A Classic Summer Treat Grows Up

As warm weather settles in, the popsicle, that quintessential summer snack for kids, makes its seasonal debut. But who says that big people have outgrown this frozen treat? That’s the attitude at the Four Seasons Hotel, where the arrival of alcoholic popsicles is sure to entice adult palates.

Beginning this month, patrons at Cielo, the restaurant located on the hotel’s eighth floor, will find an assortment of Poptails – frozen cocktails on a stick – on the drink menu; each $10 order of Poptails comes with two frozen pops served on a plate of crushed ice. This cool sundry for tipplers is the brainchild of Robert Jenny, director of food and beverage at the hotel. “We wanted something to help people cool down and also to get a bit of a buzz,” said Jenny. “This is playful. You remember it from when you were a child, but there’s an adult side to it.”

Although Jenny conceived of the idea last summer, it took a while to get the recipes just right, a task reserved for Cielo’s pastry sous chef Peter Whitley. The challenge, explained Whitley, was to find the right ratio of alcohol to nonalcoholic liquid so that all of the contents froze. The ratio, it turns out, is approximately 1 part alcohol to 2 parts nonalcohol, which are blended together before being poured into 3½ ounce cone-shaped pastry molds. Jenny noted that for Poptail flavors that use a spirit high in alcohol content, the amount of nonalcoholic liquid needs to be increased. “The highest alcohol we worked with was 40 percent – 80-proof; that is the highest we plan on going.”

Vodka, tequila, cachaça, rum and gin are among the spirits that Whitley has combined with fresh fruit juices to create colorful summertime novelties for the 21-and-over crowd. Among the rotating list of flavors that guests will encounter throughout the summer are pomegranate Martini, pink grapefruit Margarita, Caipirinha, strawberry Daiquiri and basil Mojito, the latter made using rum infused with basil grown in the new chef’s garden on Cielo’s rooftop patio.