I tried getting a buzz from boujee, boozy ice cream
Ice cream is in Melissa Tavss’ blood, and now she’s making a living with Tipsy Scoop, a line of liquor-infused ice cream with a cute NYC storefront to go with it.
When her ancestors relocated from Italy to Scotland in the 1800s, their gelato carts were in tow.
“I was always interested in ice cream after hearing those stories” she says. The addition of alcohol came later. “I initially added alcohol to soften my homemade ice cream recipes. But from there, thought it would be so cool if the ice cream actually held alcohol content, so [I] started experimenting with actually tipsy flavors next!”
The end result is Tipsy Scoop, a self-proclaimed ice cream “Barlour” located on 26th street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. The store, which opened in May, is often found with lines out the door. “Our ice cream Barlour is a perfect combination of the two favorite treats and we believe pays homage to a nostalgic treat, but all grown up” says Tavss. They’re not playing around. You even have to verify your age to enter the website because – and this might be the best part – they ship their pints nationwide.
Alcohol in ice cream isn’t necessarily new – hello frosé! – But Tavss’ flavors are more than a slushy buzz or a kitschy wine-flavored Popsicle. Flavors include “Maple Bacon Bourbon,” “Dark Chocolate Whisky Salted Caramel” — the most popular flavor since their opening this past May — and “Red Velvet Martini.” But if you’re worried about racking up the calories, sorbet flavors are of the raspberry Limoncello and strawberry white sangria variety.
It was national tequila day by the time I actually entered TipsyScoop to meet Tavss in person and try some of the flavors for myself. Due to the holiday, Patron had sponsored 200 free cups of their tequila hot chocolate flavor, so that was obviously a must-try. It was rich and creamy and tasted identical to the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipidity 3, but I caught none of the alcohol flavor for which the store is known.
“Two cups of ice cream is the equivalent to one light beer” says Melissa. “But there is a high enough percentage in each cup that we do have to I.D everyone before serving them.” For the price of one scoop of ice cream – $4.50 – you could buy an entire pint of Haagan Dasz Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Don’t try eating the entire pint, though.
“You’ll probably get sick before you get drunk ,” says Tavss. “It’s all about how much ice cream you can eat.”
Their mango margarita sorbet flavor was refreshing and packed with flavor. The strawberry rhubarb bourbon flavor was surprisingly light despite having such a heavy, warm, alcohol inside. The latter was actually my favorite of the handful that I tried.
I stand conflicted with TipsyScoop. While I enjoyed myself and liked the flavors, I didn’t quite get tipsy. But maybe it’s not meant for me and my college budget (or booze tolerance). And obviously, business is booming so maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t get it.
You can visit Tipsy Scoop’s Ice Cream Barlour at 217 East 26th Street (between 2nd and 3rd avenues).