The humble popsicle is also known across the world as an ice lolly, ice pop, freezer pop, icy pole, ice drop, or chihiro…if you happen to be in the Cayman Islands. Popsicles first gained notoriety when Californian Frank Epperson patented the concept of “frozen ice on a stick”. He had actually invented it by chance as a child, leaving a glass of powdered soda, water and a mixing stick on the porch over a cold night. He called it the Epsicle to start with, but the name didn’t quite catch on.
Popsicles enjoyed a funny moment in 2015. Snapple attempted to gain a Guinness World Record for the largest popsicle. The aim was to create a 7.6 metre high, 15.9-tonne popsicle in New York City, using frozen juice brought in from New Jersey. Unfortunately, the iced juice melted a lot faster than expected and spectators had to flee the scene while firefighters hosed away the fruity meltwater.
Nowadays, popsicles come in all shapes and flavours, although popsicle sizes tend to be more modest since Snapple’s failure. Possibly none on the market is as classy or inventive as those produced by British brand POPS. Created by old school friends James Rae and Harry Clarke, the idea behind POPS is to bring together childhood nostalgia for popsicles with more luxurious ingredients. The first popsicle to be invented by the entrepreneurial duo was made with Champagne. This was the world’s first Champagne ice popsicle, and so POPS became known as the Champagne popsicle inventors.
POPS has increased its range to include other iced cocktail popsicles. As well as the Classic Champagne popsicle, there’s the Bellini made with Prosecco and peach, as well as a limited edition Moscow Mule. For those who prefer the thought of a non-alcoholic iced treat, there is either strawberry and mint or apple and elderflower – both made with real fruit.
POPS has gained a bit of a celebrity following too. Well-known faces from Jack Whitehall and Gordon Ramsay, to Miley Cyrus, Poppy Delevigne and even His Royal Highness Prince Charles have all been spotted with popsicles by POPS.
At The Runnymede on Thames, popsicles by POPS are being served from a stand on the lawn by the River Thames towpath. The iced treats make an ideal accompaniment for a riverside stroll. Alternatively, there’s no better option for a lazy afternoon by the river than to sit on the grass watching the world go by while getting refreshed in style.