Remember the first time you had a frozen ice pop or snow cone? There is no better way to bring a smile to your face than enjoying frozen treats on sweltering spring and summer days. Honoring the childhood memory of the ice cream truck’s twinkling song, let’s give frozen warm-weather treats an adult spin this Fourth of July with hard cider to cool you down when the temperature rises. We’ve got you covered with refreshing takes on a cider granita, playful cider ice cubes for a chilling cocktail and deliciously boozy ice pops that no one can resist.
Herbed Cider Granita
Serve this lovely “granita” as a palate cleanser between courses at your next dinner party or as a light and refreshing after-dinner dessert. If you have rose geranium handy or grow it in your garden, the fragrant leaves add a beautiful flavor.
Makes about 6 cups, or 6-8 servings
1 teaspoon finely minced rosemary
1 teaspoon finely minced lemon thyme
1 teaspoon finely minced rose geranium leaves (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bottle (750 milliliters) 1911 Founders’ Reserve Rosé
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or large pitcher and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch freezer-proof baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer, making sure the dish lies flat. Let freeze for 4 hour or overnight then rake it into tiny pieces with a fork. Place back into the freezer for at least 2 more hours. Remove and break up ice crystals with a fork right before serving. Serve in frozen glasses and garnish with fresh herb sprigs and edible flowers if desired. Serve immediately.
Cider “Iced” Hard Lemonade
Cherry cider ice cubes add fun and flavor to this sunny day cooler. Freeze the cider in silicone ice cube molds for at least 12 hours to fully set.
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce vodka
¾ cup Fresh Zesty Lemonade (recipe follows)
4-6 ice cubes made with Vermont Cider Co. Cerise
Measure the vodka and lemonade into a large glass. Add cider ice cubes and enjoy.
Fresh Zesty Lemonade
Makes 3 cups
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup sugar
1 cup lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a pitcher, stir together the water, sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the lemon zest and store refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Peach Mojito Spiked Ice Pops
Fresh juicy peaches are always best when in season. If you’re using nectarines, leave the skin on for a beautiful color.
Makes about 10 ice pops
2 cups chopped ripe peaches or nectarines, or frozen peaches, defrosted
¼ cup white rum
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 bottle (12 ounces) Jester & Judge Columbia Belle
Combine the peaches, rum, sugar, lime juice and mint in a blender and process until smooth. Then add in the cider and blend for 10 seconds.
Pour mixture into ice pop molds, leaving a little room at the top for freezing expansion. Add the pop sticks and freeze at least 12 hours or until totally frozen.