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Photo by Iain Bagwell
What's sweet and cool and will make you giddy as a kid? Spiked ice cream, of course! Boozy ice creams, gelatos and sorbets are the ultimate grownup treats, and crafty ice cream makers across the country are dreaming up enticing recipes that incorporate everything from bourbon to beer. This summer, keep your cool with this list of 10 spirited ice creams and sorbets as well as one icy granita.
Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato
Butter pecan ice cream grows up with the addition of bourbon in this recipe for Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato from gelato kingpins F.W. Pearce’s and Danilo Zecchin’s new book, Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto.
Cherry Lambic Sorbet
Tart beer and fresh, sour cherries offer a touch of tang to this Cherry Lambic sorbet from Ohio-based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. No plans to visit Ohio anytime soon? Head online and owner Jeni Britton Bauer will dry-ice pack your order and ship via 2-day air.
Dark Chocolate and Tawny Port Ice Cream
Launched last June, Guerrilla Ice Cream has already garnered a devoted following at Manhattan’s Fulton Stall Market and Hester Street Fair with flavors like Dark Chocolate and Port ice cream. Made with 72 percent cacao Belgian chocolate and slightly tannic tawny Port, this decadent ice cream is a part of their permanent lineup, with other spirited flavors like Sweet Corn and Flor de Caña rum making an occasional appearance. And the real cherry on top? Guerrilla business partners, 20-somethings Ethan Frisch and Ori Zohar, donate 100 percent of their profits to charity.
Being next door to one of Seattle’s most popular brewpubs has its perks, and Bluebird Ice Cream’s owner Josh Reynolds took full advantage of his sweet locale by collaborating with the brewery to create his Elysian Stout-flavored ice cream. Alone it makes for a solid scoop, but it’s especially bold in a beer float.
Fig and Port Gelato
Dip into the Mediterranean with this dreamy recipe for Fig and Port Gelato also from Ciao Bella. Honey-sweetened, this decadent gelato is perfect alongside crunchy almond biscotti and a glass of ruby Port.
Pear with Bourbon Sorbetto
This sorbet from Philadelphia gelato company Capogiro marries the earthy sweetness of pears with a splash of bourbon-y spice. With four storefronts across Philly, flavors rotate daily, but out-of-towners can get in on the creamy action by ordering online—shipments go out every Tuesday. And be sure to stay tuned, as future flavors call for a partnership with Philadelphia Distilling in combos like Blueberry and Bluecoat gin and Cantaloupe and Vieux Carré absinthe.
Pink Grapefruit and Campari Granita with Fresh Mint
We’re stretching a bit by including icy granita on this list, but this recipe is too tasty to pass up. Farmers’ Market Desserts author, Jennie Schacht elevates the summery aperitif of Campari and grapefruit to a new level of refreshment by adding mint and freezing it into a spoonable granita.
Secret Breakfast Ice Cream
It’s hard to pick a favorite flavor at the San Francisco summertime staple, Humphry Slocombe, which is known for pushing the ice cream envelope with unexpected ingredient, like curry, corn and foie gras (not together, mind you). Still, we love the dissonance of their bourbon-spiked and cornflake-studded Secret Breakfast flavor, especially when mixed in a Blue Bottle Coffee-spiked affogato.
Strawberry Prosecco Sorbet
Strawberries and bubbly make a perfect pair, as shown in this recipe from cookbook author, Ellen Jackson. And with strawberry season in full swing, what better reason do you need to break open some bubbles?
Tangerine-sicle Ice Cream
The fun flavor of orange creamsicles makes a spirited comeback in this recipe from Farmers’ Market Desserts. A splash of mandarin vodka gives the ice-cream truck classic a grown-up kick.
It may sound more like a soup than a sweet, but this delicious combo of vanilla custard and rum-soaked ladyfingers is actually an old Italian classic, brought to Los Angeles by Gelato Bar owner Gail Silverton, sister to famed restaurateur, Nancy.