Recreating an Atlanta restaurant meal, at home 

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JAMES CAMP
  • James Camp

King of Pops Mini-me Tangerine Basil Pops

"Blending whole fruits for Popsicles is superior in both taste and texture. The closer you can get to the fruit coming out of the ground the better. That is why we strive to use local ingredients when we can. Tangerine basil may be not something people are used to seeing in pop form. It makes them stop and look, and it's maximum refreshing. And most pops are better with a little sweetener, not only does it bring out flavors, but sugar depresses the freezing point and gives your pops a more pleasant texture."

— Steven Carse, founder, King of Pops

While King of Pops wins people over with intricate, fresh flavors, you can also keep it super simple and focus on the magic that happens when juice meets your freezer. For the tangerine basil pops, you could buy fresh fruit, blend it and strain it, mix it with simple syrup, and squeeze in some lemon juice for extra acidity. You can also just buy some tangerine juice, add a quick hit of agave nectar, mix it with fresh basil and let the freezer do its thing. Let's do that.

Ingredients

• 16 ounces tangerine juice

• 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey, or simple syrup — your call)

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions

Do you have an ice pop mold? I've got friends with simple old-fashioned ones, and friends with fancy newfangled ones that freeze on contact. But I've also got ice cube trays, plastic wrap, and toothpicks. And I like the idea of mini-pops to finish off a meal. Choose your method.

Blend tangerine juice, agave nectar, and basil in a blender. (If you don't blend, the basil will mostly float to the top of the juice.)

Pour into your ice cube tray or ice pop mold. Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap or foil, and then gently push toothpicks or Popsicle sticks or plastic spoons into the middle of each mold. (If you want the toothpicks to be in somewhat straight, freeze for 90 minutes, then adjust the leaning toothpicks.)

Freeze for at least 5 hours, or, better yet, overnight.

Grubbs' suggested wine pairing:

Frogtown Cellars Cachet Vidal Ice Wine, 2006, Dahlonega, Ga. (available at the winery for $23 or online plus shipping cost)

"I like the idea of ice wine and [ice pops]. This one is another Georgia Vidal, but this time a dessert wine, produced by pressing frozen grapes at high ripeness levels. The result is intense, and a touch floral, nicely matching the basil tones in the pop."

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