Hot Hot Hot: White Sangria Popsicles

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

-Tasty popsicles with booze and summer fruit.-

It's so damn hot this week I could wring myself out and fill a kidding pool with sweat. That's not too much of an exaggeration, mind you. It's been reaching the triple digits here with enough regularity that you could cook an egg to it (and probably do it on the sidewalk).

The new house has good insulation and trees so high they provide excellent shade, and while I worry that they may snap and crash into the roof one day during a winter windstorm, that's a disaster I'll worry about later. For now, shade. Glorious shade. It keeps the house under 85 degrees for the most part, which isn't too bad.

Now, we were going to do some other energy saving tricks to keep the heat down. We had glorious plans to install an attic fan to suck all the stale heat out from above, and two ceiling fans in order to move cool air around inside. Sadly, these plans were dashed when we first turned on the original furnace.

-And they they were cut up like fruit. Stupid furnace.-

The power company had come in and turned it off. In fact they had taken a sharpie and scribbled on it, "Dangerous! Do not turn on! Seriously! ~SMUD" along with a very official looking sticker that had a lot of legal mumbo jumbo and symbol for fire and a symbol of a skull. Seriously.

Well, we decided to just double check anyway because maybe it was salvageable, yeah? It goes on, the pilot light clicks, and out shoots a huge fireball engulfing the entire furnace closet and scorching the walls pitch black.

Oopa! The joys of home ownership.

After trimming the left eyebrow to match the severely singed right one I immediately called Sears and bought myself a shiny new $3000 furnace. Hoo-fuckin-ray. Let me tell you, for three grand they could at least have it come in colors. Can I at least get it in zebra print?

So yes, that killed the ceiling fan and attic fan budget. We're surviving off of the original air conditioning unit. It was installed in 1986 and is so weather torn the name, instructions, warning stickers, and identifying markers have all been bleached or worn off to a state of complete illegibility if they're even there at all. So far it's held out, but I don't give it much longer.

To cool down we're resorting to old tricks. Opening the windows for a breeze, cold showers with Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap (which has a peppermint oil in it that chills the skin), ice cream by the gallon, plenty of peppermint iced tea, and tower fans here and there. On truly hellish nights I do what my Kansas City grandmother taught me and keep a spray bottle of water by my bed. You mist yourself a bit and then let the fan's cool air run over you. It sounds a bit much, but in a humid Kansas City summer with air so thick you can spread it on toast or in bone dry Nor Cal heat it's a lifesaver.

There's also been a lot of popsicles. Usually with booze in them because I need to catch up with my family members who have already identified their drinking problems and joined AA. I don't keep juice on hand too often, so really I just take some fruit, a bit of wine, and some simple syrup and pop it in a blender or food processor.

The fruit can vary from strawberries to honeydew to peaches. Use what's overripe and what's in season. The wine just has to match the flavor of the fruit: i.e. reds for berries and plums, whites for peaches, melons, and apricots. Simple, right? Sake works too, if you have it.

I usually make simple syrup once a month to add to iced tea. Equal parts sugar and water brought to a simmer and then stored in a clean bottle in the fridge for up to a month. I flavor the syrup depending on my mood; vanilla bean, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, etc. Right now I have a delightful bottle of elderflower syrup made by a friend and that's been seeing plenty of use in sweltering glasses iced tea and chilled champagne.

This particular white sangria popsicle I made using what was around the house. A peach so ripe is was weeped juice at the touch, two soft apricots, and some freshly picked strawberries from the neighbor. I used an unfinished bottle of sauvignon blanc from the other night and a heavy pour of the elderflower syrup.

It's fruity, boozy, sweet, and tart. A fantastic way to combat heat so oppressive it puts Mussolini to shame.

What are your methods for keeping cool? Please let me know because, really, we are dying.

Garrett out.

White Sangria Popsicles
Makes 8 popsicles

5 ounces sauvignon blanc
4 ounces of simple syrup (flavored as desired)
2 cups of hulled strawberries
2 apricots, pitted and chopped
1 large peach, pitted and chopped

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until it is all liquefied with only a few bits of fruit. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Pop out of molds and eat. 


