Watermelon Agua Fresca
Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef, Hill Country
“Fresh water” fruit drinks are served all over Mexico, but when Karmel had trouble finding proper agua fresca in New York, she decided to make some herself. The key is to strain the pulpy fruit to make a clear liquid. Here, St. Germain liqueur adds some depth to the sweet watermelon flavor.
1/2 fresh watermelon, seeded and diced (yields about 6 cups of juice)
2 small limes, juiced
1/4 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
1 1/2 cups St. Germain liqueur (or sparkling wine), optional
Place a fine sieve in a large bowl or other container. Push watermelon fruit through the sieve to eliminate pulp and collect juice. (You can strain a second time with an even finer sieve or cheesecloth.) Alternatively, purée fruit in a blender and strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Set aside.
In a large pitcher, mix lime juice and salt. Add watermelon juice and optional liqueur, and stir well. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well just before use.
Pour into Popsicle molds, and let freeze overnight. Serves 12.
Eben Freeman, mixologist, Tailor
A spiced-up version of a greyhound cocktail (gin and grapefruit juice, classically); Freeman nicknames this pop the “Hot Dog.” As your mouth turns cold, you’re bombarded with that most elusive of taste sensations: citrusy icy-hotness.
2 cups fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/4 serrano chile
3 ounces Plymouth gin
2 ounces sugar
Grenadine for color
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and let rest in the refrigerator for half an hour. Remove chile, add liquid to molds, and freeze. Serves about 10.
Masaharu Morimoto, chef and partner, Morimoto
The Iron Chef alum serves this sinus-assaulting sorbet as a palate-cleanser on the omakase menu at Morimoto. Fresh wasabi, the chef insists, is less spicy and has a richer flavor than the powder. The Popsicle can also be served after a meal as a tangy dessert.
3 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh wasabi, grated (if using wasabi powder, substitute 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons sudachi juice (sudachi is a small, round, green citrus fruit sold in many Japanese markets, but you can use 1 teaspoon of lime juice as a substitute)
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a medium pot. Allow to cool. Gently whisk the syrup into the wasabi. For best flavor, let the wasabi steep overnight. Stir in sudachi juice, then set in molds and freeze. Serves 8.
Apricot-Raspberry Creamsicle With Cookie Dough
Sebastien Rouxel, executive pastry chef, Thomas Keller Restaurants
This combo reminds Rouxel of the “coupe glacée”—usually two flavors of ice cream or sorbet, finished with a fruit purée, nuts, and whipped cream—he enjoyed as a kid in France. You can add more texture by dipping your Creamsicle in white chocolate followed by a roll in butter-cookie crumbs.
2 cups vanilla ice cream
2 cups apricot sorbet
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/2 ounces sugar
Your favorite cookie dough
To make the coulis, process the raspberry and sugar in a blender until smooth. In a separate large bowl, add ice cream and sorbet and mix just enough to marble them together (avoid overmixing, as this can cause the ice cream to become homogeneous in color), then pour in some of the raspberry coulis and gently swirl in chunks of cookie dough. Pour the mixture into a Popsicle mold, and let set in the freezer. When frozen, enjoy as is or dip in chocolate. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Three Web-exclusive recipes:
• Mamey Popsicles from Bar Q’s Anita Lo
• Avocado Chili Pops from P*ONG’s Pichet Ong
• White-Chocolate-Dipped Tamarind Popsicles from Dovetail’s Vera Tong
• Sebastien Rouxel’s Creamsicle With Homemade Ice Cream
• Restaurants With Alcoholic Frozen Desserts