Weekend Away Brings Back New Treats

C and I took a weekend away from it all a couple of weeks ago and hit the desert at our favorite family getaway spot (www.laquintaresort.com), but this time we went without T in tow. Wow, it was like being at a different place entirely, but isn’t it always that way when we’re not with the kids? It truly is like seeing things for the first time, hearing, well, nothing (no whining or screaming anyway), and remembering what it was like to walk places (versus being on runaway-child herding patrol). It was a blissful weekend filled with napping, drinking in the room, eating, drinking in bars at night, gambling, drinking in the pool, and outlet mall shopping, or pretty much all the usual adult things parents can do without the kids hanging on or around our person. And that’s all the details you’re going to get, friends!

Well, OK, I’ll share one more thing, which of course has to do with the drinking portion of the weekend. One of the bars on-property juiced up some special cocktails that claimed to take summertime refreshment to an entirely new level. But then again, it’s 110 degrees out there in the low desert now, so they do need to get on an entirely new level to cool folks down. One of their many special seasonal drinks was a grapefruit and lime muddled mint cooler made with grapefruit-infused vodka and muddled limes and mint leaves; think big twist (or squeeze?) on the standard mojito of sorts and much more tart than sweet, but instantly quenching (citrus) and revitalizing (mint).

When I left the desert, I brought this drink memory home with me as a little souvenir. I went out with some girlfriends to a local bar for a moms’ night out and asked about having this made. Since there was no grapefruit-infused vodka on the shelf, I asked that they make it with gin instead. I think the bartender even topped it off with a tiny splash of club soda (nice touch with the gin!). And that’s pretty much how new drinks are invented, folks, because that night I think everyone at least tried my concoction if not enjoyed it enough to order one themselves, and at the $3 well price, too, since it wasn’t anything super-fancy in name. Heck, it didn’t even have a name other than by our server and I think it was something like, “Another one of those drinks those moms are ordering over there.”

Now I’ve twisted it again, taking it to another level of refreshment and applied it to my beloved summertime cool-down treat: the ice pop. If you are into sweet-tart treats, take note of the recipe below tout-suite (recipe also doubles as the drink mix-base for above-mentioned cocktail). Fair warning – this ice pop is mouth-puckering sweet-and-sour. Cheers!

(Oh, and check out my bling-y new ice pop molds!)

Ring Ice Pops: Taking Bling to a Whole New Level of Tasty Treats

Grapefruit-Lime-Mint Ice Pops

Ingredients:
1 ¼ c. lime juice (about a dozen limes juiced)
3-4 of the lime halves post-juicing
10-15 medium- to large-sized mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 ¼ c. ruby-red grapefruit juice (or juice a few grapefruits to yield quantity)
1 c. water

Instructions:

  1. Juice limes until you yield 1 ¼-1 ½ c. lime juice; reserve 3-4 lime halves for muddling later.
  2. Rough-chop mint leaves and place into lime juice.
  3. Muddle mint leaves in lime juice with wooden spoon; after 1-2 minutes of muddling re-add lime halves and continue muddling for another 1-2 minutes; rest lime mixture at room temperature for 20 minutes covered.
  4. Add grapefruit juice to lime mixture; strain juice mixture into a pitcher to remove lime halves and mint leaves; add water to pitcher.
  5. Fill ice pop molds or ice pop machine and prepare as instructed. If you have leftover mixture reserve for more ice pops another time, drink as a juice, or use as a drink mixer (gin or vodka works well with the tartness of the grapefruit). Refrigerate for up to 5-7 days.
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