Hard seltzer rocked the beverage market in 2019, causing an explosion of brands to flood store and bar shelves. Even beer makers like Bud Light, Coors and Corona got in on the action, releasing cans of the sparkling, alcoholic fruity drink.

This summer, the hot new party store find is boozy ice pops: frozen wine, seltzers or cocktails in a plastic sleeve like the Fla-Vor-Ice from childhood, but this time with an AVB on the label.

Many have been around for a season or two, but this summer we’re seeing stores flooded with a wide variety. Many are coming from the same brands that brought us hard seltzer.

Some are claiming to be low calorie, which can be deceiving considering there are only a few ounces of actual drink in each pop, about 3.4 ounces. One pop is going to get you about as buzzed as a big gulp of chardonnay would, which may be what you’re looking for as low-alcohol beverages are definitely in vogue.

Another thing to note is that these are usually sold unfrozen. So if you’re planning on getting some for a party, make sure there’s time for them to freeze first.

Here’s how some of the most widely-available alcoholic ice pop brands measure up.

Cutwater Cocktail Pops: Maker of award-winning spirits, canned cocktails, mixers and now cocktail pops, Cutwater’s flavors are bold. The San Diego-based company’s frozen pops have no artificial sweeteners and come in all-nature flavors like lime margarita, rum and cola, gin melon and vodka mule. You can really taste the ginger in the mule, and the gin melon has a natural watermelon flavor. These run about $22-$25 for a 12-pack. 7% ABV. 80 calories. Available at Kroger and other markets.

Truly Lemonade Freeze Pops: These are, truly, great flavors for summer. A trusted name in hard seltzer, Truly’s new adult frozen treats come in original lemonade, mango lemonade and strawberry lemonade. The frozen seltzers are more sweet than tangy and are sold around $20 for a 12-pack. 5% ABV. 80 calories. Widely available.

Slim Chillers Skinny Freezers: This company makes frozen pops with wine and spirits. I think their best product is the peach mango bellini wine cocktail and the orangeberry mimosa. You can taste the wine, and the experience is more like a real frozen drink than a popsicle. For being branded “skinny,” these and the vodka versions clock in a bit high at 100-114 calories. The Skinny Threezer pops are three layers of frozen drink, two with tangy fruit flavor and a third with a cream center, giving it more of a blender drink vibe. The three layers seem to separate, though, and don’t always blend together. At 160 calories for three ounces, they aren’t really “skinny,” either. Sold in 8-packs for $18.99. All versions are 8% ABV and the cream in the Threezers are 11% ABV. Widely available.

Daily’s Poptails: You may have seen this brand’s other frozen cocktail products in the past; they are not new to this game. Their wine-infused poptails come in strawberry, green apple and watermelon. At $14.99 for a 12 pack they are the most thrifty of the bunch and taste like wine coolers. 6.8% abv. 90 calories. Available at Target and other stores.

Bud Light Seltzer Frozen Icicles: Just released last month, these pops come in cherry limeade, blue raspberry and summer ice. They’re branded Bud Light, but these are frozen seltzers, not beer. Reportedly available only for a limited time, they’ve been hard to spot in stores. Bud Light Seltzer Frozen Icicles are smaller than the others at just 2 ounces. 5% ABV. 100 calories.

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Tribune Wire

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