I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream… Cocktails!?!

Say it ain’t so… Ice cream cocktails are making a comeback? Well… it ain’t so, but it should be. Many of us who lived through the 80’s remember TGIF’s innovative bar program where they rolled out syrupy sweet classics like the Oreo Mudslide and Orange Creamsicle. The concept was simple, different flavored ice cream with vodka… ugh. These over-sweet cocktails quickly took us out of a Good Humor and had us waking up in a Breyer’s Patch the morning after. Initially, ice cream cocktails fell out of favor with the general public because of the high caloric nature of dairy based drinks. And they’ve stayed out of flavor favor as mixologists prefer to source out local fresh ingredients and balance the acidity. With the dawn of the new golden age of the cocktail, consumers have grown out of their adolescence and are demanding acidic adult cocktails. And like many adults we have traded in our evening bowl of ice cream for a cheese plate with membrillo.
What you may not know is that the ice cream industry is going through its own revolution. Ice cream makers are creating some very creative flavors that any respectable mixologist would begrudgingly approve. Take Neal Gottlieb at Three Twins Ice Cream (www.threetwinsicecream.com) for example, he is creating flavors like Sea Salted Caramel, Lemon Cookie, Balsamic Strawberry and my personal favorite, Dad’s Cardamom. He is using cane sugar and other natural ingredients to make some of the most innovative and delicious ice creams in the world. Combine these flavors with Cognac, Gin, Aged Tequilas, Mezcals, Whiskies and Piscos and you have some extremely tasty drinks that any pastry chef would be proud to serve as their signature dessert.
Still not convinced? Here is a simple recipe that I created for the American Airlines “American Way” in-flight magazine. Give it a try and tell me your thoughts:
Don Julio’s Three Twins
1 ¼ oz. Don Julio Anejo Tequlia
¼ oz. Pedro Ximenez Sherry
1 ½ oz. Melted Three Twins Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream
¼ oz. Agave Nectar
½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Glassware: Small Cocktail Coup
Garnish: Rim inside of glass with thick aged Sherry Balsamic Vinegar (15 yrs+); add one strawberry on rim dipped in agave nectar and chipotle chili powder.
Method: Ganish Glass, add all ingredients to mixing glass with big ice cubes, shake vigorously and double strain.
Btw, this philosophy applies to sherbets, sorbets and gelatos as well. So mixologist… you heard it here first. The ice cream cocktail is coming back and I predict that with so many sweet teeth in the world, there will be better Daaz ahead.

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