As brewers and hop growers experiment more and more with flavors and ideas on combining | expressing them, the beer options for making a frozen treat will be forever changing. If you have an idea, based on a beer you have, use these tips below to learn more on how to make a better Popsicle, Beersicle and Paletas.
Tips for Making Paletas | Popsicles | Beersicles:
- The alcohol content of the beer used will affect the texture and can inhibit the freezing of the finished popsicle. If the beer is over 14% ABV, use a few tablespoons less of the beer and substitute water, juice, coffee or other liquid. If the finished popsicle solution is over 14% alcohol, it will not freeze to a hard enough state to last on a popsicle stick…
- Sugar also inhibits the freezing process. Using too much sugar will cause the popsicle to be more slushy; not enough sugar, and the popsicle will be more like an ice cube.
- If the popsicles are too hard, melt them down and add a tablespoon of syrup. If the popsicles are too soft, add a few more tablespoons of beer and refreeze.
- Try using plastic cups, dixie cups or ice cube trays if a popsicle mold is not available.
- Instead of using wooden popsicle sticks, try bamboo sticks, cool cocktail skewers, sugar cane cut into sticks or even cinnamon sticks. Try to compliment the theme of the Paletas with the right stick.
- Check the freezer temperature setting and actual temperature. By setting the dial to the coolest setting, the popsicles will freeze faster, making smaller ice crystals and making a better popsicle (and ice cream). Water freezes at 32°F | 0°C, which is too warm to freeze alcohol or sugar filled items. Ideally, set the freezer temperature to 0°F | -17.7°C, for a faster setting frozen treat.
- If the Paletas are sticking in the molds, after being frozen, dip them into a bowl or container filled with the hottest-possible tap water for 10 – 15 seconds to slightly melt the outside of the popsicle and allow it to release.
- Once frozen, remove the Paletas to a Ziploc bag, wrap tightly in plastic wrap to prevent the popsicle from picking up any other freezer flavors, or layer the finished popsicles with wax paper and place into a sealable container. Do not leave the Paletas in the mold after completely frozen.
- When using fruit, find the ripest fruit possible. The extra sugar from the ripe fruit will also help the texture and enhance the flavor in the final product.
- Check the IBU (International Bittering Units) of the beer before using in the Paletas recipe. If the IBU are high (<75), the resulting beersicle might be more bitter and lack a good balance of sweetness. Check the flavor of the popsicle solution before freezing, adjusting not the salt but the sugar sweetness.
For recipes and proportions, here are some tasty chill ideas I’ve made:
Popsicle Sticks & Alternative Ideas: