This was not the summer any of us ordered. And so the only weather-related denial we support is the refusal to accept the end of the season. The fact that Richards' Goat Tavern and Tea Room has recently figured out boozy popsicles is another reason to linger.
Along with its takeout food menu, Richards' Goat Tavern and Tea Room has been offering to-go cocktails and mocktails in compostable cups since July. But in the last few weeks it has added individually wrapped popsicles spiked with hard alcohol or wine ($8-$10). This week it's a mango-Tajín white sangria pop with sauvignon blanc from Monument Mountain vineyards. Frozen amid the wine and organic juices are hunks of kiwi, Tajín seasoning and peppery nasturtium petals. Some flavors, says co-owner Aimee Hennessy, are still "in the experimental phase."
Sangria popsicles as a grown-up treat.
If this doesn't sound like a scientific breakthrough, you clearly haven't tried freezing your own hooch at home. (RIP the sticky tubes of Margarita in the Journal
freezer that never firmed up.) The lower freezing temperatures of both sugar and alcohol present a challenge if you want anything more than a light flavoring, as a mixture of more than 8 percent alcohol won't fully freeze.
"Trying to do anything frozen with any kind of alcohol is trial and error," says Hennessy with a laugh. "I've had to drink a lot of slushies that didn't turn out." In fact, it was the high price of slushy machines that pushed her toward trying popsicles. "I was warned against it," she says. But ultimately she gave in to the weather: "It was just a really hot day." With the sangria pops she feels she's found the sweet spot of flavor and solidity, and each is roughly the equivalent of a glass of wine in terms of kick.
Aspiring DIY popsicle spikers be warned — Hennessy says, "You're probably going to waste some booze in the process. Though if you're still able to drink it, I don't know if you consider that a waste."
Hennessy might increase production but for now she's making about 10 per batch, which sell out when the Goat is open Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to sunset on the weekend.