The Scoop: On Ice Cream and Bourbon Revelations


[Photograph: Meredith Smith]

I've recently had two revelations regarding bourbon and ice cream. My sweet tooth is a little less pronounced than most, but when the dessert menu comes around, I gravitate towards the ice cream option. And that's exactly how I happened upon the first of the two revelations: the genius of a simple bourbon pour-over.

Mint sorbet was the scoop, and it came with just a splash of Kentucky bourbon. Being native to the country's bourbon making state, I appreciate a good julep, and this was the most straightforward and effective way I could imagine to turn that Derby cocktail into a dessert. Immediately I thought to myself, file this away under good hostess tricks. What better way to produce a last minute dinner party dessert, especially if after dinner drinks are to follow anyway? And there is no reason to limit the spirit to bourbon. I imagine great success could be met with brandy, rum, or any number of liqueurs. Matching a sorbet or ice cream with a drizzle of your preferred drink is a brilliant way to pull dessert out of thin air.

The second revelation came from order eavesdropping. Cambridge has a kitschy little all-day breakfast place (the original was in Portsmouth, NH) called the Friendly Toast. There's a bar as well, and it's exactly the kind of place where a bearded, bearish hipster in a My Morning Jacket T-shirt can belly up and order a bourbon milkshake. Whaa whaaaat!? Lightbulb moment! I actually turned to the man and said, "Did you just order a bourbon milkshake?" (He confirmed with a grunt.)

Apparently this is not something that they have on their menu, but among their "Hitchcocktails" are three spirit and ice cream combos (The Birds, Vertigo, and Rich and Strange). And they will let you add booze to any milkshake. Pro tip: Vanilla and Basil Hayden is a fine combination. So not every bar in America is going to have a milkshake maker and ice cream on hand, but maybe they should. And if the milkshake revolution doesn't follow the craft cocktail movement, then you can always go underground and start whipping these up at home.

About the author: Meredith Smith is the Slice editor. You can follow her on Twitter: @mertsmith.

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