Want to beat the heat with a buzz? A scoop of boozy ice cream might be just the thing. Ice cream purveyors are leaving rum raisin behind for the real deal with innovative, Instagram-friendly concoctions.
New York-based business Tipsy Scoop opened the city’s first alcoholic ice cream parlor in 2017, and more ice cream entrepreneurs have followed suit. Even ice cream giant Häagen Daz joined in on the trend this year with a new line of spirit-infused flavors. And fortunately, you don’t have to go far to find a cone with a kick — these 7 spots are dishing out spiked scoops that go way beyond your basic vanilla. Bring your appetite … and an ID.
This pint-size ice cream shop has two “barlour” locations in Kips Bay and Williamsburg, and you can also find their prepackaged flavors at Whole Foods and online. Their extensive menu of boozy flavors packs a serious punch, with flavors like Red Velvet Martini: ice cream infused with cake vodka, crème de cacao and cherry liqueur. Looking for a summer-friendly option? Try Mango Margarita, a sorbet made from fresh mangos spiked with tequila and orange liqueur. And the price is more affordable than an expensive rooftop cocktail: Single scoops are $4.75, and flights with 4 flavors go for $11. You’ll need ID to order, and a two-scoop serving has an ABV of 5%, around the same as a glass of beer.
Locations: 217 East 26th St., Manhattan, and 270 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn
If wine tasting is on your summer bucket list, but you don’t have the funds to head to the Hamptons, skip the jitney and head to the Upper East Side instead. Sedutto’s carries Mercer’s wine sorbet in flavors like chocolate cabernet, Riesling, rosé and peach white zinfandel. Pints go for $9.50 and have an ABV of 5%, so you can get a buzz without dealing with traffic on the LIE. Or make your trip (semi) family friendly with a scoop of vanilla or strawberry for the kids, and a Kahlúa affogato for you: for $7.50, pick a scoop of your choice and have it served with espresso and a shot of Kahlúa.
Location: 1498 First Ave., Manhattan
With two downtown locations, the lines are typically out the door at this popular parlor. But it’s worth the wait for the sheer variety of ice cream: Its Houston Street shop offers a whopping 88 flavors, including alcohol-inspired scoops like bourbon vanilla, Fernet black walnut, rum raisin, and cinnamon whiskey caramel. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, Morgenstern’s does that too, behind the bar. Try the chocolate sgroppino cocktail: a scoop of chocolate sorbet served with Lambrusco and cherry. Or go for a twist on the classic with a salted caramel pretzel old fashioned. Single scoops are $5.75 and cocktails are $15.
Location: 88 West Houston St., Manhattan
OddFellows doesn’t bother infusing its ice cream with liquor. Instead, it’s poured right over the top of sundaes and floats at the Dumbo location. Beer and wine lovers can enjoy a beer float for $11, or “the sparkler,” a concoction of sorbet and sparkling wine, for $12. In the mood for a splurge? Spring for the $40 “Split and Split,” a banana split for two, doused in champagne. Or really go wild and throw an over the top summer party — for $585, you and up to 25 friends can rent out the entire space and make your own boozy shakes and floats and enjoy an all-you-can-eat sundae bar. Sounds over-indulgent, yes, but summer comes just once a year.
Location: 60 Water St., Brooklyn
Mel’s Burger Bar
If you’re in the mood for a burger and shake, skip the diner and head to Mel’s, where they’re serving up this classic pairing with a little something extra. With two locations in Manhattan, Mel’s has five different “spiked shakes” on the menu for $13. Try the “Tennessee Jed,” a mix of vanilla and caramel ice creams with Jack Daniel’s. Or have your burger and save room for dessert with the “After Dinner Mint,” a blend of mint Oreo ice cream and peppermint schnapps.
Locations: 2850 Broadway and 1450 Second Ave., Manhattan
Chanson Dessert Bar
Make it a date night at Chanson Dessert Bar with a six-course dessert tasting menu. The space was originally a Prohibition-era speak-easy, and serves gourmet French desserts with a selection of signature cocktails. The pistachio and raspberry eclair with raspberry and black pepper sorbet is served with a rum tiki, and a rhubarb and white chocolate parfait with rhubarb sorbet is paired with an Aperol spritz made with rhubarb syrup. The tasting menu is $75 per person with optional cocktail and wine pairings for an additional $58.
Location: 20 W. 23rd St., Manhattan
If you’re looking for a fix for your cravings but don’t want to leave the comfort of your air-conditioned apartment, ice cream brands are sending their boozy concoctions right to your door. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams ships $12 pints of “Middle West Whiskey and Pecans,” and Wisconsin-based creamery Purple Door has a $45 “Happy Hour 4-pack,” with whiskey, brandy old fashioned, beer and pretzels, and vanilla flavors.