Search icon


18th Jun 2018

The definitive ranking of ice lollies from worst to best

Firstly, we can all agree that Choc Ices are scum

Ciara Knight

Firstly, we can all agree that Choc Ices are scum.

We’re currently in the midst of peak ice lolly weather. If you’re not consuming at least three ice lollies per day at the moment, you’re simply not living.

Depending on availability, buying an ice lolly can sometimes be quite a stressful task. The stockist doesn’t have your ideal lolly, so you lower your standards and continue the search until a suitable match is found. You never want to find yourself in a situation whereby a Mini Milk is in your hand ready to be paid for. That can never happen.

So let’s just dive right in and cause a heated debate because it’s the only way we can communicate with each other. When was the last time you told someone you loved them? Haha, just kidding, it doesn’t matter. Not today.

Right then, let’s rank some ice lollies.

20. Choc Ice

Spade a spade, this is a slice of vanilla ice cream cut off the block, then covered in a very poor quality chocolate. There is zero consideration for consumption made by the manufacturer, as they forego the logical decision to add a stick, instead leaving you to either have grubby hands from holding the treat in your bare hands like some kind of animal, or keeping it in the packaging, which means you lose some of the admittedly inferior chocolate in the process. Choc Ices are scum. They should not be anyone’s first choice under any circumstance. Having no ice lolly is a better decision than having a Choc Ice. That is a fact.

19. Mini Milk

Mini Milks should’ve come last in this list, that’s how strongly I feel about them. But Choc Ices are more scum because they give the illusion that they’re good. The chocolate tries to hide the disappointment and that is an utterly unforgivable act. Mini Milks are proudly rubbish. You know an ice lolly is dirt when even the chocolate variety is shite. Mini Milks also come in vanilla and strawberry flavours and never stop banging on about how they contain ‘sooo much calcium’. We get it, there’s milk in you. The issue with Mini Milks is their texture. It’s like a chewy icy lump and feels far too close to something healthy. Everyone’s Mum went through a phase of only buying Mini Milks, but then we got older, wiser, and demanded proper treats. We saw sense.

18. Funny Feet

Whoever decided that an ice lolly should be moulded into the shape of a foot deserves to be shot. Feet, on the whole, are garbage. They smell, they look weird, they come in half sizes which makes buying decent shoes impossible and feet even have the audacity to stub themselves into various furniture items far too often than is acceptable. Nobody likes feet. Nobody wants to eat feet. Funny Feet aren’t even funny, so the name is incredibly misleading. Strawberry flavour was shoehorned into the ice cream at the last minute, presumably, to give the foot something other than a deathly pale complexion. It’s a disgustingly shaped block of strawberry ice cream without a hugely intense flavour, forcing you to engage in the perverted act of biting off the big toe before you can proceed right down to the heel. I will never forgive the inventor of Funny Feet for what he/she has done to society. Neither should you.

17. Ribena

Just a bit boring really, isn’t it? If I want a Ribena, I’ll buy a little carton with my ice lolly, thanks. I don’t fancy killing two birds with the one stone on this occasion. I appreciate that you’ve given me the option, but it’s just not for me. If they’re making Ribena ice lollies, where do we draw the line? Water ice lollies? Apple juice ice lollies? Beer ice lollies? It’s a nonsense. I’ll have a Ribena ice lolly if there’s nothing else going and what’s more is I’ll enjoy it. But am I ever, of my own accord, going to pick a Ribena ice lolly as my first choice? I will sooner consume a human foot, then a Funny Feet ice cream. Thank you. No further questions at this time.

16. Rocket Lolly

Pineapple, orange and strawberry ice lollies, shaped into what is described as, but in absolutely no way, a rocket. Look, it’s a fun concept, but is it a satisfying ice lolly? It’s a poor man’s Fruit Pastille lolly and the sooner you accept that, the sooner the second half of your life can begin. The flavour combination is nice, the design is fun, it’s not a terrible time when you’re having a Rocket Lolly, it’s really not. But could you be having a better time with a better ice lolly? Yes. And Rocket Lollies know that. They’re not upset, they know they’re a last resort, consumed only when everything else has left the freezer. Truly, they are the real MVPs.

15. Nobbly Bobbly

Sprinkles! Strawberry ice cream! Chocolate ice cream! More chocolate ice cream! So much sugar! Sadly, most of the appeal of a Nobbly Bobbly is in its appearance. In terms of flavour, it’s not exactly great. Particularly the chocolate portion, it always tastes like they have chemically constructed a flavour that’s in the region of chocolate, without actually containing any or tasting remotely like chocolate. What are they so afraid of? Lump some real chocolate in there, nobody’s going to complain. Not you or I. Just give us the taste we deserve. A Nobbly Bobbly is the equivalent of someone’s real life appearance deviating from their online profile picture. Such a tease.

