Jul 29, 2021 - Economy

More startups are offering boozy desserts

Illustration of soft serve being poured out of a wine bottle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Eating ice cream on a hot summer day is one of the simplest pleasures in life. For those 21 and older, adding a little bit of booze might make it even better.

The big picture: Several startup companies across the country are infusing alcohol into delicious frozen desserts, creating one of this summer's hottest trends, Bloomberg reports

  • Some states, including New York and California, allow alcoholic ice cream to reach 5% alcohol by volume (ABV) — the same alcohol percentage as a White Claw Hard Seltzer and a Truly Hard Seltzer.

The intrigue: Alcohol freezes at a much colder temperature than water, giving ice cream a much softer consistency — you do not have to wait to eat it after taking it out of the freezer.

By the numbers: The total revenue for alcohol-infused ice cream is expected to reach more than $450 million by 2025, after it exceeded $335 million in 2019, per Bloomberg.

In New York, Tipsy Scoop — which entered the international ice cream market, valued at $65.8 billion in 2020, a few years back — requires that customers verify that they are 21 or older to try their flavors, such as Cake Batter vodka Martini and Tequila "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream.

  • Founder Melissa Tavss told Bloomberg that her customer base is comprised of largely "the 30-ish crowd," adults in search of a light buzz.

Clementine's Naughty & Nice Creamery in Missouri offers ice cream flavors that can reach 18% alcohol by weight, according to Bloomberg.

  • "Too little alcohol — what’s the point?," CEO Tamara Keefe told Bloomberg.

As alcohol-infused desserts continue to gain popularity, alcohol companies have started to venture into the business.

  • The makers of Truly Hard Seltzer created Truly Lemonade Freeze Pops, which contain 5% ABV. Flavors range from regular lemonade to strawberry and mango lemonade.

Together, they work better: Some ice cream companies have started working along alcohol brands in order to offer frozen boozy desserts.

  • OddFellows Ice Cream Co. — known for its unique creations — partnered with six bars to create "The Boozy Capsule" collection, six ice cream flavors inspired by cocktails.
  • Ice cream maker Salt & Straw, based in Oregon, created the Cold Ones Pack, which includes several ice cream pints flavored by local breweries. The company's products reach an ABV of 0.5%.
    • In 2016, the company partnered with Aviation American Gin — owned partly by actor Ryan Reynolds — to make a gin-and-tonic ice cream.

Of note: Will Rogers, owner of the company Below Zero, created a special ice cream dispenser that allows you to turn alcoholic beverages into ice cream cones, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The bottom line: Don't choose between treating yourself or getting tipsy, get "chocolate wasted" this summer.

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