You say “creamsicle,” I say cocktail! This recipe marries orange and vanilla cream in one sweet bubbly beverage that’s sure to conjure happy memories of forgotten summer treats.
There’s nothing that says childhood quite like a giant ice cream cone dripping onto tiny hands, excited faces racing against the melting concoction on top.
You know what’s better than ice cream, though? A nostalgic childhood treat turned into a dreamy adult beverage! This orange Creamsicle Drink is a delicious cocktail that’ll have you racing to get through your first one for, you know, seconds!
Remember Creamsicles? Those fruity frozen treats with a creamy center . . . popsicle plus ice cream equals hot summer day heaven. As adults, our palates might have become a little more sophisticated, but I think we would all welcome the opportunity to indulge in one regardless of the number of summers we’ve seen.
Although there are a few different Creamsicle flavors, the orange was always my favorite. It’s a classic combination and one of the reasons you’ll often find orange zest mixed into vanilla scones, cakes, or cookies. Something really special happens when you mix the bright orange flavor with rich vanilla.
Throw some vodka in the mix? Now you’re speaking my language!
The whole flavored vodka thing has really sparked the minds of some creative mixologists. When you start looking for the orange Creamsicle vodka Svedka, Absolut, Grey Goose, and others will have lots of other options that show you just how far those creative juices have flown – flavors like spicy jalapeno, dill pickle, and even PB&J! You’ll only need the classic and a whipped cream flavored one for this recipe, but I definitely encourage experimenting with some of the other unique options.
Instead of making this Creamsicle drink with rum, which is sweeter and logically more appropriate for an ice-cream related cocktail, I use vodka. Even unflavored rum has its own uniquely identifiable flavor profile, and I find it competes a bit with the orange flavor in this drink. I definitely want orange to be the first thing you taste, not Bacardi.
Instead of making this Creamsicle Drink with vanilla vodka, which is a little easier to find in the stores, I opt for the whipped cream version. It has vanilla too, but it also brings a creamy flavor (like a cream soda does) which lets me avoid using half and half in this cocktail (or something heavier like vanilla pudding they often use in an orange creamsicle shot). While dairy definitely works in lots of different adult beverages (and as a garnish on this particular drink), it does tend to make the drink heavier which relegates these cocktails to dessert beverages for me.
Along the “lighter” lines, I also make this Creamsicle Drink with orange soda instead of orange juice or juice concentrate. This particular choice for me is all about the bubbles and the fizziness it adds to the cocktail. Make sure you’re using a sweetened orange soda too, like Sunkist or Fanta, not a sparkling water like La Croix or San Pellegrino. Otherwise, you’ll need some simple syrup to sweeten the mix.
Because I am capitalizing on the carbonation, this isn’t a cocktail you can mix pitchers of ahead of time without it going flat. You can go ahead and mix equal parts of the two vodkas, though, so you can mix individual drinks really fast when your guests arrive. You can always delegate the Reddi-wipping and garnishing to someone else to assembly-line the process for a big group.
The soda also means you don’t want to be shaking your cocktail shaker like your life depended on it. Otherwise you’ll end up with a foamy mess and a spilled cocktail . . . and tears.
Some bartenders like to drop their ice into the shaker after they’ve poured in the cocktail ingredients, presumably to ensure plenty of room for all that shaking. When you’re making this Creamsicle Drink, you want to put the ice in first so your shaker’s already a little cold before you pour in the vodkas and soda. Then all you’ll need is a gentle stir and either the built-it strainer if you’re using a three-piece shaker or a separate strainer if you prefer the two-piece Boston shaker.
This isn’t an orange Creamsicle martini, since technically that term is reserved specifically for the gin/vermouth combination with the olives that James Bond prefers shaken. This Creamsicle drink is the perfect size for serving in a martini glass, though, and I’m pretty sure drinking anything out of one of those cute things makes it taste better.
You can rim the glass with orange sugar sprinkles, granulated sugar infused with orange zest or vanilla beans, or sprinkle orange Jimmies (large capsule-shaped sprinkles) on top of the Reddi-wip. A little mint sprig adds some color, though we all know everyone’s going to be drinking around it. LOL.
By the way, even though it’s hard to top the fun of a spray-able can of whipped cream, I do prefer the Reddi–wip flavor for topping our liquid Creamsicles rather than a tub-variety of whipped topping. Reddi-wip is made with actual cream, and its richness is part of what makes this drink such a good mimic of the original frozen treat. You can substitute homemade sweetened whipping cream, though, if you have one of those spray kitchen contraptions with its own nitrous canister.
Sure these work well at a summer pool party when popsicles are actually on the menu, but they’re also festive in the winter when most of us are enjoying the peak of citrus season. Definitely try this Creamsicle Drink the next time you’re feeling nostalgic, and experiment some with the big wide world of flavored vodkas. That whipping cream variety you’ll have on hand after you make this recipe? Try using it instead of Bailey’s the next time you’re “spicing” up your iced coffee!
But the Kids – I know many of us prefer the Orange Creamsicle alcoholic drink, but you can make this Orange Creamsicle drink non alcoholic for any kiddos or non-imbibers in the group. Instead of the orange Creamsicle liquor (i.e., the vodka) just use 2 – 4 oz. of cream soda and top it off with the Reddi-wip.
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Creamsicle Drink Recipe
- 4 Ounces Orange Soda
- 1 Ounce Whipped Cream Vodka
- 1 Ounce Vodka
- Redi Whip
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour soda and both vodkas into shaker and stir to chill. Strain out into glass. Top with a dollop of Redi Whip and jimmies and serve.