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Summer Ice Block Adventures – ‘The Colonial’ G&T

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.

Giraffe Pair Sunset on the Zambezi

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).

Serve these as a party starter or to ward of malarial mossies!
The Colonial G&T Iceblock 2

G&T Syrup

  • 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
The Colonial Ice Block
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (0.5)
  • 1 cup G&T syrup (recipe above) (1)
  • 1 1/2 cups water (1.5)


  1. Combine lime juice, syrup, tonic water and water in a jug
  2. Pour desired amount into ice block moulds and allow to freeze for a minimum of three hours or until solid
The Colonial G&T Iceblock 1
– Some of the alcohol in the Gin will have burned off but as the syrup is only being boiled for an extra minute, some alcohol will remain. If you wish to burn off all of the alcohol, boil syrup for 5 minutes once the Gin is added.
– As there is alcohol in this ice block, it takes longer to freeze and will not set rock hard. You just need to gobble them up a little quicker!
– 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.
The Colonial Packet
18 comments… add one
  • belleau kitchen November 1, 2013, 11:07 pm

    ahhh, summer.. I remember that… what delightful ice lollies… I do love a G&T!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 2, 2013, 9:36 am

      Bookmark this one for next year. I hear that Summer is scheduled between 8.23am and 2.17pm on Jun 27th.

  • Amanda @lambsearsandhoney November 2, 2013, 11:03 am

    Oooh, what a nice idea. I love gin very much. It's the perfect refresher on a hot day.

  • Jan Rhoades November 2, 2013, 1:21 pm

    I've always been a G&T girl. As a young thing I used to like gin and bitter lemon, so never really a gin squash kind of lass. Unlike you, my taste hasn't changed and I still love G&Ts – expecially with a splash of fresh lime and a twist of lime on the side. The only drink I like with lots of ice.

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things November 3, 2013, 9:52 am

    Nice one, Fiona… perfect for the heat of Summertime!

  • Susan Lindquist November 4, 2013, 11:33 pm

    Mmmm! Something tasty for a hot day by the swimming pool! Bookmarked for next summer!

    Thanks for visiting my little food blog, Fiona! It's fun to see new faces coming round now and then!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 6, 2013, 9:09 am

      Hi Susan – the internet is an amazing place. Summer's a long way off yet so you can dream.

  • Monica November 5, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Refreshing! Now that I've located my Zoku pop maker I'll have to give this a go 🙂

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 6, 2013, 9:08 am

      Hi – yep, they're easy and a surprsing treat for grown ups. Don't forget you can also try the Madras with Blood Orange & Chilli. Thansk for visiting.

  • Joanne T Ferguson November 8, 2013, 9:55 am

    G'day Fiona! Love ice blocks and enjoyed today's post too!
    What a drink that I think is not just for summer! lol
    Cheers! Joanne

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 9, 2013, 9:10 am

      I agree – a G&T is for any time of year. It will be forever linked in my head to that halcyon holiday in East Africa.

  • Sam Fyfe December 26, 2013, 7:30 pm

    They were delish

  • Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers January 8, 2015, 1:09 pm

    Oh my, will have to give those a try! I’m a G&T fan.

    • Fiona Ryan January 9, 2015, 11:18 am

      I suppose you could also just make the G&T and freeze it but I was a little worried that the gin might have prevented a solid freeze.

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