Cool Down with a Frozen Daiquiri on a Stick

Chef Lili Dagan might not have air conditioning, but luckily she found a more delicious way to cool down. Here’s her recipe for a frozen daiquiri popsicle.  

frozen daiquiri popsicle
Cool and boozy

There is a particular joy found in a surprise beach snack. Stealthily packed beach juice, Nutcrackers (sold by the hardest working cooler toters on NYC’s beaches), and jello shots are all delightful, but undeniably, the best surprise is the mango. Cut like a beautiful piece of origami and served on a stick, these flowery treats are sold all over the streets of NYC, and customized to your liking with hot sauce, lime juice, spicy salt, or a combination of all of the above. 

Enter, the Snaiquiri. Part street mango, part frozen daiquiri, part “idk my face is melting off” — these boozy treats on a stick would fetch at least $10 on an NYC beach, but are free if you are a guest on my stoop, aptly named by my coworkers Lili’s Tiki Pops & Audubon Club (yes, when not making cocktails, I enjoy birdwatching.)

To make these, you’ll need popsicle molds and sticks of your choice. I used a 10 pop silicone mold with wooden sticks.

Note: This recipe doesn’t call for sugar! I used very ripe fruit, which was plenty sweet on its own. If you prefer your drinks sweeter, add sugar or simple syrup as desired.

Frozen Daiquiri Popsicles

For the mango layer:

  • 2 Cup frozen cubed mango
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 oz water, plus more as needed (if the mixture needs more liquid to blend, add a Tbsp at a time until smoothie consistency)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ Cup mint, thinly sliced

For the strawberry layer:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 oz water, plus more as needed (if the mixture needs more liquid to blend, add a Tbsp at a time until smoothie consistency)

1. Combine all mango layer ingredients except mint in the blender and blend until just combined. When you’ve reached your desired texture (small pieces of fruit are optional), add the mint and blend lightly so that the mixture is thoroughly mixed but whole ribbons of mint remain.

2. Divide evenly amongst the popsicle molds (about 2 Tbsp per mold) and place in the freezer to firm up while you make the strawberry layer.

3. Blend all strawberry layer ingredients until combined.

4. Divide evenly into the molds on top of the mango layer. Add sticks and freeze at least 6 hours, ideally 24. 

5. Enjoy on their own or with Tajin, Chamoy, and lime juice in any combination desired. 

If you love this, try Chef Lili’s recipe for a melon margarita.

This Piña Colada is Like a Drinkable Vacation

Chef Lili Dagan knows her way around a tropical drink. Here’s her tried and true recipe for making a delicious piña colada.

Pina colada recipe

I was working on an urban farm down in Red Hook the year that a leak at the maraschino factory turned all the local beehives honey red. The story only got more bizarre after that, but that summer I decided to avoid those electric red maraschino cherries until they got that under control. 

Fast forward a few years. Brooklyn bartenders are now mixologists, and the cherry garnish of choice becomes the undeniably fancier Luxardo cherry. A luxury garnish since 1821 (!!!), these sour cherries are candied and steeped in syrup made of cherry juice and sugar. Besides being 100% delicious as a garnish, their syrup makes for great use in cocktails. 

Before you get started, put your glass in the freezer for the frosty effect. 

If using fresh pineapple, cube and freeze, reserving a few wedges for garnish. 

Makes 2 Large Piña Coladas

  • 4 cups frozen pineapple
  • 4 oz  light rum
  • .5 oz Luxardo cherry syrup 
  • 4 oz full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 oz coconut water
  • 1 oz maraschino liqueur 
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until combined and frothy. 
  1. Pour into your frosty glass. Garnish with lime zest, a few maraschino cherries, a wedge of pineapple and a fun umbrella. 
frozen pina colada recipe

Good Time Island Spiked Jell-O Mold

Chef Lili Dagan is officially giving you permission to get a little crazy with your next picnic. This Jell-O mold recipe looks cute, but don’t be fooled: it’s very strong.

alcoholic jello mold
Red, white, and very potent

This recipe is inspired by the very kooky late 90’s comedy show Strangers With Candy. The show stars Amy Sedaris (the less famous but arguably much funnier Sedaris sibling) as Jerri Blank, an adult who returns to high school for education and redemption. The show is ostensibly a morality sitcom. The lessons, however, are often misinterpreted or missed entirely by Jerri. If there’s any teaching in an episode I watched recently, Jerri misses all of it, except that everyone wants to have a good time, AKA visit Good Time Island. 

