There’s a lot of chatter surrounding a line of spirit-infused ice creams recently debuted from Haagen-Dazs—I’ve seen a flurry of stories about them in the past two days alone. They come in a motley of flavors that sound pretty divine: vodka-infused key lime pie, rum-soaked ginger cookie. The buried lede in these stories is the fact that these flavors are only available in Canada, making it all but impossible to subject this ice cream to a taste test when I’m south of the border.
There’s no use in expending energy pining for a product that’s far out of reach, making your desire more ravenous and unsettling. Besides, there’s a small, vibrant cottage industry of boozy ice cream lines readily available in the States. I’m thinking of Buzz Pop Cocktails and Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream. The one that’s lived up to the hype, in my book, is Tipsy Scoop. Consider this an endorsement.
Tipsy Scoop, founded in 2014, carries 14 different flavors, from ice creams to dairy-free sorbets. Each is endowed with a generous infusion of alcohol—up to 5% ABV. There’s a delicate choreography of these two competing components here that Tipsy Scoop achieves; I've found that having a few scoops leaves you with a pleasant, gentle buzz that won’t have you feeling dazed and faint. Ingesting a few spoonfuls beats making yourself a cocktail.
Churning ice cream with alcohol makes ice cream less stubborn and much easier to scoop, which results in a consistency for these flavors that’s more slushy than silky. When it comes to the company's more traditional, milky offerings, I go for the Vanilla Bean with a hearty kick of bourbon. For their dairy-free sorbet options, I gravitate towards Raspberry Limoncello, which has the color of pluot flesh and a slight tartness that offsets any risk of its sweetness being overpowering.
Four pints will set you back $48 before shipping and handling. That’s quite a wad of cash to shell out casually, and I’m afraid I don’t have that much disposable income. I will say that Tipsy Scoop pints last up to six months in your freezer, though. And the occasional indulgence, I’ve found, is worth it.
Have a favorite boozy ice cream you like? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.