14. Twix

Let’s be honest for a moment. It’s not a Twix, is it? It’s a Twix ice lolly, which takes some elements of a Twix, but then turns it into an ice cream version of itself. Like a normal Twix’s cousin that’s from somewhere foreign. They’re under the same name, but in no other way are they similar. As a separate entity, they’re not bad. The biscuit is usually quite soggy, but still a nice change from the standard chocolate / ice cream combination we’re used to. The caramel never looks how it does in the advertised image above, but it’s still delicious. The main issue is that if your Twix ice lolly hasn’t already been broken or dented before you get to consume it, one bite ruins everything as it splits down the middle and shatters into a thousand messy pieces. Still tasty though.

13. Fruit Pastille

What does a Fruit Pastille ice lolly have in common with a packet of Fruit Pastilles? Truly, absolutely nothing. It’s a tenuous link and one that irks me in an intense way on a very regular basis. Even the colours are way off. Since when are there two varieties of red Fruit Pastilles? One light red, the other darker? We’re being tricked and they can’t get away with it any longer. In terms of flavour, it’s a decent ice lolly. It’s refreshing, a good size and fun to look at. But where’s the integrity? Ice lollies are many things, but they do not need to be liars. Just don’t call it a Fruit Pastille ice lolly when it isn’t. Okay? Thanks.

12. Mars

Disclaimer: I don’t like Mars bars, so this outer top-ten positioning is heavily influenced by that. But let’s talk about the ice lolly as a separate entity. It’s a bit boring. It’s a Choc Ice with a less than satisfactory amount of caramel smeared across the top. It’s also much smaller than a Choc Ice and the chocolate is equally as grim, although a smidge more tasty. Mars ice lollies, much like the bars, are rarely anyone’s first choice. There’s no oomph, there’s no get-up-and-go about them. They’re just there. They exist. At any given time, they are chilling both literally and metaphorically in the freezer. We’ve got other options. Yaknow?

11. Magnum

Controversy, good evening and welcome to the game. The hill upon which I am willing to die is that Magnum ice creams are incredibly disappointing. A plain Magnum, white or milk chocolate, is boring. Sure, the chocolate is good quality and there’s a hefty amount of it to work through, but is the ice cream underneath really and truly a good finisher? It’s a sombre end to an experience that could’ve been great. A smattering of chocolate chips, biscuit, nuts or various other items within the ice cream portion of all Magnums would take them to a much higher level, but until such time as the manufacturers wake up and give us a truly lavish treat, they will remain outside the top ten list of ice lollies. Sometimes tough love is the only way.

10. Solero

Right, now we’re getting somewhere. Now it’s all starting to make sense. A Solero packs a punch. It’s got a level of flavour that most fruity ice lollies can’t even compete with. The outer layer is practically begging for you to chisel it off with your teeth like a beaver to a piece of wood. The inside part is creamy, it’s got a huge amount of flavour and there’s enough of it swirled around the inside to allow you to feel satisfied right up until the last mouthful. It’s a throughly refreshing ice lolly for a roasting hot day. Soleros, ideally the exotic ones, are very very tasty.

9. Maxibon

So scarce are these ice lollies, if you ever see one in a shop, you must purchase it immediately to secure five years of good luck. You’ll mostly eat a Maxibon on holidays for that adventurous feeling that comes exclusively from sampling other cultures’ variations of your favourite treats. The standard of crisps leave a lot to be desired once you leave this country, but foreign ice lollies are big business. Maxibons combine chocolate, nuts, biscuit and ice cream to create a very satisfying ice cream. The world is a better place with Maxibon ice lollies in it. You’re not going to be eyeing up anyone else’s ice lolly when you’ve got a Maxibon.

8. Fab

Aesthetically, Fabs are incredibly pleasing to look at. If you designed a house’s interiors based on the Fab colour scheme, along with similar sprinkle textures, you’d sell that house for a large profit to a very sensible person. A Fab ice lolly has a lot going on. First, you’ve got to tackle the chocolate and sprinkles up top, once they’ve been sufficiently dealt with, you’ll find yourself wondering why the whole thing isn’t covered in sprinkles, but that’s just because you’re greedy. Next, you’ll get to work on the outer layers, only to be rewarded by a surprise strawberry centre. Fabs are proof that hard work pays off. If you put in the time, you will eventually reap the rewards.

