How to

24 August 2016

Ice Lollies - Alcoholic and Protein-Packed Varieties

Enjoying that hot day in the sun starts to be more tedious than relaxing as soon as you begin to sweat through your clothes. That’s the breaking point for most people, once sweat can be visually documented by others, the fun is over. So, let’s look at some new ways to stay cool with some interesting twists on the traditional ice lolly.

But first, Science!

What’s the quickest way to cool down your alcohol? For the experienced among us, popping a bottle in the freezer yields the frostiest, most-satisfyingly cold spirit known to man. That’s because of ethanol, the type of alcohol that humans can consume.

Ethanol has an insanely low freezing point, -114°C or -173°F. Even with other ingredients like water and flavouring contributing to a higher melting point, the freezing point of most liquor will remain absurdly low. Anything with a high percentage of ethanol is almost certain to keep its lithe liquid form, but this does not hold true for fermented beverages, like beer and wine, which have low percentages of alcohol.

I realise that there are those among you wondering how this blasted learning ties into your frosty, alcoholic treat. To simplify it, the most important thing to check over before popping a load of ice lolly moulds into the freezer is the Alcohol By Volume (ABV). Measured by percentage, the ABV will directly influence the freezing point of any given alcoholic beverage. Basically, the ABV tells you what percentage of ethanol is in the drink.

For a well-formed, alcoholic ice lolly, the overall ABV should be 8% at a minimum. For your standard beers and wines, which usually hover around 8% ABV by nature, the only thing to fret over is how you want to spruce the flavour. However, when using stronger liquors, you’ll need a basic dilution formula to figure out exactly how much to add to your recipe to hit that 8% ABV sweet spot. Maths is the furthest subject from my understanding unless I have some liquid confidence, though this doesn’t mean the answers will be right … but my adamancy will make them so! Okay, disregard that.

And now, Math!

Let’s draw up a scenario to make things more realistic. You want to make gin and tonic ice lollies with fresh sprigs of mint and cucumber. All the ingredients are set on the counter – a Gordon’s Gin bottle, fresh mint, cucumber sticks, and lime juice – but you don’t have a recipe. Without delay, you whip out your basic dilution formula, a trusty notepad, and a ball point pen, freshly licked and ready for action. 

C = concentration
V = volume

C1 is the ABV of Gordon’s Gin, 37.5%.
We’re solving for V1.
C2 is 8%, as formerly mentioned (see above).
V2 will depend on your ice lolly mould, but we’ll say 6 ounces for this example.


In this scenario, you can very carefully measure 1.3 ounces of gin for every 4.7 ounces of lime juice, or you can keep it simple and do 1 ounce of gin for every 5 ounces of lime juice. 

Ah, the rewards of a college education. Back to our example, you’re in the process of muddling your mint and 1.3 ounces of gin. After straining the gin into 4.7 ounces of freshly-squeezed lime juice, you’re ready to go! You place sliced cucumber sticks into the mould with the muddled mint before topping it off with the gin and lime mixture. That’s that!

With this knowledge, you can make beer ice lollies flecked with strawberry bits or plum wine lollies with chunked plum and a hint of cinnamon. Now you’re ready to raid your liquor cabinet and concoct your own ice lolly creations. Before you spike your blood sugar and blood alcohol content, why not step into the light with a healthful and delicious protein ice lolly.

Ideally, for those of us sharing the workout addiction, protein should be taken 30-60 minutes after exercise. This gives your body the necessary tools to recover after a good session in the gym. I normally grab my shaker cup full of oat milk and a scoop of protein (cake donut flavour is perfection), but I’d definitely consider toting around a frozen lolly in its place. As opposed to the complicated art of crafting an alcoholic lolly, a protein-packed one is as simple as blending your ingredients and popping the liquid goo into a mould. This translates into limitless options; just imagine a classic spinach, banana, and strawberry protein ice lolly or, for those not interested in torture, a layered peanut butter and jelly confection.

Regardless of your life choices, either form of ice lolly offer a fresh spin on an old favourite. Take your pick of either poison and make it your own. Don’t forget to pick up a set of ice lolly moulds

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).