This Summer's Best Boozy Ice Creams
At the peak of summer, when your Weather Channel app is telling you it "Feels like HELL" and putting your butt on a car's leather seat means a likely third-degree burn, there are only three safe activities: chilling, lazing, and boozing. Thanks to a slew of new ice cream delivery services offering booze-spiked treats, you can have them all in one go. We've rounded up all kinds of alcoholic ice cream pints -- no, not those pints -- mixed with beer, wine, or hard, hard liqueur that you can get shipped directly to your air-conditioned refuge. Grab a spoon, and get ordering.
Jake Godby and Sean Vahey, the wicked minds behind #lickthat Twitter sensation and San Francisco shop Humphry Slocombe, make "ice cream with attitude." Their wacky flavors include Hibiscus Beet sorbet and Elvis (the Fat Years), a banana ice cream stippled with bacon brittle. And their booze-spiked creation is also one of their most popular: for the Secret Breakfast, they mix crunchy bits of homemade cornflake cookies with lush bourbon ice cream -- sort of a take on your heavy-drinking uncle who always carried a "coffee" cup. Ambitious cooks can make their version from the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book, which offers a Guinness-flavored variety, but the rest of us can just order delivery.
According to company legend, this Brooklyn brand jump-started the mix-in trend way back in 1973. Now, Steve's is more on the locavore bandwagon, incorporating regional ingredients, like Hudson Valley Fresh milk and Salvatore Bklyn ricotta cheese, into its mixers. But the additions are hardly limited to New York State: Kentucky’s Bulleit bourbon is what gives the Small Batch Bourbon Vanilla ice cream its smoky notes. Madécasse Madagascar vanilla and charred white oak Kentucky bourbon barrels are steeped in the mixture to add an extra depth of flavor.
The story is as old as time: a young woman disenchanted with her job at the Department of Homeland Security starts inventing ice cream on nights and weekends. Or at least that's how it went with Victoria Lai, the force behind this Washington, DC favorite. Her cocktail-inspired icy treats include an ode to her mother: the gin and tonic sorbet, laced with Beefeater and lime zest. But our favorite (sorry, moms) is Banana Bourbon Caramel, which jolts a base of caramel-swirled banana ice cream with whiskey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Ample Hills, the wildly popular Brooklyn parlor named after a Walt Whitman poem, is known for its adult-friendly flavors. But only one boozy variety is available online: Hell's Kitchen Sink, an insanely chocolaty custard ice cream, fortified with Guinness beer, spiced brownies, brown butter cookie dough, and toffee. With an ingredient list like that, you won't care about the lack of other choices.
Artisanal ice cream pioneer Jeni Britton Bauer opened her first shop in Columbus, Ohio back in 2002, long before the contemporary quirky ice cream craze took hold. She makes her Whiskey and Pecans pint, which boasts notes of butterscotch, honey, coconut, and vanilla, with locally distilled Oyo whiskey and a healthy lashing of salted pecans. Vegans -- and, well, anyone else -- can indulge in a pint of Riesling Poached Pear sorbet, a classy concoction with a sweet wine finish.
A longtime booster of wine ice creams, this upstate New York creamery, which has been going strong for more than half a century, offers flavors such as White Peach Zinfandel, Red Raspberry Chardonnay, and port. Eat a scoop out of a wine glass because that's just mad classy, or double down on the dairy with a Mercer's-recommended milkshake: blend a scoop of Chocolate Cabernet wine ice cream with a shot of whipped cream vodka, a shot of coffee liqueur, and ice.
This West Coast chainlet churns out a rotating selection of sweet and savory flavors, including oddball creations like Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero. Among the delivery varieties are two different pints of booze-addled ice cream. Stumptown Coffee and Burnside Bourbon mingles single-origin Sumatra, whiskey, and HolyKakow chocolate, while the Gin Spiced Blackberry Jam & Chocolate Chips blends gin aromatics-infused sweet cream ice cream with gin-soaked Oregon blackberry jam.
Unlike some phony liquor-loaded ice creams -- looking at you, rum raisin -- you can actually taste the booze in every one of this delivery-only shop's 14 flavors. The standouts are the Tequila Mexican "Hot" Chocolate, zipped up with cinnamon and Patron, and the salty-sweet Chocolate Stout and Pretzel, which is infused with dark, cocoa-rich beer from Brooklyn Brewery. Also available: Funfetti ice cream cakes and ice cream sandwiches, including one variety with homemade chocolate chip cookies and Frangelico affogato ice cream. At 5% ABV per serving, how tipsy you get is dependent on your tolerance for booze -- and dairy.
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