7. Maltesers

If it wasn’t for the inclusion of real Maltesers pieces in this ice lolly, it would not be receiving such a high placement, I can assure you. The shape of the ice lolly is fun and even a smidge kinky, but it’s the Maltesers that are doing the heavy lifting here. The chocolate is standard, not quite at Magnum standard but nowhere near the depths of despair like Choc Ice chocolate, so somewhere comfortably in the middle. The ice cream is also quite a standard effort, look, it’s fine. But it’s the Maltesers that are vital here, I cannot stress that enough. Those tiny balls bring another dimension to the lolly that deserves serious recognition.

6. Snickers

Whole! Peanuts! In! Ice! Cream! What! The! Heck! Again, much like the Twix and Mars ice lollies, the Snickers effort is a far cry away from an actual Snickers bar. But the main component is there, and frankly that’s enough. The same issue occurs as with a Twix ice lolly, whereby one bite results in the entire thing smashing up into tiny smithereens, but we’ll allow it. The combination of peanuts, ice cream and ice cold caramel is something we don’t see enough of in today’s modern society. We could all learn a lot from this kind of stunning innovation. More of this, please. Elon Musk could NEVER.

5. Cornetto

Here we go. Now we’re into the good stuff. This is the Ballon d’Or territory of ice lollies. Cornettos are like a fancy 99 ice cream. They’re structurally sound, they offer a good balance of flavour and they reward you with a little chocolatey gift when you reach the end of your journey. Obviously the strawberry Cornetto is the best, followed by the mint and then vanilla flavour. You can even get a few fancy varieties on holidays, but the strawberry Cornetto is never going to let you down. It’s a reliable win every time. The chocolate at the bottom is inspiring. Go out there and be the chocolate at the bottom of a Cornetto that you want to see in the world. Namaste.

4. Calippo

We’re talking exclusively about an orange Calippo here. The cola variety can go to hell, frankly. How do they manage to pack so much flavour into such a tiny little glow stick of fun? It is truly baffling. Calippos, from beginning to end, are deeply satisfying. The orange flavour has the right amount of tanginess to satisfy your parched sun-exhausted body, allowing you to alternate between drinking the syrup and gnawing into the ice lolly itself until completion. If you play your cards right during the eating process, you’ll be left with a shot of ice cold orange goodness to reward your effortless work.

3. Feast

Chocolate, upon chocolate, upon chocolate. Show me a more indulgent ice lolly and I’ll show you the door to the lunatic asylum because you are wrong. A Feast, particularly a mint one, is exquisite. The nutty outside, paired with a high quality chocolate shell, mint ice cream in the middle, followed by a rock solid slab of chocolate at the top. You simply cannot fault it. Except you can, slightly. You see, the chocolate slab in the middle doesn’t extend the whole way down as far the stick as the ice cream does. It’s misleading and disappointing, but probably for the best, health-wise. Credit where it’s due, though. What a treat. More shops need to stock Mint Feasts, frankly.

2. Twister

In terms of excitement, taste and refreshment factor, you’re hard pushed to beat a Twister. The flavour is delicious. The pineapple and lime twists on the outside would be enough on their own. They are more than enough. But then you get to the second level, the strawberry surprise. It’s bursting with flavour, so much so that your lips and tongue remain dazzlingly red for several years after consuming a Twister. You’re kept entertained navigating your way around the twists, then all hell breaks loose once you reach the middle. It’s every man for himself. The lolly clings to the stick and you have to battle your way through to completion. It’s a thrill. It’s a rush. It’s a Twister.

1. Mr. Freeze

There can be only one winner and I stand by this decision. Let’s strip everything back. Return to your youth, a time when an ice lolly meant everything. You’d beg your Mum for loose change so that you and your mates could walk to the corner shop for an ice lolly. It was exciting, you felt like a real adult going to run some errands, “just nipping to the shop, need a couple of things, you know how it is”, your 11-year-old self tell anyone within earshot. Upon arrival to the shop, it turned out that Mum had short-changed you. Barely enough for a penny sweet, but unperturbed, you soldiered on. You’d scan the freezer, gradually lowering your standards to something within your budgetary restrictions. What’s that? A Mr. Freeze? A snowman wearing sunglasses that comes in a variety of colours and flavours? What’s this? You’ve got enough for one AND a handful of penny sweets. Get your good clothes on, boys. We eatin’ good tonight.


Ice Cream,Summer