“I think in general people have the perception ice blocks are cheap treats,” says Karen Lavecky, creator of Paloma Pops and maker of handcrafted popsicles. “We’re more health conscious, creative and adventurous these days and far more aware of what goes into our bodies and how our food is made.”

Paloma Pops are rather different to the convenience-store variety. They’re created using only seasonal ingredients, fresh juice, natural flavours – and booze. Beyond her regular icy-pole range, Lavecky is part of a new wave of chefs, restaurateurs and bartenders fusing the frozen treat with quality cocktails.

“As an artisan producer, I’m passionate about quality and innovation,” says Lavecky. “I wanted to create a guilt-free treat that I would be excited to share with my friends. We believe in keeping it simple – premium produce, beautiful flavours and a lot of passion.”

Lavecky says she’s a big fan of working with gin, as the flavour translates well into a frozen form. “[Gins] are wonderful to use as they have a distinct botanical taste,” she says. Tasting gin at low temperatures also reduces its natural sweetness. “You have to take this into account when blending your flavours.”

Lavecky makes both boozy icy poles and regular pops (flavours include cloudy apple and passionfruit, salted coconut cream, spiced mango, and rhubarb, ginger ale and apple) for an increasing number of venues in Sydney. “I’ve definitely seen a trend of ‘Ice Pop Cocktails’ popping up on menus,” she says.

The options are endless. Keep the summer vibes going into autumn with Lavecky’s recipe for a favourite.

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Karen Lavecky’s ‘The Roger Sterling’

If minimum serve of six icy-poles, approx. 1 standard drink per icy-pole.


360g raw sugar

1.045L water

175ml Tanqueray gin

10g basil

100ml lime juice

Icy-pole moulds (capacity approx 1.6L)

Heat the sugar and 720ml of water in a saucepan over a medium flame. Stir regularly until the sugar dissolves. Add gin and simmer on low heat for another three minutes. Remove the mixture from heat, stir in the basil and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove basil from syrup mix. Add lime juice and the rest of the water. Gently whisk until the ingredients have mixed.

Pour the mixture into moulds. If your moulds don’t have sticks, let the pops half-freeze (approximately 30 minutes), then place your sticks in the moulds and store in the freezer overnight.

To serve, place the moulds into a bowl of warm water, pulling lightly on the sticks until they release.

This article is presented in partnership with World Class.