You don’t have to be an English “Hooray Henry” to enjoy this poptail; Pimm’s is still going strong after nearly 200 years. The chopped garnishes mingled with the lemonade and submerged in Pimm’s are a true expression of an English summer garden party. Re-dip into Pimm’s as you go.

Pimm’s On A Stick

Makes 8-10

250ml/1 cup water
100g/ ½ cup granulated sugar
15g/1 cup torn mint leaves
150g/5 ½ oz sliced strawberries
60g/2oz thinly sliced apple
60g/2oz orange, peeled and thinly sliced
60g/2oz thinly sliced cucumber
60ml/ ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1–2 lemons)
120ml/ ½ cup Pimm’s

For the garnish (optional):
Mint leaf for each


1. Put the water and half the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, drop in the mint leaves and steep for an hour or longer.

2. Meanwhile, put the strawberries and apple, orange and cucumber slices in a bowl and stir in the rest of the sugar, the lemon juice and Pimm’s. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes or more.

3. Strain the syrup into the fruit and Pimm’s mixture, squeezing the mint leaves with your hands to extract their juices.

4. Pour the mixture into the moulds, making sure you divide the fruit pieces evenly and leaving a little space at the top. If you like, drop in a mint leaf.

5. Freeze until slushy, 60-90 minutes, then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 5 hours or overnight. (See below tips for making fool proof Ice Popsicles for the complete procedure.)


1. Pour the poptail mix into the moulds from a small jug or measuring cup. If there are pieces to suspend, make sure you distribute them evenly. If you want to insert a garnish, such as a sliver of orange or lemon, or a mint leaf, then now would be the time to do it. Leave a 5-mm / 1/4-in gap at the top for expansion during freezing.

2. Turn your freezer to the coldest setting and clear a flat surface to put the moulds on. Prepare ahead, allow for plenty of freezing time and avoid opening the freezer often. Poptails take longer to freeze because of the alcohol content – about 5-8 hours depending on size and alcohol content. Freezing overnight is best.

3. Don’t forget that you’ll need to insert the sticks in a little while!

4. The easiest method for inserting the sticks is to leave the moulds uncovered and insert after the mixture has frozen enough that the sticks stay straight when inserted, about 60–90 minutes. Another idea is to secure them in place with a sliced piece of fruit. If your timings don’t fit, you can cover the top of your moulds with foil and cut little slits where you will want the sticks, then insert the sticks through the foil to secure them in place.

5. You have to take care when unmoulding poptails because the alcohol in them makes them more delicate. Metal or rubbery silicone moulds work best. With the latter, all you need to do is push them out. For other types of mould, you can leave the poptails sitting at room temperature for a few minutes or dip them in room temperature water for a few seconds as you pull gently on the stick. If the mould is a shot glass, hold it in your hands until you are able to pull the poptail out. Twisting the stick a little as you pull will make them come out more easily. If the poptail melts too much, the stick will come out without the pop.

6. Keep the poptails in their moulds as long as possible to prevent freezer burn. It is best to serve poptails as soon as possible after unmoulding, but if you need to store them, wrap them individually in cling film (plastic wrap) and store in the freezer in an airtight freezer bag. They taste best within a week of making.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Ice Kitchen Poptails by Nadia Roden and Cesar Roden, published by Quadrille, May 2018, RRP $19.99 hardcover.

Photo: Louise Hagger

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