Aldi shoppers have found an ingenious way to cool off (and keep their cool) this summer.
In The Aldi Nerd Facebook group, which has nearly 1.5 million members, fans of the grocery chain are posting photos of their latest innovation: Adult juice pouches, or Capri Suns, made from 32-ounce bags of frozen fruit and bottles of Aldi's fruity Pacific Fruit Vineyards wines.
One group member, Mandy Allen, and her sister, Melissa Mills, created the boozy concoctions recently for a backyard cookout, and Allen said she used a bottle of peach wine, a bottle of pineapple wine and two bags of frozen fruit to make them matching giant drinks to sip while socializing.
"We legitimately pulled the fruit bags out of the freezer, opened the resealable package, dumped an entire bottle of wine in and resealed them," she explained. "The best part was Melissa's idea: stabbing the fruit with the straw and sucking up a surprise chunk of fruit. If you close your eyes and take a swig, you can smell the beach."
Allen got the idea from another member of the group, Tammy Hurt, who many group members credit with inventing the drink. Hurt, who shared photos of her daughter, Emily Crittendon, sipping from the pouches, says she's always used frozen grapes in her drinks to keep them from getting watered down by ice cubes. When she saw Aldi's gigantic frozen fruit bags, she said, she was struck with the idea.
"The coconut wine was just screaming for some pineapple for that summer beach vibe," Hurt said, adding that she preferred pouches made from Aldi's margarita mix and mixed berries. "I had a lot of comments that the at others (in the Facebook group) did not like the seeds from the berries."
"Personally, it makes me feel like I am getting a little protein in so it's healthy," she joked.
Traci Thomas said that when she saw photos of the boozy bags, she thought of the perfect person to share them with — her 93-year-old grandmother, Marge.
"I thought it would be fun to surprise her on Mother's Day with something different," said Thomas. "I knew these would be completely unexpected. They really did the trick for my aunt, my grannie and me."
When I drink alcohol, I prefer to lean toward more low-carb options, so I made a keto-friendly version of the boozy juice pouch for myself. Instead of fruit wine, I added another new Aldi summer beverage, the Vista Bay Hard Seltzer Lemonade (and, of course, a splash of vodka).
What did I learn? First, these pouches aren't exactly portable. I had planned to take a few to a happy hour in our beach town with neighbors, but once you've made them in your kitchen, they can't really be transported without major spillage happening. Next time, I'd do my bag-opening and booze-dumping on site.
Otherwise, they're worth it. My husband happily sipped his combo of mango wine and frozen tropical fruit and my two lower-carb options — Vista Bay Hard Seltzer and one with the new Vista Bay lemonade — were so refreshing.
While we may not make giant juice pouches every time we have cocktails by our pool, adding Aldi frozen fruit to drinks instead of ice may be a summer game-changer in my house.
Thomas said the comically large drinks may be just what Summer 2021 needs.
"These Capri Suns are worth trying because it's something silly, fun and affordable to do," she said. "I think we're all looking for little ways to brighten up our days during the pandemic."