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!