DIY Alcohol-Infused Paletas

Many of us are lucky enough to have our very own neighborhood paleta man. I hear the ringing of the little bell and the sound of the paleta cart coming down my street just before sunset each day. The sound of that bell makes me want to run out the door with a dollar in hand, but there's one thing the friendly neighborhood paleta man can't deliver: boozy, icy goodness on a stick. Turns out, neither could I -- on the first try. But I made it work and I'm ready to share.

See Also: Put Your Juicer to Good Use with Our Margarita Recipe The Secrets to Making an Awesome Piña Colada

Here are the steps to creating these delicious and healthy (yes, healthy!) paletas:

Watermelon: 1. Combine 5 cups of fresh watermelon, juice from 1/2 a lime, and 5 teaspoons of vodka in a blender. 2. Blend on lowest setting until smooth. 3. Pour into molds, let chill for about 30min, then insert popsicle sticks.

Pineapple: 1.Combine 4 2/3 cups of fresh pineapple, 1/3 cup coconut milk, 5 teaspoons of rum in a blender. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above.

Easy, right? Now keep in mind that the measurements I used yielded the perfect amount for my particular mold. If you own something different, don't sweat it. Just remember that for every cup of fruit, you should use 1 teaspoon alcohol. Use more than that and you'll end up with soft, slushy ice that breaks easily.

My first attempt was a sad, disgusting fail. I put the watermelon though a juicer, instead of a blender. As you can see, the result was a stripey paleta where the juice and alcohol separated. It tasted so gross, and I came to the conclusion that the juicer stripped away the pulp needed to make these work.

As you can see, my second attempt was perfection. The pulp didn't settle to the bottom of the mold, and the ice was perfectly solid. While these won't get you drunk, the alcohol does give these paletas a slight kick. They're perfect for a summer BBQ, a relaxing weekend, or let's face it -- a regular old Thursday night. Enjoy!

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Laura Armenta