Food & Drink

Supercall Labs: Spiked Ice Cream Sundaes

Ice cream and alcohol: These are just two of our favorite things. Which is why we took to our lab to create the perfect spiked ice cream sundae, topped with liquor-enhanced chocolate, caramel and strawberry sauces.

Using our patented spike-and-stir method (as in our other Supercall Labs) we mixed each of the three sauces with each of the five major spirits (vodka, gin, tequila, rum and whiskey), using a four-to-one sauce-to-booze ratio. The results? You’ll just have to read on to find out.

Chocolate Syrup

There is no more classic topping for vanilla ice cream than chocolate syrup. Alone, it tastes like childhood and optimism. With alcohol, it took on a decidedly more grown-up complexity. Whiskey and rum were both strong contenders. In fact, tasters praised the whiskey-spiked chocolate as a potential digestif, simply sipped on its own.

Gin inspired gagging in some, while others thought it had a decent finish. One taster described it as, “old Halloween candy left in the fridge too long.” The tequila-spiked chocolate sauce was acceptable, and the vodka-spiked sauce just tasted like chocolate syrup.

Verdict: Whiskey

Caramel Syrup

Caramel started out as thick as chocolate syrup, but mixing made it noticeably thinner (a warning for those who prefer their caramel extra-viscous). Again, rum and whiskey were both popular picks—both packing a punch in alcoholic heat and sweet flavor. But the rum triumphed this time, inspiring tasters to make comparisons to buttered rum candies. Gin, on the other hand, got some not-so-positive reactions, which ranged from “not terrible” to “gross” (pronounced “grouse”). Vodka’s flavors were again hard to discern, making it a good, subtle option for something. And tequila was the wild card—one taster suggested tequila-spiked caramel as a dipping sauce for churros.

Verdict: Rum

Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry syrup had a lot of haters off the bat, making the spiked versions a hard sell. It was also much more watery from the start than the other syrups (verging on potable), a problem only worsened by liquor. Still, those who liked the plain syrup liked the boozed versions. If you know strawberry syrup is your jam, definitely try boozing it up. Just be sure to buy a thicker sauce or cook it down before pouring it onto your sundae.

Rum-spiked strawberry syrup did alright—even among the anti-strawberry sauce faction—followed by bourbon. Vodka was also relatively popular because it subdued the saccharine fruit flavor. Some tasters had high hopes for the tequila-spiked sauce, but it turned out horribly, with one tester simply responding, “Nope, nope, nope, nope nope!” Gin was the weirdest one here, reminding one taster of a strawberry limeade from Sonic (making us wonder if Sonic has been spiking its strawberry limeade with gin for years).

Verdict: Vodka