Ramune-Calpico ice pops

I used to have ramune popsicles all the time in Taiwan at my grandma’s house. Also referred to as “soda pop” over there, they were these popsicles made from ramune, a popular melon-citrus flavored soda, made popular in Japan, but available in almost any Asian supermarket. Ramune are typically packaged in these blue bottles with a marble that seals the bottle shut. For this recipe, I don’t recommend buying those bottles, since they also come in screw-lid bottles now that would be easier to cook with. I also loved drinking Calpico water, which is this creamy citrus flavored beverage, also popular in Japan. For this recipe, I used Calpico concentrate, just so that I can better control the liquid content and the Calpico flavor in the ice pops. I wanted the colors to be reminiscent of the sky, and of the colors of ramune and Calpico, being blue and white, so I dyed half of the ice pop base blue with spirulina powder and swirled the two churned ice bases together before molding them, just to give them a gorgeous finish. These ice pops represent happy memories in the summer for me, and I hope they will for everyone who makes them!

For the ice pop base:
14 oz ramune
4 oz Calpico concentrate
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon blue spirulina powder

Mix together everything but the spirulina. Divide the base into two batches and mix the spirulina through one. Churn each base through the ice cream machine, just to help them freeze up. Pour both into popsicle molds with the popsicle sticks inserted, and freeze for at least 2 hours before attempting to unmold.

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