“All around Texas, you’ll find Mexican popsicles with frozen fruit puree called paletas,” says Jason Dady, the chef/owner of Shuck Shack, an East Coast-style oyster bar in San Antonio, Texas. “I was driving around one day thinking of cocktail ideas, and I wondered, why not put a paleta in a drink.”
What he came up with is a concoction that starts with Texas’ own Deep Eddy Lemon vodka, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Then he places a lime-flavored paleta upside-down in the cup. You can enjoy eating the popsicle between sips if you wish, or simply leave it to slowly melt—both cooling the drink and deepening the citrusy flavors. Finally, he tops it all off with a splash of Topo Chico, a natural sparkling mineral water from Mexico. “It’s basically Texas’s version of San Pellegrino,” Dady says.
His brainstorm proved popular. “We now have another version with jalapeño moonshine and a strawberry paleta,” he says. “If you can’t find authentic paletas, you could certainly use any popsicle with fresh fruit chunks and all-natural fruit juices to make your own at home.”