blood orange + thyme popsicles with aperol + gin

cocktails, drinks, fruits, gin, other spirits, spring

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Aside from shoveling about a foot’s worth of snow this morning, today is getting better by the minute. Over the years living here in Denver, I’ve learned to doubt the weather forecasters’ calls. They’ll predict rainfall, and we’ll get nary a drop; they’ll suggest a blizzard, and we’ll wake up to an inch of slush. Today was shockingly different. I was amazed when I cracked the blinds and spotted a beautiful, glistening, snow-covered wonderland.

The crabapple trees are buckling under the weight of the heavy, spring snow, the wind is howling, and the precipitation shows no sign of slowing. I think the entire city of Denver took nature’s cue and basically shut down. Even the reservation count at the restaurant dropped from an already low count of 130 to just above 50 covers overnight. Thankfully, a call was made to close for the evening.

I don’t think I’ve yelled that loud or jumped that high in a long time. Even though Steve and I work alongside each other, we rarely get actual days off together. Now we have two, consecutive days off with no plans but to cozy up, cue up extended editions of The Hobbit, and maybe catch up on some computer-related work.

blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & floraWhile we were awaiting that call from work, I donned my red snow pants and cleared a path to the car. Midway through the process, Steve called out that we would officially be closed for the night. I threw down my shovel, ran inside, and grabbed a couple of bottles of Champagne to pop. I didn’t need a cue. Without any hesitation, I dug a spot for them to chill, deep in the snow outside.

Don’t you just love days where rest and relaxation are imposed upon you?

blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & floraI made these blood orange popsicles a couple weeks back and almost forgot to post the recipe. There’s something rather rebellious about enjoying foods in the winter months that are most often served up in warmer, sunnier seasons. I get that same satisfaction when I make a bowl of pasta using last fall’s tomato sauce. I’m immediately transported to the garden, wearing flops, sipping on iced tea in the sunshine. In fact, we are doing just that this evening.

Take that, spring blizzard!!

We’re also making sourdough bread for the first time this afternoon. The dough is resting on the counter, as I type with flour-dusted fingers. I figured today was a perfect day to attempt something new. We are trying out Emilie Raffa‘s recipe and incorporating her tips for making sourdough bread, and it’s going just perfectly, so far. In fact, we are using a sourdough starter that she passed on to us! Food gifts are the best kind of gifts; aren’t they?

blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora

You might be tempted to make these pops even boozier. I’ve tested this particular ratio of booze to juice, and I find the balance is just perfect: just enough buzz, just the right frozen consistency. If you’re out of luck and can’t find blood oranges, Navels or Cara Caras or Satsumas all make great swaps. I also really enjoy serving boozy pops in the middle of a dinner party, similar to a sorbet intermezzo. They are always a memorable hit.

These citrusy cocktail pops blend the bright, slightly sweet notes of blood oranges, along with a citrus-driven dry gin and the bitter notes of the classic Italian aperitif, Aperol. Adding thyme simple syrup brings balance to the more bitter components and complements the citrus notes. I can’t get enough of blood orange and thyme together. Case in point? These blood orange spritzers.

blood orange + thyme popsicles with aperol + gin

  • 16 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 2 ounces gin {I used Aviation}
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces thyme simple syrup {see recipe below}
  • dash salt
  1. Juice your blood oranges. I used my Hurom juicer, but you can easily blend up whole, peeled blood oranges and then pass the juice through a strainer for clarity.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the blood orange juice, gin, Aperol, lemon juice, thyme simple syrup, and salt.
  3. Whisk well to combine and gently pour into popsicle molds, leaving about 1/4″ space at the top, so the mixture has room to expand.
  4. Add your popsicle sticks and freeze at least 3 hours or until solid.
  • This recipe makes 10 popsicles. I used the Prepworks mold, sold on Amazon.
  • Remember, these are boozy pops, so they will melt faster. Not exactly a bad thing, when you want a light, summer-reminiscent buzz. You just have to enjoy them quicker.

blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora


thyme simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and thyme.
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer, heating just until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the thyme sprigs and cool.
  • Store it in a clean, glass jar and use it up within a couple of weeks. Thyme simple syrup is a great addition to vodka- or gin-based cocktails, especially those with citrus juices in them.

blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora

blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora

Cheers to snow days and pops of color and flavor in the middle of spring’s manic, indecisive behavior. Now, go out and find yourself as many blood oranges, as you can. Their short, delicious window is closing quickly.

