In the US they are known as popsicles and the delightfully old fashioned ‘iced lolly’, in the UK. Ice blocks are the quintessential childhood summer treat and as adults we still think back to those long, lazy days when endless hours in the swimming pool and ice blocks from the freezer made it the best summer ever.
Of course, as grown ups we can enjoy new flavour combinations and unusual ingredients in our quest to revisit those golden summers of our youth. Today… ‘The Colonial’ or, Gin & Tonic Ice Blocks
I never really took to Gin in my youth. I used to drink it with lemon squash and thought it tasted like perfume. I didn’t like tonic as it was too ‘grippy’ on my tongue. Vodka was my drink of choice. But tastes change…
What really cemented my enjoyment of Gin and Tonic was a lazy trip down the Zambezi River in Zambia, sitting in a tinny at the edge of Victoria Falls. It could have been the first sighting of the hundreds of giraffes we were to see in the coming weeks, the setting sun, the spray of the Smoke That Thunders or, the overly generous free hand pours of the Gin into large silver tumblers. On that day however, my fate as a committed Gin drinker was sealed.
The grippy flavour in the tonic is of course, quinine. Quinine was the first effective treatment for malaria and allowed Europeans to colonise exotic locations such as Sub Saharan Africa and India. The British also found quinine tonic water bitter and grippy so they mixed it with gin to make it more palatable and thus, under Colonial rule, the G&T was born (or so the story goes).
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup tonic water
- 3/4 cup gin
- lime zest
- Combine sugar, tonic water and lime zest in a saucepan
- Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
- Add gin and boil for another minute
- Take off the heat and allow to cool
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (0.5)
- 1 cup G&T syrup (recipe above) (1)
- 1 1/2 cups water (1.5)
- Combine lime juice, syrup, tonic water and water in a jug
- Pour desired amount into ice block moulds and allow to freeze for a minimum of three hours or until solid
– I went to a local blogging event called #icecreamcabinet. Of course, we were supposed to make ice cream but I had to be different. I printed some ice block packets with an old map of India that I stained with tea to give it an antique effect.