They're not new, but suddenly they're everywhere (well, almost everywhere). Boozy riffs on the Otter Pops of our youth. Even the briefest look at the headlines, or the world outside your door, makes it clear why they're popular this summer. But these skinny bags of freezy cocktails have a pragmatic origin story, too. They're born of a world (or at least a state) where takeout cocktails are suddenly a thing, and classy drinks packaging like twee mini mason jars have become about as hard to source as toilet paper was back in March. So kudos to our bar community for its ingenuity, and for giving us a jolt of unapologetic fun when we needed it most.
Spinasse’s sibling cocktail bar next door has always deserves more props for its food—a statement that definitely extends to its current takeout menu. While it’s hard to bypass all the great Italian wine and double-serving of the house Amari-o Brothers cocktail on the drink list, a trio of “Lush Pops” offer about as much nuance and sophistication as one can reasonable apply to a boozy otter pop. Current flavors include peach rose sangria, cherry-tequila limeade, and a bourbon, blackberry, and black tea combo.
Cape Cod-der Pop. Bar Har-vey Wallbanger. Hair of the Salty Dog. Cocktails that ruled the 1980s and '90s inform the frozen pops at this South Lake Union hangout (but yeah, there's also a frose flavor). Right now, Bar Harbor concentrates its New England vibes at the patio walkup window on the south side of 400 Fairview, where you can also order a lobster roll and a staggering amount of cocktails to go, or for the massive covered patio.
If Jamie Boudreau's doing these, they have to be legit, right? Don't let Canon's deep whiskey bench fool you; its owner relishes fun and semi-goofy presentation as much as the next detail-oriented bartender. Canon's four flavors are bright and kidlike in color, but combos like gin, dolin blanc, green and yellow chartreuse, maraschino, and citrus are decidedly advanced. Being a Canadian, Boudreau grew up referring to ice pops as "freezies." His Scot-ter pops are named for the friend who mentioned the idea; order them on Canon's newly minted takeout page.
No surprise—the cafe that revels in both form and function managed to combine a few peak summer drinking trends without seeming thirsty or cheesy. Frose, meet otter pops. Mr. West’s version is about as dry and pitch-perfect as a frozen pink drink can possibly be. The Olive Way and U Village locations make a prosecco slushy (yes, they absolutely call it frosecco) with rosemary and juniper simple syrup that you can order in a Capri Sun–style pouch. Is it only a matter of time before that phenomenon merits a listicle, too?
Capitol Hill’s gleefully global restaurant definitely wins for breadth of flavors with its lineup of Cocktailsycles: rumchata, peach bellini, mint gimlet, a whiskey-charged riff on Vietnam’s cafe sua da, even one made with habanero-infused tequila. The lineup has grown to eight flavors, which you can order individually or in packs of 10—even 20. Owner Chris Cvetkovich predicts these will have a permanent spot in the cocktail program. If only liquor laws didn’t preclude selling these around town in an ice cream truck.
Careful—Edouardo Jordan’s Slaughter Pops look an awful lot like their alcohol-free, children’s counterparts. That’s mostly due to the bright colors, a ROY G. BIV array of strawberry rose, watermelon margarita, garibaldi, cucumber melon, and blue lagoon. These arrived with Salare’s new takeout program, and are only available in five-packs.
Owner Paul Shanrock and crew take upcycling to brilliant new levels, using the byproducts of their careful cocktails to make $5 pops in rotating flavors. Right now: mezcal with mint, cantaloupe, and wine, as well as a tequila combo with coconut cream, lime, strawberry, and serrano chili. Word has it a watermelon flavor is on the horizon.