Popsicle season is well upon us and knowing me, I like a quick and easy recipe, especially to quench a hungry thirst on a hot summer day. And just in case you’re deciding between a drink or a popsicle, have no fear, I have you covered. A boozy, breezy, summery popsicle is on its way, and it’s only THREE INGREDIENTS. Yes that’s right! These are my Watermelon Sake Popsicles and it couldn't be simpler.
Watermelon is one of my favorite and most anticipated summer fruit. Berries, stone fruit, figs are all delicious, but to me nothing says summer quite like a watermelon. When you buy it out of season, there really is a difference in taste, in that it’s just lacking it. Fresh summer watermelon is juicy, crisp, sweet, and succulent. There’s nothing like it. And when summer rolls around, the abundance of their beautiful green shell makes me smile. About 92% water and 6% sugar, watermelon is the ULTIMATE summer cool-down, and it makes for a great popsicle.
If you can guess by the title there are only THREE INGREDIENTS in this recipe: watermelon, sake, and sugar. If you’ve ever placed a high-percentage alcohol in the freezer, you’ll notice it doesn’t fully freeze, instead it thickens. Sugar, like alcohol reduces the freezing temperature, which makes for a creamy and smooth mixture. This is part of why ice cream has so much sugar in it, because it helps achieve that soft texture, but it may also be because it tastes so good :) So for this recipe I add both alcohol and sugar. Sake is not high in alcohol like vodka, gin, or whiskey are, but it does do the trick to soften the texture and prevent a harsh icicle-like popsicle. I only add a few tablespoons of sugar to about 3 cups of fresh watermelon. I used roughly 1/2 a small watermelon. The sugar will cut down the slight acidic taste of the watermelon and soften the flavors (and texture!). All you need to do to make these popsicles is blend together the watermelon, sake, and sugar. When I first tested out this recipe, I was a little generous with the sake, and the result was more of a slushy than a popsicle. (Don’t get me wrong, it was DELICIOUS, and for a moment, I thought maybe I should just make a slushy instead, but no I was on the path to make a popsicle, and a popsicle was what I was going to make!). So I cut down on the sake and found the perfect balance — a beautiful texture, a bright watermelon explosion, and a pleasant kick from the sake.
*An important note when making this recipe is that you’ll notice once you’ve blended together all the ingredients, a hefty layer of foam will form. Make sure to let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow some of the foam to subside, that way when you pour your mixture into the popsicles a foamy layer won’t form and freeze into its own layer. I always take extra care when pouring the mixture into the molds so as to not let foam get in (I use a spoon).
The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the popsicles to freeze. It will take about 4-6 hours, but this will depend on your freezer. Safe bet is to let rest overnight. Once the freezing period is over, what will result is a sweet, cool, delightful popsicle which you will be thanking yourself for when that scorching hot summer day hits. Sake is wonderfully refreshing and adds warmth and brightness to the fruity watermelon. Unlike a high-percentage alcohol, which might provide a strong, head-quenching kick, sake provides a subtle but suitable punch. These popsicles are great to have in the freezer or pack in a cooler and bring to a picnic or bbq. Only THREE INGREDIENTS, these Watermelon Sake Popsicles may be your summer go-to…they are surely mine! Happy Summer :)
In a blender, add the watermelon, sake, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Let the mixture sit four about 10-15 minutes, or until some of the foam has subsided. You can remove some of the foam too to help along the process. Pour the mixture into the molds. Hold back some of the foam with a spoon. You should have about 5-6 popsicles depending on how much watermelon you used. Place in the freezer and chill for at least 4-6 hours, or better yet overnight. To remove, place under warm water for a few seconds at a time until the popsicle comes out. Enjoy!
Makes: about 5-6 popsicles
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 6+ hours (including chill time)
3 heaping cups of fresh watermelon, cubed (or 1/2 small watermelon)
1/2 cup sake
2 tablespoons sugar