  1. I hope you auctioned the furnace off as an industrial strength flamethrower! ;-) But seriously though, that sounds horrifyingly scary. O_O

  2. Mmm, these sound delicious!

    I just made four different flavored syrups to serve at a party this weekend - stupid question: I know that a plain simple syrup can keep for a month, but what about one that's flavored with fresh fruit and/or juice? Mine all have a bit of floating sediment (could have strained even more but hubby liked the "homemade" look) and I'm concerned they shouldn't be kept as long. Thoughts?

    1. I always pass mine through very fine filters, however, I would say a month is still safe enough, but toss if you see mold or anything.

  3. Oh my, if you don't have Fany Gerson's "Paletas" book yet, go get one! It's got great Mexican popsicle recipes in it, including a lime pie pop that is soooooo good and super easy. :-)

    1. I have seen it before but never checked it out. Thanks for the referral!

  4. Sangria popsicles are brilliant! I might just do that the next time I have left overs from a party, add a little extra fruit or juice and freeze. Thanks as always for such enjoyable reads and great ideas!

  5. Garrett it sounds like there was a good reason they put those warning stickers on the old furnace. Keep your tickets on that furnace. I think there still might be some tax credit left for that. I had to get a new furnace and ac unit last year and it was $10k so it sounds like you came out pretty good. That should pay for itself in a 3 or 4 years from savings on your utility bills. Harbor freight sells some nice large fans (about 3 feet tall) that can give you a bad hair day (like you just got off a motorcycle with no helmet)in case you need extra air movement and they don't cost too much. I know your not a tool person but that's a great place for tools and things for the kitchen and garden and their stuff works great for the price. Uncle Steve

  6. staying cool - wintergreen alcohol splashed all over me.

    syrup in my fridge right now - orange honey cardamon (leftover from baklava). i brushed it on a coconut cake, put it in iced tea, in ice water, and in my oatmeal.

  7. It's /always/ insanely hot here, and now we've got the lovely haze to go with it. I've almost always got some kind of sorbet in the freezer. Popsicles sound like a brilliant idea! (Y)

  8. These look freakin delicious and I need to go make them right now (sorry, boss! this is an emergency, promise!)
    I have some mint simple syrup I made last week, I think that would be a welcome addition here.

    My ultimate stay cool technique is to put clean, damp socks in the freezer and pop them on before bed. It's the summer equivalent of toasting your socks in the dryer during the winter months. Hope it helps!

  9. Giggling over the vision of you, at an AA meeting. "Hi. My name is Garrett and I am a popsicoholic."
    My Dad who refuses to install air conditioning (in Ky) opens his windows early in the AM when it is relatively cooler. Then he pulls the shutters /blinds to shade the house when the sun is up. He has fans. He takes alot of naps. He rants about how superior he is to the rest of us whimps who have AC. I even shut my blinds during the day and I have AC. Huge difference.
    Uhh, you can also buy vests you soak in water, designed for riders. Really makes you cool but weigh a ton.

  10. Ooh, those sound yummy. Unfortunately our summer (in Scotland) has turned into torrential rain, so it's not exactly popsicle weather...

    Supposedly lukewarm showers are better than cold showers. If the water is too cold then your body shuts down bloodflow to your skin, so you end up preserving heat rather than losing it.

    During the recent heatwave in the UK, the BBC recommended eating curries because the spices would help you sweat. I don't know how true this is though! But you could maybe get heat blocking curtains to hang on the windows that get the most sunlight.

  11. Best bets are to keep your body temperature as low as possible. Handkerchiefs soaked in icy water and draped around the back of your neck will drop your body temp by a few degrees, and won't get water everywhere. (Both Wal-Mart and REI sell freezable versions of these that aren't too expensive and that I love, but anything following the general principle works.) You can also blow those fans over bowls of ice. Cools the air down marvelously. Works best at night, and feels great on your skin.

  12. I wet down a thin towel and sleep under it with a fan on when it's too hot to think. Helps a lot.

  13. Spicy food. Seriously. Those in equatorial countries know what they're doing.

  14. Basically this hot hot white sangria popsicle recipe is great for the summer where my kids will be crazy about it because they love desserts.


Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.

Vanilla Garlic All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger