The secret to a good popsicle is much like the secret to a good soup: You need much more seasoning than you think you do. You may think, damn, thanks to Dan’s very good advice for picking out a watermelon I have an extremely sweet watermelon here, so I probably don’t need much sugar for these pops. You’d be wrong. Pops always need more sugar than you’d think, and usually some salt as well.
As for flavoring, do not include whole leaves of herbs in a popsicle. Jesus Christ. Have you ever enjoyed gnawing on a half-exposed floppy leaf of basil in a popsicle? Nobody has. The best way to get herb flavor into your pop is with a flavored simple syrup. In a saucepan on the stove, combine a cup of white sugar, half a cup of water, and a few big healthy sprigs of either basil or mint, and stir over medium heat until the sugar is all dissolved. Let it cool down to room temperature with the leaves still sitting in there, then remove and discard the leaves.
— It is no secret how much we love popsicles here, and at our sister site, Dan Nosowitz explains how to freeze watermelon juice with herby simple syrup for a summer treat.
Photo: Jennifer Chait