Lake Tahoe pro skier sells creative, fresh-fruit popsicles (on a bike)
In the winter you’ll find professional skier Hazel Birnbaum racing down big mountains in the Freeride World Tour — but come summer, the Alaska-native turned Meyers-resident can be found cycling around town with a cooler full of artisanal popsicles.
“Nobody wants popsicles in the winter. It’s the perfect ski bum job,” said Birnbaum with a laugh.
Birnbaum’s company Sweet Spokes Pops just kicked off its second season of making popsicles, which she sells at farmers markets and caters for weddings and other events. She does all of this from her bike — a Craigslist score that Birnbaum fixed up and fitted with a solar-powered freezer.
“I wanted to bring something new to Tahoe. I feel like we have a bit of a void in creative food, but that’s changing,” said Birnbaum.
Using fresh ingredients she sources from the markets, Birnbaum’s popsicles are a far cry from the sugary, dyed treats found in the freezer aisle. Apricot and Salted Caramel, Lime and Honeydew, Peach Jalapeño, Raspberry and Basil, Honey Lavender, and Plum and Yogurt are a few of the unique concoctions on the menu.
“It’s really limitless. You can make anything into a popsicle,” said Birnbaum. This includes classic desserts like s’mores and pie.
“You just roast the marshmallows in the oven ahead of time, then mix them into the popsicle with chocolate and graham crackers,” explained Birnbaum. “I recently made a blueberry cobbler popsicle, and now I want to do a whole run of pie pops.”
For weddings and other catered events, Birnbaum can whip up a range of “boozy pops,” like Cucumber Gin and Tonic, Minty Mojito, Sangria, and Dark and Stormy.
“The Peach Bellini is really popular. It’s prosecco with big chunks of peach and flower petals in it, so it’s really aesthetic,” said Birnbaum. “It’s edible art.”
This summer Birnbaum and her “popcyclery” can be found at the American Legion Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the Ski Run Farmers Market on Fridays from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sweet Spokes Pops also offers delivery on bulk orders and can make custom popsicle flavors.
Follow along at http://www.sweetspokespops.com or @sweetspokespops on Instagram. Popsicles range from $3 – $3.50.