put your ice in a bag and pound with a frying pan, hammer, rolling pin, or the flat side of a meat tenderizer.
• After you add the ingredients to the blender, run the machine for 20 to 30 seconds on high. Turn it off, making sure the blades are at a complete standstill, then stir with a long spoon (like the typical bar spoon). Blend once more. Listen to the blender talk to you: When you hear that the machine's stress level just went down, the drink should be whirling all perfectly smooth inside.
• Cut up fresh fruit pieces into small chunks to make it easier on the blender. You can also cut down on the ice used by freezing your fruit in advance. Strawberries, bananas, mangoes, and peaches are all frozen favorites for all those foofy frozen margaritas and daiquiris that you know you love.
Sometimes we are so busy we don't want to have to deal with the blender. We just want to reach into the freezer and pull out an icy treat. We love frozen combinations of gin and blueberry, tequila and strawberry, and bourbon and peach. Here's one of our favorite popsicles recipes for big boys and girls from the book MARGARITA ROCKS by our London pals from the Worldwide Cocktail Club Henry Besant and Dré Masso.
Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops
1 1/4 pounds (500g) strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup (100ml) silver tequila
1/2 cup (100g) superfine (caster) sugar
1/2 oz (15ml) fresh lime juice
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Press the mixture through a fine sieve into a non-metallic jug.
3. Pour into molds and add sticks.
4. Freeze for at least 24 hours.
Alabama-born LeNell Smothers defines herself first and foremost as a bartender, but she's been called many things -- most recently, the proprietress of Casa Cóctel with partner Demián Camacho Santa Ana. She's owned her own whiskey label, called Red Hook Rye, and has been recognized by her home state as an honorary Colonel. Other interests include gin, sin and men.