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Are Popsicles Your Treat of Choice For Summer? Thank The 11-Year-Old Inventor.

The popsicle as a snack was invented in the winter of 1905 purely by accident, courtesy of an 11-year-old San Francisco boy named Frank Epperson.

As the story goes, young Frank had mixed some sugary soda powder with water and left it out overnight. It was a cold night, and the mixture froze with the stirrer stick in it. It didn't take long for the boy to realize that he made a delicious mistake. He first began selling his accidental invention around his neighborhood as a "Drink on a Stick" under the name "Epsicles" --combining the first two letters of his family name and the word icicle. Some years later, Epperson decided to expand sales beyond his neighborhood. In 1923, he started selling the Epsicles at the Neptune Beach, a nearby amusement park.

In 1924, Epperson applied for a patent. His patent application described his invention as a "frozen confection of attractive appearance, which can be conveniently consumed without contamination by contact with the hand and without the need for a plate, spoon, fork or other implement." The patent included recommendations on the best wood for the stick: wood-bass, birch and poplar. Eventually, Epperson's children urged him to change the ice pop's name to what they called it: a Pop's 'Sicle, or Popsicle, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Epperson's childhood invention randomly born on a freezing night is proved to be resoundingly successful and long lived: These days, some 2 billion Popsicles are sold each year.


First, you need some popsicle molds. Here is a reusable one made from silicon offered by AMAZON.


  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup monk fruit sweetener

  • EITHER 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (buy loose dried flowers for very cheap in Mexican markets)

  • OR 8 TAZO Passion tea bags (Chef Janine's personal favorite)

  • Freshly grated zest of lime

  • 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes depending on how juicy they are)

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Bring the water and monk fruit sweetener in a saucepan to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sweetener.

  • Add the hibiscus flowers, turn off the heat and let the mixture steep between 15 minutes and an 1 hour (the longer you steep, the darker color and stronger flavor you get).

  • Strain the syrup into a metal or glass bowl and chill on kitchen counter top first down to room temperature and then place into the refrigerator until the syrup is super cold.

  • Pour the syrup into a large (at least 4-cups) liquid measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Stir in 1 cup cold water with the lime zest, juice and salt.

  • Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

  • Leave the popsicle mold at room temperature for about 5 minutes to get the pops out easier.

  • Wrap the popsicles in plastic and store in the freezer.


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