I’m off to crack some chilled-in-the-snow Champagne!



blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora blood orange, aperol + gin popsicles | holly & flora

  1. stevesteese says:

    Thanks for helping shovel today Jayme! It was a back-breaking morning, but worth it for the night off! ❄️

    • And thank YOU for finishing up the shoveling, where I stopped – AND for trimming the trees, too. These nights off don’t happen that often, so let’s make the most of it and frolic in the snow!! 😉 XOXO {cue sappy music here} #mush

  2. stevesteese says:

    And thanks for these Popsicles, I love summertime treats on snow day!!!

  3. Bridget Witsell says:

    And another great post!!! Love the color contrast! Enjoy the bubbles and the well deserved night’s off together!

    • ….yeah, don’t stop by Shanahan’s tonight! Ain’t no one home! I hope you worked from home today, Bridget! 😉 XO to you and happy snow day! We had a few of our neighbors get snowed in and stuck on the streets here. I’m just happy we didn’t even have to drive anywhere.

  4. Hooray for a Mother Nature imposed day off! Love it when that happens! These poptails are just the most gorgeous color of red. The look beautiful against the white snow. And no season for frozen treats for me – popsicles and ice cream ALL YEAR ROUND baby!

    • Having Mother Nature put me in my place for the day is a command I’ll take any day. 😉 I find the snow days a lot less challenging than the hurricane warnings we dealt with growing up in Florida. You know how those go; I’m sure. Being snowed in is a lot more peaceful {usually!} than dealing with high winds, water that seeps into your living room, and flying debris.

      And YES on popsicles ALL YEAR ROUND! 😉 I have a fun twist coming up, inspired by your AMAZING stout popsicles you recently made. Have a great start to your week, Liz. XO!

  5. Megan says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to make these! I just wish we had some snow to enjoy them with.

  6. […] Source: blood orange + thyme popsicles with aperol + gin […]

  7. Yum. These are fancy popsicles! Love the colors. So rich and red. I do not believe I have ever had Aperol. Must remedy this.

    • Noelle! Yes, you must try Aperol! It is an Italian “apertivo” that is only slightly bitter. It is lower in alcohol content, and it blends beautifully with citrus. You HAVE to break in your new Aperol exploration with the classic Aperol Spritz: Aperol, Prosecco, and soda water. It is springtime in a glass. Have one poolside, if you can find the time! …or just have one on your back porch! 😉 Have a great week, lady!

  8. spoonwithme says:

    Ha! I love the clever food styling on this one! They sound lovely!

    • Thanks, Jenny! I couldn’t resist posing them in the snow. 😀 I am happy, however, that the snow is seriously melting today. I’m beyond ready for the tulips and daffodils. We have been planning out our garden in our minds, and we are ready to actually get our hands in the dirt.

      I hope you guys enjoyed your snow day on Wednesday. I am still playing catch-up from not working that day. XO!

  9. danielle is rooting the sun says:

    jayme, the snow needs an off switch and i’m starting to look around for it! but it really is nice when the romance of a snow day is to be gained. – – i can’t tell you how many times over that i’m in love with these popsicles, they’re beautiful, and boozy, and citrusy, and herby – all elements that make me smile real big. xo

    • We soaked in the goodness and spontaneity of that snow day, for sure. There was dancing around the house, first tries at homemade pasta, freshly baked sourdough, and a few sips of bubbly. It was one of the best days of the year. It conjured up memories of being a little girl and getting that anticipated phone call from the school, letting us know we didn’t have to go in. So fun! Here’s to hoping our springtime weather sticks this week! 😉 XO!

  10. Oh, I love the idea of rebelling and eating summer treats at the end of winter. Also, these popsicles have all my favorite flavors!

  11. anne says:

    Hooray for snow days! There are few things more exciting!

    Your popsicles look lovely in the snow, too, even if I am starting to get sick of it. I’m ready for spring to make up its mind and arrive for real.

    Hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend!

    • That was an EPIC snow day!! 15″ of the stuff outside, and then it was all sunshiny and 70 a couple days later. I keep looking at my weather app for the next ten days, and {so far} there’s no snow in sight. Fingers crossed. I’ll bet you can’t wait to get your hands in the dirt. We just planted some cool season crops by seed. Everything else goes in after Mother’s Day!

      Enjoy your weekend, Anne! ….I’m at work today and tomorrow, but I’ll be in the garden on Monday. Can’t wait. 🤗

  12. […] Blood Orange Thyme Popsicles with Aperol Gin from Holly and Flora […]

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