At this point, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of popsicles. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I have.
So to celebrate the fact that spring is right around the corner, along with warmer temperatures (yay), I thought it would be fun to throw a popsicle party. You game?
I’ve partnered with Simply Juice Drinks to put it all together. And I tried their new line of all-natural juices (made with real fruit juice) to incorporate into popsicle recipes, drinks, and other DIY party ideas.
Put on your sunglasses. It’s about to get colorful…
Since this is a popsicle party, it probably makes sense to start with the recipes. Up first is my fave new popsicle recipe…
Fruit Filled Punch Pops Recipe
These are so easy! All you need for these pops are slices of fresh fruit (I used strawberries, mango, and blueberries) and Simply Fruit Punch or Simply Tropical. You can find Simply Juice Drinks in the refrigerated juice section at the grocery store.
Add the slices of fruit to the popsicle molds, then pour in the juice of your choice. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes. Then add popsicle sticks and let the popsicles freeze 4-6 hours, or until hardened.
To create color blocked and striped versions, only fill the juice partially in the molds before freezing, then add a layer(s) of the another juice on top and let freeze.
As with all popsicles, run warm water over the underside of the tray for 20-30 seconds to remove the pops, when you’re ready to eat.
Works as a drink too…
You may want to mix up a drink version of this popsicle recipe for the table too. Just add Simply Tropical juice into a carafe, with some fruit slices for a decorative (edible) touch and put it into the fridge for several hours before serving. Add alcohol if desired.
Creamy Color Pops Recipe
The second popsicle recipe is great for anyone who like creamsicles, with a twist. You’ll need the following ingredients…Fruit Syrup Ingredients: 2 cups Simply Juice Drink // 5 tbsp sugar // 1 tbsp vanilla // 1/4 tsp salt // 1 tsp lemon juice Cream Base Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups whole milk // 3/4 cup heavy cream // 3 tbsp sugar // 1 tbsp corn starch
To make the syrup… Add the Simply Juice Drink (either Tropical or Fruit Punch), sugar, vanilla, and salt to the sauce pan. Over medium heat, bring the juice drink mixture to a boil. This should take about 10 minutes. Whisk occasionally and keep an eye on the pot to make sure the juice doesn’t boil over.
Then, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the mixture for another 35 to 40 minutes. Stir occasionally during the simmering step. The syrup will be ready once it has reduced in volume to about 2/3 cup. Remove the pot from the heat and prepare an ice bath for the pot. Move the pot to the ice bath and whisk the syrup until it cools completely. Whisk in the lemon juice.
To make the cream base… In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of whole milk with the corn starch. Set aside for later.
Add the remaining whole milk, heavy cream, and sugar to the sauce pan. Over medium heat, cook the milk mixture for about 10 minutes. Whisk continuously to avoid scalding the milk. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure the milk doesn’t boil over. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the corn starch slurry. Return the pot to the heat and reduce to medium low. Simmer for about 5 minutes while whisking continuously.
Remove the pot from the heat and prepare an ice bath for the pot. Move the pot to the ice bath and whisk the milk mixture until it cools completely.
Now it popsicle time! In a large bowl, whisk together the cooled juice drink syrup and cream base. Fill the popsicle molds and put in the freezer for 45 minutes. Then add popsicle sticks and let the popsicles freeze overnight. Or until hardened.
To create a color blocked look, split the cream base between two flavors of juice, and only partially fill the molds before freezing. Once frozen, add a layer of the second juice on top and let freeze.
Okay, so now that the popsicle recipes are taken care of, let’s talk DIY party ideas…
1. Fruit + Flower Centerpiece: This is a fun one, but also, super easy. Grab a whole pineapple and a few mangos from the grocery store and arrange them on a platter. Tuck fresh flowers into the arrangement (they can also be pinned to the fruit with straight pins if necessary) and you’re good to go. Add a glass cloche if you’re feeling extra fancy, for a ‘dinner is served’ moment, like we did.
2. DIY Popsicle Garland: With the number of popsicle recipes I dream up, I’m bound to have at least 100 popsicle sticks laying around at any given time. So, I figured I’d use the extras to create a super easy popsicle garland.
To create your own, you’ll just need a good string or twine, 50-100 popsicles sticks (depending on how long you want to make it) and a hot glue gun.
Add a small bead of glue to the middle of a popsicle stick and attach to a long piece of string. Leave 1-2 ft of empty string before starting with the popsicle sticks, so that you can tie each side of the string to something, while hanging. Repeat this process for all of the popsicle sticks, leaving 1/8 – 1/4 inch between each one. Then when it’s ready to hang, gently twist the popsicle garland after securing it on one side, to get more of a spinning / haphazard look, like the one in the photos, before securing the other end.
I love the wood against those colorful backdrops. And speaking of backdrops…
3. Colorful DIY Party Backdrops: Instead of adding artwork to a large empty space, try painting large pieces of wood instead. I picked up a couple of 4×4 pieces of floorboard for about $8 a piece. Then, all that was needed was a good priming and a couple of coats of paint. Rest them against a blank wall or even use them as a colorful tabletop surface.
For more Simply Juice Drink themed inspirations, head over to the Simply Orange Juice Facebook page.
Photography by Heidi Geldhauser
Modeling by Shannon Cole
Craft production assisted by Linda Jednaszewski
Art direction, styling, and concept by Brittni Mehlhoff
Think you’ll give these popsicle recipes and DIY ideas a try? And more importantly, how ready are you for spring? Warm weather, I’m so ready for you!
This post is in partnership with Simply Beverages. All opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.