Refreshing and a little bit ‘boozy’, these Pimm’s Ice Lollies (or Pimmsicles) are the perfect adult summer treat. Make with any Pimm’s variety, and mix it your way.
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Introducing ‘Pimmsicles’ (or Pimm’s Ice Lollies) – Perfect for summer
While the weather in the UK may be pants this week, I’ve decided to share my Pimm’s Ice Lollies anyway… Because at some point we will get some sunshine and warmth and I for one, will be prepared.
I realised that I’ve had the photos for this post sitting on my computer for about 3 years 🙈. Somehow, they’d been pushed into a black hole, but when I was clearing down some stuff, they got my attention. Better late than never… And shared just in time for the heat 🤞.
What is Pimm’s? A brief and very British history…
Pimm’s is summer punch at its finest… Somehow, I only ever associate it with the warm weather. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it is without doubt, the tipple that immediately pops into my head when the sun is shining. I’d like to say it is best served with cucumber sandwiches and croquet on the lawn… But I’m not a huge fan of cucumber sandwiches or croquet, British as they are.
But back to basics… Pimm’s is actually a gin-based spirit that is infused with caramelised orange, spice and botanicals. Apparently, it was originally created by James Pimm as a health tonic, particularly to aid the digestion of oysters in the 1800s. It was so successful, that it went on to be sold in oyster houses across the land… And has now become quintessentially associated with Wimbledon and the British summer. You can read more about Pimm’s History here.
I’m not sure whether Pimm’s was ever meant to be drunk ‘neat’… I think not… But it is traditionally prepared in a large jug or pitcher with lemonade, mint, cucumber, strawberries and other fruit.
What’s in Pimm’s Ice Lollies?
As you would expect, Pimm’s Ice Lollies are the frozen version of Pimm’s, the drink. It’s as simple as that… A mixture of Pimm’s liqueur, lemonade and fruit, carefully funnelled, poked and prodded into lolly moulds and frozen ready for the sun.
Of course, Pimm’s now comes in a variety of ‘flavours’… The original ‘No 1’ and alternative ‘special editions’, including Strawberry and the rather delicious Blackberry and Elderflower. They all work perfectly in Pimmsicles 😘.
What’s in a name… Pimm’s Ice Lollies, Ice Popsicles or just good ol’ ‘Pimmsicles’?
I’m making an assumption that Pimm’s has made its way around the world since the 1800s… But if I’m wrong, I apologise.
Either way, depending on where you live, our very British-sounding Pimm’s Ice Lollies may be renamed Pimm’s Ice Popsicles. I still find it fascinating how foods are differently named from country to country. And I often wonder how an ‘ice lolly’ became a ‘popsicle’ (or vice versa) or whether they were developed independently and discovered each other later.
But you know what? I just call these babies good ol’ Pimmsicles. It sums them up without the faff.
The ratio of Pimm’s to Lemonade…
On to important stuff… How boozy should a Pimmsicle be?
Pimm’s the liqueur, is pretty strong stuff… 25% alcohol by volume. And there are several reasons why it’s wise to ‘water it down’ with lemonade for Pimm’s Ice Lollies…
- It would taste pretty gross on its own (it was never meant to be drunk that way)
- It wouldn’t freeze very well – alcohol lowers the freezing temperature
- You’d end up rather tipsy after just one lolly (although I would never judge…)
- Pimm’s and lemonade are meant to be together
But… The ratio of Pimm’s to lemonade is up for negotiation!
The ‘traditional’ ratio for a Summer Pimm’s and Lemonade Punch is 1 Pimm’s to 3 lemonade (about 25% Pimm’s). So, if that’s what you like, stick with it. But because you are making Pimm’s Ice Popsicles at home, there is (almost) complete freedom to vary the strength. I personally go for a percentage of 28 to 29% booze. But upping the strength to a maximum of about a third (1 Pimm’s to 2 lemonade) is doable. I say ‘doable’, because beyond that, the freezability becomes less stable.
The fruit in Pimm’s Ice Lollies and variations…
Again, if you want to go by tradition, a summer Pimm’s punch will have added mint, cucumber, strawberries and sometimes orange. But in reality, the options are endless… And since these are your Pimmsicles, you can add whatever fruit you like.
I like to put a combination of raspberries and blueberries in mine (when I make them with Strawberry Pimm’s (the ones in the photos))… But I stick to the tradition of strawberries and cucumber when using the original Pimm’s No 1. But if I’m honest, chewing on mint leaves in a lolly isn’t my thing.
Do I need any special equipment to make these Lollies?
No. As long as you have a measuring jug, a set of lolly moulds (with lolly sticks) and a freezer, you’re good to go.
I love the extra fun of my Lollypop Men Lolly Moulds that I found on Amazon.
Are Pimm’s Ice Lollies ‘free from’?
Tips when making Pimmsicles
Although Pimmsicles are super-straight forward to make, here are a few tips to make sure they are refreshingly yummy…
- For the best flavour, use between 25% and 33% Pimm’s with lemonade.
- Don’t use straight Pimm’s and avoid anything over 33% as alcohol lowers the freezing temperature and the freezability starts to destabilise the more alcohol you add.
- Only use flat lemonade when making Pimmsicles… Or the gas bubbles will try to push the fruit to the top of the lolly before it’s frozen.
- Cut the fruit small, so that it easily drops into the lolly moulds.
- Put the fruit in the moulds first and fill with Pimm’s after (or the liquid will spill out of the top with displacement).
- Don’t fill the lolly moulds to the top. When the liquid freezes, it will expand and if the moulds are too full, the liquid will over-flow.
- If possible, ‘fast freeze’ the lollies with the freezer set at the lowest temperature. This will give smaller ice crystals and a smoother lolly. Mine were frozen at standard temperature, hence the ice crystals were more ‘icy’.
Ready to make Pimm’s Lollies?
Hopefully, that sets you up for a Pimmsicle summer. If you try making them, let me know. Leave a comment, rate the recipe or tag me on social media. You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest (#glutenfreealchemist).
And for lots more icy inspiration, check out our dedicated homemade Ice Cream, Sorbets and Ices Index. For everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Index is the place to start your journey to better gluten free eating.
All shared with my love
More homemade icy Summer treats you’ll love
Pimm’s Ice Lollies (…or Pimmsicles for short)
- measuring jug
- lolly moulds and sticks
- 120 ml/g Pimm's gin liqueur any variety
- 300 ml/g lemonade must be flat
- 150 to 200 g fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cucumber, orange, etc) de-stalked/peeled and cut small if required
- Make sure the lemonade is flat (no fizz) before starting and prepare the lolly moulds ready for the freezer (the recipe makes about 6 standard lollies)
- Mix the Pimm's with the lemonade in a measuring jug and stir well.
- Drop or poke the fruit into the lolly moulds in whatever order you want it to go.
- Pour the Pimm's-lemonade into the lolly moulds on top of the fruit, making sure that the moulds are not completely full to the top (as the liquid will expand when it freezes).
- Freeze (if possible on the 'fast freeze' setting) for at least 4 hours (and preferably overnight).
- When ready to eat, quickly dip the lolly moulds into a cup of hot water, so that the Pimmsicles are easy to remove.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist