Alcohol-infused ice cream is officially on the menu.
On Aug. 3, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that authorizes the manufacture and sale of ice cream and other frozen desserts made with liquor in New York State. The legislation aims to New York’s dairy farmers, liquor and craft beverage producers, dairy processors and manufacturers, food retailers and restaurants meet the increasing consumer demand for these new and innovative products.
“The craft beverage industry has experienced explosive growth in New York and with that comes a responsibility to advance regulations that help ensure long-term viability, protect consumers and provide farmers with opportunities to increase their business,” Governor Cuomo said. “This legislation will further grow a burgeoning industry and boost small businesses while helping to put them on a path of sustained growth that empowers both producers and consumers.”
The new law limits the percentage of alcohol in ice cream to not more than 5 percent of alcohol by volume, and would require the same product labeling and warning statements similar to other confectionaries that contain wine, beer or cider. Seeing how this new law would benefit craft manufacturers and the economy, Cuomo worked to create new licenses, modernize laws, relax regulations, cut taxes, eliminate fees and launch innovative promotional campaigns to make it easier to start and grow new craft manufacturing businesses.
New York City is no stranger to alcohol-infused desserts. Tipsy Scoop, which is the city’s first boozy ice cream shop, got state approval to sell their products in 2014, and received Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for all of the flavors in 2015/2016 due to the fact that they distribute wholesale online as well as in their shops. A number of New York City shops, including Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, have incorporated alcohol into their flavors.
“New Yorkers are already able to responsibly enjoy beer, wine, and cider infused ice creams. Thanks to this bill, vendors will now be able to offer their customers another delicious treat,” Senator Rachel May said. “This legislation will help New York’s dairy industry and our liquor and craft beverage industries at the same time. I am very grateful to the Governor for signing this into law, and I look forward to sharing some maple bourbon ice cream with him at next year’s State Fair!”
New York now ranks in the top five in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category and ranks first in the country for the number of hard cider producers, second in craft breweries and distilleries, and fourth in the country for the total number of wineries. Since the Governor’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, the number of farm-based licenses has increased by over 190 percent, from 282 in October 2012 to 823 today.
“This bill expands on the successful addition of wine, beer and cider to certain specialty ice creams,” Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said. “Any time we can allow our dairy farmers and producers to add a product that’s popular with consumers, it’s good for business and it’s good for tourism. Our distilleries are especially enthusiastic about the potential for NY spirits in NY ice cream.”