Summer is here, and guests are looking to restaurants for reprieve from the heat. What better way, then, to add a shock of cool to the beverage or dessert menu than with ice cream playing on the flavors of favorite drinks? But with the dominant taste of alcohol and its varying freeze points, boozy ice cream can be challenging. It’s all about achieving the right amount without turning ice cream into a melty mess, says Toa Green, owner/operator of Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream in Lexington, Kentucky.
“If you use too much, your ice cream won’t freeze and will just be soup,” Green says. “For us, finding the right recipe just took a lot of trial and error. I wanted to have an ice cream that used the flavors of the booze, not necessarily an ice cream that would get you smashed.”
A trick Green has turned to for her Coffee Stout ice cream is reducing the stout down to a syrup for a concentrated flavor without the water content that can make the mixture too icy. Here are three examples to get your ice cream-spiration going this summer.
“It has all the wonderful warm flavors of bourbon without being too harsh on the alcohol taste. The combo of Buffalo Trace bourbon and local honey creates this magical melange of flavor that screams Kentucky.”
Crank & Boom, Lexington, Kentucky
“Our Mezcal Vanilla using El Silencio has a familiar sweet vanilla start and a smoky finish on the palate. Customers are hesitant to try mezcal for the first time, but the familiarity of vanilla makes them willing to taste it, and almost all of our guests love it.”
Prohibition Creamery, Austin, Texas
“The flavors work really well, and you get a hint of whiskey more at the end of the bite.”
Tipsy Scoop, New York City