Saucy Scoops: 14 Places to Try Boozy Ice Cream

Get your buzz on at these innovative ice cream parlors serving up boozy spins on a classic summertime treat.

Boiler Room, Chicago

Summers are fleeting and completely unpredictable in the Windy City. Residents may be sweating in shorts in July, then pulling out fall coats in August. This Logan Square neighborhood restaurant has created an incentive to eat ice cream regardless of the weather. It ups the appeal of soft serve year-round by spiking it with warming Jameson whiskey, a flavor that’s always available and is even offered in a root beer float. Every week there’s a different alcohol-filled special in the second hopper. Spirits are rotated and could include tequila, stout or maple bourbon; Orange Whip Vodka has been churned in the past, as has Chocolate Kerrygold Cream. And the holiday season often brings spiked eggnog. The specials are whatever these creative liquor- and dessert-loving folks think up.

Boiler Room

Humphry Slocombe, San Francisco

This San Francisco ice cream parlor verges on mad-scientist levels of cleverness when it comes to flavors for its frozen desserts. Options seem to span the ingredient spectrum: bacon, ancho chiles, beets, carrots, bananas, cheese, cucumber, foie gras and beyond. Spirits are just additional potions in their lab. The best-seller, Secret Breakfast, has been the trendsetter in the boozy ice cream movement for the past seven years, as a fan favorite and social media darling that even popped up as one of the Top 5 Ice Creams in America. Like a sweet version of “hair of the dog,” Secret Breakfast combines bourbon and cornflakes for the ultimate all-in-one flavor. There are other fantastic spiked selections as well, such as Flamin’ Rum Raisin, Pear Wine Syllabub, and Pine Street, with Atom Splitter Pale Ale and Magnolia Stout.

Humphry Slocombe

Ice & Vice, New York City

This experimental ice cream shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been luring crowds for its edgy flavors since it opened in the summer of 2015. Even the most-straightforward selection is far from the norm: Vanilla — satirically dubbed Basic B — punches up Mexican vanilla bean with black lava sea salt. Owners Paul Kim and Ken Lo have also incorporated different alcohol-infused flavors into the rotating lineup. One of the opening flavors, Mahjong, combined East and West with a refreshing blend of jasmine tea and white peach to create a peach lambic sorbet that is cooling on a hot summer’s day. Splinters, an autumn-appropriate woodsy, warming flavor, is a whiskey-barrel-wood ice cream dotted with homemade Cracker Jack.

Ice & Vice