It’s summertime, it’s hotter than hell outside, and that means we are all looking for excuses to consume as much ice cream as possible, whether it’s in a cone or plopped in a mug of soda. When it comes to the latter, there are all sorts of fun ice cream float combos, but nothing can really beat the classic: root beer served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A good root beer float is spicy and complex, but creamy and comforting at the same time. The vanilla ice cream smooths out the more aggressive aspects of root beer’s flavor profile and the carbonation cuts the richness of the ice cream. It’s a beautiful thing. So beautiful, in fact, that Trader Joe’s went ahead and put it on a stick for maximum convenience and portability. We tried their new Root Beer Float Bars to find out whether the classic concoction works in popsicle form.
- Trader Joe’s Root Beer Float Bars
Here’s what I’ll say about these frozen dessert bars: excellent concept, decent execution. The root beer-flavored ice that surrounds the vanilla ice cream center is very, very sweet. It’s so sweet that it almost tastes like a diet root beer sweetened with something like stevia. I also didn’t love that when I took my first bite, I didn’t get any vanilla ice cream. It took two bites to make it to the ice cream center, which I’m pleased to report is very, very good—nice and creamy and flavorful.
All in all, I think you’d be better off springing for some of the best vanilla ice cream and the best root beer and enjoying this classic dessert sans stick. I ate the whole thing, but I wouldn’t go back for seconds.
Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s