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How to Make Beer Popsicles, Because Why Not?

July 10, 2020

By Carina Finn, July 10, 2020

When I was younger, summer afternoons were often spent working my way through a box of popsicles and binge-watching Saved by the Bell reruns. As I got older, I shifted away from frozen novelties in favor of craft beers and artisanal ice creams. This summer, I’ve been seeking out comfort food like it’s my job, so I decided to adapt my favorite treats for a more sophisticated palate.

It started with an intense craving for fudgesicles, and the memory of an incredible chocolate stout cake recipe I developed years ago when I was working as a pastry chef. If milk stout made for a great chocolate cake, I had a hunch that it would make a good popsicle, too. After watching my husband eat an entire test batch of Milk Stout Fudge Pops in a single afternoon, my thesis was proven. 

Beer popsicles are the ideal way to turn your favorite beer cocktail into a dessert that will make you feel like a kid again. Since lower ABV beers are better for freezing, these won’t give you much of a buzz on their own, but beer popsicles pair just as well with barbecue fare as, well, beer. 

When making any of the recipes below, there are a few key things to keep in mind. In general, you’ll want to freeze these for longer than you would a non-alcoholic popsicle—around six hours, or overnight, is a good place to start. The higher the ABV for your base beer, the longer your popsicles should sit in the freezer before you enjoy them. The Milk Stout Fudge Pops and Bourbon Fizz Pops are both best mixed in the evening and enjoyed the next day.

Carina Finn

If you have standard popsicle molds, great! If not, three-ounce paper cups and popsicle sticks work just as well. If you choose to go that route, you’ll want to let the mixture freeze to a slurry for about an hour and a half before inserting the popsicle sticks. Place your filled cups on a flat surface, like a metal sheet pan, for optimal freezing. All of the recipes below make between four and five popsicles, depending on the size and shape of your molds. 

Michelada Popsicles

A michelada is probably the quintessential summer beer cocktail, and it translates surprisingly well into popsicle form. The combination of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors are reminiscent of mangonada paletas, but a little less sweet thanks to the addition of lager. Choose a classic Mexican brew for the best results, like Tecate or Modelo. If you have Tajín—a seasoning made from chili, lime, and sea salt—on hand, these popsicles get even better if you sprinkle some on top just before eating. 

6 oz. Pale lager 

3 oz. Mango juice 

2 oz. Simple syrup 

2 tbsp. Hot sauce 

1 tbsp. Lime juice 

Tajín seasoning to taste (optional) 

Whisk all ingredients together, then fill popsicle molds. For a more visually striking version, combine mango juice and hot sauce in one container, and lager, lime juice, and simple syrup in another. Fill molds one third of the way with the mango juice mixture and freeze for one hour, then fill to the top with lager mixture and freeze. Sprinkle on some Tajín just before eating, if using. 

Milk Stout Fudge Pops 

Fudgsicles are a peak nostalgia dessert, and adding a milk stout to the mix takes this classic from cloying to complex. Be sure to use a milk stout or a pastry stout for this recipe, otherwise the finish will be too bitter. These have a velvety texture and, like all Fudgsicles-inspired treats, can be a bit addictive, so double the batch if you’re making them for a crowd. 

5 oz. Whole milk 

5 oz. Milk stout 

6 oz. White sugar 

⅓ cup Cocoa powder 

1 tbsp. Cornstarch 

In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together all ingredients except the stout and cook until just bubbling. Remove from heat and whisk in stout, then fill popsicle molds and freeze. 

Berry Bellini Popsicles 

This popsicle recipe makes use of prime summer fruits in a riff on the Bellini cocktail. Swapping out the prosecco for your favorite Lambic gives this a pleasant funk that offsets the sweetness of peaches and berries. Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss also works very well in this recipe, but the results will be a bit less dank. 

8 oz. Lambic 

4 oz. Peach juice 

2 oz. Fresh berries

Whisk together Lambic and peach juice, then add fresh berries and mash lightly with a fork. Fill popsicle molds three-quarters full with liquid, then add mashed berries to each mold and freeze. 

Summer Shandy Popsicles 

Freezing your favorite summer shandy straight up will yield delicious results, since the combination of a great Pilsner with sweet lemonade has virtue on its own. The addition of guava and lime in this recipe takes the typical shandy to another level, making this feel like a vacation in popsicle form. 

6 oz. Pilsner 

4 oz. Guava nectar 

2 oz. Lemon juice 

.5 oz. Lime juice 

Whisk together all ingredients, fill popsicle molds, and freeze. 

Bourbon Fizz Pops

A traditional Bourbon Fizz cocktail gets its fizz from club soda, sweetness from simple syrup, and a bit of tang from lemon juice. Swapping club soda for Hefeweizen and sweetening the mix with pineapple juice give this popsicle heady, tropical notes that pair well with the bite of a good barrel-aged bourbon. 

6 oz. Hefeweizen 

3 oz. Pineapple juice 

1 oz. Bourbon  

Whisk together all ingredients, fill popsicle molds, and freeze. 

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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