Maple Brown Derby Cocktail Pops

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Guys, I maybe made these while big, fluffy, frigid snowflakes drifted from the sky. I maybe wore shoes without socks that day too…my mind has been thinking spring, even if the elements are insisting it’s not time just yet. I couldn’t help it, I wanted to turn my favorite cocktail of the moment into an ice pop before citrus season ends. Enter the Maple Brown Derby Cocktail Pop!

A Brown Derby is a bourbon drink combined with grapefruit juice and honey syrup. I’ve been using maple syrup in my Brown Derby’s as of late, and I love the flavor–plus it’s already the perfect viscosity for cocktail mixing. I also like to add a few dashes of bitters for that extra little somethin’. These pops are sweet and almost smoky from the whiskey and maple, yet refreshing from the fresh ruby-red grapefruit juice. I may even love the color of these ice pops even more than I like eating them…I’ve been smitten with blushy/peachy/sunset colors. I think it has to do with these late-winter doldrums, but the next season is on the horizon and there warm-weather ice pops in our futures, friends.

Maple Brown Derby Cocktail Pops

Makes about 10 ice pops. I use THIS mold.

A traditional Brown Derby uses a syrup made of honey and water and doesn’t necessarily include bitters. I’ve tailored this recipe to my taste, so definitely do the same and make it your own…ratios are just a suggestion! However, upping the alcohol by too much will prevent the ice pops from freezing solid, so use a lighter hand and serve these with a shooter on the side if ya wanna get crazy.

2 1/2 cups fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice (about 4 medium grapefruits)

1/3-1/2 cup pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet your fruit is)

1 ounce bourbon

a few dashes of bitters (I did about 6)

In a mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredients to combine. Divide the liquid between the 10 ice pop molds and freeze for 1 hour* before inserting popsicle sticks. Continue to freeze for several hours until frozen solid.

*You can soak/saturate the sticks in boiling water before making the pops, so you can insert the sticks immediately without waiting for the pops to set up. I always forget, though!



  1. Yeah girl, let’s eat ice cream cones and popsicles and shiver outside!

    P.S. Remember the hottest day ever when we got ice cream? Let’s just think of that melting day with our kitchen inspirations!

  2. I’m curious why soaking the sticks in boiling water allows you to put the sticks in right away! What is the science/reasoning behind that?

    • I’m not 100%, but my guess is that the wood absorbs the water, making it so the sticks are no longer buoyant…I’m guessing the boiling water expedites the soaking situation.

  3. Two things I love the most this winter: bourbon and grapefruit. I’ve been enjoying them on opposite ends of the day (grapefruit for breakfast, bourbon after dinner…) but the thought of combining them into these pretty lil’ pops makes my heart go pitter-patter. So beautiful!

  4. THAT COLOR! I will pair grapefruit with just about any alchohol. and now I can’t wait until summer when I can have a whole batch of these to myself.

  5. I always wear shoes without socks. I think I already live somewhere warm in my head instead of freezing cold MI. I can’t wait to break out the sandals and sundresses!

  6. Well if it can’t be spring (and it certainly isn’t spring yet around these parts), one might as well eat popsicles and daydream about the warmer days ahead. Sign me the heck up for one of these. Please and thank you. :)

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  11. Maybe it’s a stupid question, but where do you find molds like this? I only see round molds here, in Montreal. Can we purchase something similar on the net?

    • not stupid at all! I ordered them from Amazon. The one I used is called Progressive International PLP-1 Freezer Pop Maker. I hope this helps!

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  17. Yum, let’s get together for cocktail hour !! First thing that came to mind is never eat these in a convetible, as I recently discovered while trying to eat a nutty butty, let’s just say I wore more than I ate. Then I snapped, that would be drinking and driving……….hummmmm never mind. Another blonde moment

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