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Drinks & Eats

Summertime Tea Popsicles

On a scorching summer day sometimes a chilly glass of iced tea just isn't enough to beat the heat. We need tea in frozen form! I've recently begun to experiment with making tea popsicles. With each bite they create a little bubble of instant refreshment.

Southern Sweet Tea Peach Popsicles
These sweet-tart peachy pops are the ideal summer refreshment!
These sweet-tart peachy pops are the ideal summer refreshment!
For a simple, crowd-pleasing pop, I like to do a Southern-style sweet tea with peach. I love the way the peach slices look suspended in the ice pops! With a few bites you'll feel as if you're sitting on a huge veranda overlooking a peach grove.

 — 3 cups boiling water
 — 4 tsp black tea of choice (Ceylon would be ideal, or max out on peachy flavor with Peach Oolong.)
 — To taste: a few tbsp of simple syrup.
(To make simple syrup, simply cook equal parts sugar and water over high heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Cool.)
 — 1 large peach

1. Boil the water, and add in the tea. Steep for about 3-5 minutes until it's nice and dark. Cool slightly.
2. Add 2-3 few tablespoons of simple syrup. Taste and see what you think — and adjust if necessary. I like to add in 5 tablespoons.
Allow this mixture to cool fully.
3. Thinly slice a large peach. Add 2-3 slices of peach to each ice pop mold.
4. If you're using molds that have sticks attached to the tops, insert these and freeze until hardened. If you have separate sticks, freeze for 60 minutes until slightly slushy. Pull out the molds and pop the in sticks (this helps the sticks stay in place.) Return to freezer until they are fully frozen. This takes a few hours, so I like make popsicles overnight!

Matcha Watermelon Coconut Popsicles
Have you thought about adding matcha to an icy popsicle? Matcha and watermelon is a surprising but harmonious combination. The slightly bitter, vegetal matcha combines well with the slushy sweet watermelon. Ripe watermelon is often enough to sweeten these pops, but add the optional sugar if it needs an extra-sweet kick.

 — 3 tsp matcha powder
 — 1 cup water
 — 1 smallish watermelon (ideally, you'll want to end up with 1 cup pureed watermelon)
 — ½ cup coconut milk
 — ¼ cup sugar (optional)

1. Sift the matcha into a small bowl.
2. Heat the water to below boiling, about 170° F, and pour over the matcha. Whisk until combined and frothy. Allow to fully cool.
3. While the matcha is cooling, cube the watermelon and blitz in the blender until smooth.
4. Add coconut milk and blend until combined. You can strain the juice mixture if you want it super smooth, but I like the texture of the puree as it is.
5. Give the mixture a taste. If the pops aren't sweet enough for your sensibilities, add the sugar.
6. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze fully and enjoy!

Chocolate Earl Grey Popsicles
Creamy-sweet with a kick of bergamot, these are a heavenly iced confection for both kids and adults!
Creamy-sweet with a kick of bergamot, these are a heavenly iced confection for both kids and adults!
For a different flavor profile, try chocolate and Earl Grey popsicles. There's just something about the combination of bergamot and chocolate that is novel, rich, and incredibly appealing.

 — 2 cups milk
 — ¼ cup condensed milk
 — ¼ cup sugar
 — ½ cup water
 — 4 tsp Earl Grey tea (try Earl Grey Bravo or Earl Grey Moonlight.)
 — 6 oz dark chocolate. (I like to use 60% bittersweet, finely chopped. You can also use chocolate chips.)

1. Combine and heat the milk and condensed milk until slightly frothy.
2. Add in the chocolate. Make sure the heat isn't too high, as you don't want the milk to boil over.
3. Whisk until chocolate is fully incorporated and you have a luscious chocolate milk (go on, you know you want to have a taste!)
4. Add in your tea, and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain the mixture and pour into molds and freeze until fully hardened.

What I like most about making tea popsicles is that you can tailor them to your tastebuds. Want to add more sweetener, or less? Just fruit, or perhaps some dairy? It's easy to experiment and see what works.

I like to pull out a few pops from the freezer on the weekends when company comes knocking, or just cool down with one myself while the kids splash in the plastic backyard pool! They provide the ideal touch of tea-filled whimsy to a late summer afternoon.