My friends and I have been (only slightly) joking about trying to get Amy Sedaris to judge a Jell-O mold competition at my favorite neighborhood watering hole for years now. Will this Jell-O mold be good enough to get us all to Good Time Island? Wish me luck.

For this mold, we aren’t using Jell-O. You heard me. Did you know you can gelatinize…anything? In honor of misinterpreting lessons, I’m adding plain knox gelatin to “hydration sports drink” for the red and blue layers, and sweetened grated coconut for the white stripe. Not feeling particularly patriotic? You can use anything in any color, just keep the ratios the same. 

Good Time Island Spiked Jell-O Mold Recipe

Note: Prep one layer at a time as each layer needs to cool thoroughly before the next layer is added. This takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your fridge. When in doubt, let it cool longer.

Note: Before you begin, lightly coat your bundt pan with nonstick spray. 

Red Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup red sports drink
  • 1 Cup hulled and small-diced strawberries
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • 3 packets gelatin

White Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup grated coconut in heavy syrup (if you can’t find this, use Coco Lopez or any kind of sweetened canned coconut milk.)
  • 2 nectarines, small diced
  • ½ Cup rum
  • 3 packets gelatin

Blue Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup Blue Sports Drink
  • 1 Cup blueberries
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • 3 packets gelatin

1. Soak the strawberries in the tequila. 

2. Bring the red sports drink to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Combine the hot gelatin and the soaked berries, and then transfer into your prepared bundt pan. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

3. While your red layer cools, soak your nectarines in rum.

4. When the red layer is fully firm, bring your coconut in syrup to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined.  Combine the hot gelatin and the boozy nectarines, and then pour on top of the red layer. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

5. While your coconut layer cools, soak your blueberries in tequila. 

6. When the coconut layer is fully firm, bring your blue sports drink to a boil. Stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Pour the hot gelatin over the boozy nectarines, and then on top of the red layer. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

7. When you are ready to serve, fill a large bowl with a few inches of warm water. Place the mold in the water for about 2 minutes, until the sides begin to release from the pan. Flip on to a plate and jiggle until it releases onto the plate. Serve immediately in slices or any format desired.

This Rum-Soaked Pineapple Cocktail is an Elegant Alternative to the Vodka Melon

Chef Lili Dagan is officially giving you permission to get a little crazy with your fruit bowl, and she’s giving you the pineapple cocktail recipe to help you do it.

This is a pineapple cocktail
It’s stronger than it looks

What might happen if that pineapple in your fruit bowl got bored? Would it get up in the middle of the night to have a drink? Would it make friends with a coconut? Would it cozy up to the rum, or is tequila more it’s speed? Would they all overindulge and fall asleep in a big puddle? These are the questions I ask myself awake at night, mulling over my next whole fruit cocktail.

I’m calling this pineapple cocktail the Pina Borracho. Think of it as an elevated alternative to the tried and true college method of draining an entire bottle of vodka into a watermelon. It’s just as fun, but slightly more refined. 

Pina Borracho, or “The Drunken Pineapple

Serves: I won’t lie, I ate the whole thing myself. I’d suggest sharing with a friend for good measure. 

Share with a friend


  • 1 whole pineapple
  • Juice of one lime
  • 5 oz rum
  • 1 Tb Turbinado sugar
  • 1 5.4 oz can coconut cream

For garnish:

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • Handful of coconut Chips
  • Zest of one lime

1. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut cream, lime juice, rum, and turbinado sugar. 

2. Trim 3-4 inches off of the fronds of your pineapple. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise, and carve around the skin to release the inner fruit in each section. Wrap the pineapple skin boats and refrigerate them. You’ll use these tomorrow. 

pineapples ready for cocktail
Cored and prepped

3. Core your pineapple and cut the flesh into ¼ inch triangles and place in the coconut rum mixture. Stir gently to ensure even coverage. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

4. After 24 hours, remove the pineapple from the marinade. Assemble the pineapple triangles in the pineapple boats. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, coconut chips, and lime zest. Spoon any extra coconut marinade over the pineapple. Enjoy responsibly. It’s stronger than you think!

Want to try another whole fruit cocktail? Check out Chef Lili’s melon margarita.