Ice Candy Duo: Lemonade & Milk Tea


I had a lot of vivid memories growing up, spending lazy days at home, far far from the clutches of school – watching Dink The Little Dinosaur, flying kites with my dad, playing “tumbahang lata” with the neighbors’ kids, starting an aquarium more than once, all of which ended in massive extinction, and a particularly graphic scene of a little calamansi fruit, literally frying with the juice boiling on the concrete, under the scorching heat of the sun. Yes, summers are more fun in the Philippines.

My childhood summers are one of the sweetest moments of the life, particularly because I didn’t like going to school, and there was always something to do at home or outside. That was the good life. I didn’t care for anything else, except that I wanted to have fun. Going back to school  takes those golden moments away. It’s also a part of life (and a fact) that growing up pushes these memories aside, making room for new priorities, interests, and even friends.

Moving on to happy thoughts…

Judging by the heat, the scorching  summer has definitely arrived. When I was growing up, summer also meant that ICE CANDY season has also arrived. Ice Candy, is basically any refreshing liquid of your choice, poured into thin, flimsy plastic ‘wrappers’ specifically made for ice candy, tied up and frozen. That’s it.

How is it supposed to be eaten? You bite into and tear off a little piece of plastic from the bottom, then suck away. The heat from your hands will begin to melt the ice, and it’s a venerable treat to relish the liquid that’s slowly dancing in between liquid and solid. I can’t get any better than that.

Because I was a wee fledgling when the ice candy craze kicked in, making it involved teamwork. I would pour the liquid into the wrapper, and my Mama Eng would tie it all up and place it in the freezer. Sometimes, the neighborhood kids would help out as well. We’re tight like that. Then we would sell it for 1 peso a pop. One summer, the craze was so popular, every single household in our extension was selling ice candy! A classic ice candy flavor would have to be Milo. Fruits juices only ranked second.

This month would mark my first attempt at joining Kulinarya Club’s monthly theme activity. I received confirmation of my membership around mid-February, and I’ve been looking forward to taking crack at the March theme: ice candy (thanks to Jun of Jun-Blog and Arnold of Inuyaki for this stroke of brilliance).

I put my own spin to this oldie-but-goodie by showcasing two flavors that I’ve fallen in love with recently: lemonade and milk tea.

I’m not really a calamansi juice person, though I won’t mind if it’s liberally drizzled over a plate of palabok. There’s just something…cleaner and fresher about the smell and taste of lemons that takes me away from the humidity and unforgiving heat of the day. My mom’s lemonade ratio really hits the spot each and every time – the flavor of the tart lemons and the sweet sugar marries perfectly. I can finish a pitcher in one day.

Milk tea has been a growing trend here in the Philippines and I’ve had my fair share of it over the past few months. But I’m proud to say that among the milk teas that I’ve tasted, Zamboanga’s own Zensonita (Zen-son-night-ta) is one of the best in my book. It shares the top spot with Gong Cha. That says a lot. Zensonita is unpretentious and serves it like it is, no gimmicks, no frills. Visit their store along Nunez extension and order all three bestsellers: original, tarik and strawberry. I tried to replicate their original flavor – basic black tea with a slurry of fresh and condensed milk.


And as the song goes: “summertime, and the livin’ is easy”. Ice candy might as well be the songwriter’s muse, maybe even the perfect symbol.

Ice Candy Duo


  • 6 cups  cold water
  • 3 – 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar

Mix everything in a pitcher and allow to chill in the refrigerator.

Milk Tea

  • 4 cups water
  • 3 bag black tea
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh milk
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk, or more to taste
  1. Boil water in a pot over medium heat. Once boiled, remove from heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 – 15 minutes or until a strong tea flavor is achieved. When done, remove tea bags. When cooled, transfer the tea to a pitcher.
  2. Mix the fresh and condensed milk together in a small bowl or cup. Add to the tea and mix well. Adjust the taste to your preference.

Make the ice candy:

  1. If you’re working alone, it’s best to have a mug/cup with you. Place the plastic tubes/wrappers inside the mug with prop it in such a way that it’s resting on the rim of the mug/cup.Photobucket
  2. Use a small funnel to pour the liquid in, filling the wrapper a little over halfway to 3/4ths full. Take the excess plastic and tightly twist it to compress the liquid inside. Use your fingers to roll the excess plastic until it’s toothpick-thin, so it will be easier to twist.Photobucket
  3. Twist the excess plastic around your finger, and loop it around to make a knot. Repeat the process until you have your desired number. Freeze until firm and enjoy!Photobucket


    The 3rd one from the left is what you'll get when you won't twist the excess plastic enough


45 thoughts on “Ice Candy Duo: Lemonade & Milk Tea

  1. Welcome to Kulinarya! Milk tea iced candy would probably have been my favourite if it was available during my childhood! I’ve recently been addicted to Chatime and I think the amount of bubble tea I’ve consumed already qualifies me to be a stockholder – so I thought of making it at home – thanks for the recipe, which I will surely use when recreating my own Pearl Milk Tea 😉

    • Thank you! 😀 I like Chatime, though I prefer Gong Cha more. It has been a while since I last had milk tea but there was a time that my mom and I would have it almost every day! 😀 I hope you like the recipe!

  2. Welcome to Kulinarya!! Lovely post that brought so many sweet memories of summers back home. Love the flavor combos, too! Looking forward to cooking with you in future challenges!

  3. Pingback: How to Make Ice Buko with Monggo (Coconut Ice Pops with Red Mung Beans) | Jun-Blog

  4. Wow it’s been a while since I’ve had ice candy.
    Milk tea flavored ice candy is a great idea! I’d love to try this out this summer. Thanks 🙂

  5. I had a few stints at selling ice candy back in the days. I remember how they messed up the freezer when the bag pops. I love these flavors you’ve made. Lemonade never fails to refresh but there’s something comforting about milk tea in whatever form. Good job, Gio.

  6. It’s really nice if you make ice candy at home no? the ones that you can buy outside is usually artificially flavored. I would really enjoy the lemonade flavor!

  7. Pahingi naman ng ice candy mo!

    Nagtinda din ako ng ice candy nung bata pa ako, and tama ka, chocolate ang pinaka-mabili! Last na uwi namin sa Pinas several weeks ago, gumawa ako ng mangga. Mura kasi dahil uso ang mangga that time. Sayang, di ako nakapagdala dito ng plastic pang ice candy.

    P.S. Nagtry din ako gumawa ng milk tea kasi naadik ako sa Gong Cha, pero fail hehe. Green tea kasi meron kami, mas masarap pag black tea.

    • haha sayang this won’t survive the trip! Green tea can be used naman for milk tea, kaso yung flavor na tumatak talaga sa akin, yung black tea. Fail din yung attempt ko with Earl Grey. hahaha I chanced upon a Kulinarya blog who bought ice candy wrappers from an online filipino store, maybe you can try there. O pwede din magpadala ka nalang. hahaha!

  8. “Summers are more fun in the Philippines.” I couldn’t agree more!
    I’ll take one of those milk tea ice candies anytime, that’s more my type of frozen delight.

  9. Planning a big shindig here in NY next late April/Early May if nice weather holds. Can’t wait to have put these on the table. I’ll bet they go fast!

  10. OMG OMG I remember having these popsicles as a kid in primary school but never thought of making them at home and definitely never thought of making the milk tea flavour hehe it looks AMAZING! Thanks for sharing!!

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