Childhood nostalgia meets adult fun with this boozy take on the classic ice cream truck treat. The fruity, citrusy mix of grenadine, citron vodka, and blue curaçao is a festive alternative to your usual poolside sippers for summer and Fourth of July parties.
The rocket-shaped Bomb Pop frozen treat has been an American icon since 1955, when D.S. “Doc” Abernathy and James Merritt invented the tri-colored cherry, lime, and blue raspberry-flavored ice pop in Kansas City, Missouri. The patriotic treat was an instant hit and faced almost no competition until the Popsicle brand launched its own Firecracker Pop in 1989, similar to the Bomb Pop in both appearance and flavors. These seemingly innocent ice pops sparked some intense legal drama: Firecracker’s parent company, Unilever, sued Bomb Pop’s owner, Wells Enterprises, in 2014 for imitating its packaging. Wells countersued, stating that Popsicle’s “Original” branding misled consumers, when Bomb Pop was indeed the first explosive-themed treat. Whichever brand you prefer, both have inspired plenty of adults-only spin-offs, including boozy ice pops such as Red, White & Booze Popsicles and Smirnoff’s seasonal Red, White & Berry vodka.
This refreshing and summery drink doesn’t necessarily taste like its namesake, but it’s equally delightful. Tart and fruity grenadine produces the red layer: You can make your own if you wish, but for a dependably flag-red hue, you’re probably better off reaching for the bottled stuff. Citron vodka adds its bright lemon notes to the mix, and blue curaçao, the bitter-orange liqueur that gives the Blue Hawaiian and plenty of other cocktails their electric-blue color, lends bittersweet citrusy flavor.
The Bomb Pop may have simple-sounding steps for making it right in the glass, but you’ll still want to pay attention when you’re building one. Make sure to mix the blue curaçao with water to ensure it’s light enough to float on top of the grenadine and citron vodka, and add the blue mix to the drink slowly and carefully (you might try pouring it over the back of a spoon, as you would to float a layer of alcohol in a cocktail) for a striking layered appearance. The results are, dare we say, explosive.
1 ounce grenadine
1 ounce citron vodka
1 1/4 ounces blue mix*
Add the grenadine into a highball glass over crushed ice.
Add the citron vodka.
Slowly and carefully layer the blue mix over the top.
*Blue mix: add 1/4 ounce blue curaçao to 1 ounce water and stir to combine.