Offer us a bowl of sweet, vine-ripened blackberries and we’ll attack it with ferocity. It’s embarrassing, we know, this crazy berry-obsessed behavior. But until you’ve had a fresh, plump, sun-ripened blackberry, gently plucked off its vine, you shouldn’t laugh at us too loudly.

Among the masses of blackberry varieties, marionberries reign. Described as the cabernet of blackberries, they have a deep, rich flavor. They have all the classic blackberry traits—a touch of tartness balancing their berry sweetness—but the same deep complexity of flavor Cabernet wines often have. If you can find marionberries, these ice pops will be extraordinary, but even with regular blackberries they are incredibly good.

These are adult pops. We’ve yet to adjust the recipe to make a zero-proof ice pop, but if you want to go that route, start by replacing the rum with water, then increase the lime juice or simple syrup if necessary.

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Ingredients

  • 13 ice pop sticks
  • 1 ½ cups (200g) fresh or frozen marionberries (if unavailable, use regular blackberries)
  • ½ cup (120ml) fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup (120ml) rum
  • ¾ cup (180ml) Simple Syrup, or more to taste
  • Several hearty dashes of bitters of your choice (we usually use orange)
  • 20 to 25 large mint leaves
  • Ice pop molds

Method

Directions

  1. If using wooden ice pop sticks, soak the sticks in warm water for 1 hour before making the pops (this keeps them from floating when inserted in the molds).
  2. Place the berries in a blender or a food processor. (If using frozen berries, thaw before blending.)
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and ½ cup (120ml) water to the berries. Pulse until the mint is finely chopped.
  4. Taste for sweetness and add more simple syrup if necessary (it should be a touch too sweet because it will lose sweetness once frozen).
  5. Pour the fruit mixture into the molds (see Note) and insert a stick in the center of each. (If you prefer a seed-free, no-pulp consistency, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve before pouring it into the molds.)
  6. Freeze for 4 hours, or until completely solid. Unmold before serving (run warm water around the molds if necessary to help the pops release).

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