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Alcoholic Popsicles Offer Heat Relief for Grown-Ups

By Mathew Katz | June 11, 2012 7:01am
The Loopy Doopy Lounge at the Conrad NYC sells several varieties of boozed-up frozen fruit pops.
The Loopy Doopy Lounge at the Conrad NYC sells several varieties of boozed-up frozen fruit pops.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

NEW YORK CITY — Don't ask for these at the Mr. Softee Truck.

Restaurants and bars are putting a grown-up twist on frozen treats by mixing them with alcohol.

From snow cones to milkshakes, mixologists are offering cocktail-inspired popsicles as a way to cool off party-style.

"It's simple — adults like alcohol and people like popsicles," said Alex Joset, marketing manager at the four-month-old hotel Conrad New York on North End Avenue. It just introduced a tempting lineup of boozed-up pops at its rooftop bar, the Loopy Doopy Lounge.

The $16 popsicles are made with a blend of fruit puree and a matching mixer, then served up in a burgundy glass filled with prosseco.

The unique take on the fruit pop comes in flavors like watermelon and 10 Cane Rum, White Peach and Hudson Baby Bourbon, and strawberry and Grey Goose citron.

Each popsicle is roughly 20 percent alcohol, which along with the prosecco can give eaters a serious buzz.

"It's a strong popsicle," said the Conrad's Rashawn Packwood, who manages the hotel's bars and restaurants.

The blend of fruit puree, along with stabilizers, allows the booze to freeze — something the bar initially struggled with.

But if $16 for a popsicle isn't your thing, you can go for a slightly more affordable option — the boozy milkshake.

The alcoholic milkshake has become a popular item at many burger shacks, including Dumont Burger in Williamsburg, which serves a maple-bacon milkshake with bourbon using syrup aged in bourbon barrels.

"They may look innocent, but these things have got a punch — they can put hair on your chest," said Shenae Simmons, the restaurant's manager who's seen patrons stumble out after having two glasses of the dairy treat.

"Part of the appeal is that childlike sense," Simmons added. "You'd sit and have a milkshake with your parents and felt like you're an adult. Now that you're over 21, you can put some strength in them."

The $12 alcoholic desserts at Dumont come in a variety of flavors, including the Nutty Irishman, a vanilla shake with Bailey's, Frangelico, dulce de leche and coffee.

Dumont has been serving the boozy shakes since it opened in 2007, and they've proven to be one of the most popular items on the menu. On New Year's Day, the joint sold 105 shakes to hung over partiers hoping for some hair of the dog, Simmons said.

"I just love the idea that something can be so bad for me," said 29-year-old Eric Paulson, who has tried dozens of alcoholic shakes around the city and swears by the bourbon shake at Prospect Heights Beer Garden Franklin Park.

"It's fattening, it gets you drunk. What else does a growing boy need?"

Other restaurants have begun to get more experimental in their frozen treat making. East Village Mexican joint Diablo Royal Este has introduced the so-called "Hopsicle Experience" — a can of Tecate beer injected with syrup and lime juice, then served push-pop style complete with a popsicle stick.

As beer is easier to freeze than alcohol, not much else has to be added to it — though each can needs to sit for four days in the freezer before it's ready.

Not to be outdone by the Conrad's alcoholic pops, the rooftop bar at Flatiron's Gansevoort Park NYC hotel serves up alcohol-infused snow cones — a juvenile indulgence that goes well with the frat-inspired glow in the dark games on ping pongs when the deck gets dark.

"I don't really like the taste of alcohol, but anything that can hide it with something like this, I can enjoy it and get a little high," said Carol Greene, 60, who was visiting the city with her husband and son from San Francisco and took a break from sight seeing on the Conrad's rooftop.

"If this were an alcoholic creamsicle, it would've been perfect."