By HEIDI KNAPP RINELLA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL March 15, 2017
Your 8-year-old self never knew how much fun you could have with a push pop.
You remember those sweet frozen treats of yore — a rigid plastic tube filled with a fruit-flavored concoction that’s eaten/licked/slurped by pushing up on the stick. Picture that, but made with fresh fruit and premium alcohol — 15 percent premium alcohol. And yes, they’re really frozen, even with the booze.
That’s the concept of Buzz Pop Cocktails.
Joseph Isaacs, company CEO, said he remembers the call last summer from his son, Jason, a Las Vegas chef who had conceived Buzz Pop Cocktails with his friend and fellow chef Eric Kroeker.
“How have you guys been able to figure something out nobody else has been able to do?” Isaacs asked. “Others manufacture a dessert product and try to put alcohol into it. They try to infuse 3 to 5 percent liquor. They have problems with the consistency, viscosity and freezing ability.”
The secret, Isaacs said, is partly in the formula, partly in the process.
“Our big breakthrough is the ability to freeze high volumes of liquor” of as much as 40 percent, he said.
Isaacs said each pop contains vodka, rum, tequila or bourbon. “We’re not using grain alcohol or moonshine and adding flavoring to it and heating it up and coming up with this whole convoluted process.”
Buzz Pops are being launched with a collection of eight flavors. Isaacs said his son and Kroeker have created 75 and plan to release them seasonally. He added that the pops contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup and are vegan, gluten-free, fat-free and less than 100 calories.
The first set of flavors is made up of Blueberry Mojo, Lemon Drop, Southern Belle (peach and sweet tea), Pink Paradise (pink grapefruit with blood orange and raspberry), Caribbean Breeze (pineapple and orange), Mango Passion Fruit, Watermelon Patch and Moscow Mule.
Future flavors, Jason Isaacs said, include Grasshopper and Dark and Stormy.
“We can take any cocktail and turn it into a Buzz Pop,” he said.
“The nice thing about it is it’s not full of ice,” Joseph Isaacs said. “This is all fruit and liquor. So when it melts, you have a shot.”
Isaacs noted that Buzz Pops won’t be sold on the retail level.
“We have a specific niche market,” he explained. “Pool bars, cruise lines, sporting venues and high-population outdoor festivals.”
Launch events are planned at three other local bars in April.
“Then EDC, Coachella,” Isaacs added.
Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Find more of her stories at www.reviewjournal.com, and follow @HKRinella on Twitter.