The UPS guy came a knocking and delivered unto me five, count them, FIVE pints of booze ice cream recently! Three flavors of Frozen Pints Craft Beer Ice Cream and two flavors of Ice Cream Bar liquor ice cream, sitting snugly in their little cooler looking all frosty and tempting. @FrozenPints and I had connected on Twitter and they volunteered (when their production caught up with demand) to send me some samples to taste and to use to create some fun cocktails. That was a few weeks ago and I had completely forgotten they were coming, then - BINGO - a booze and ice cream lovers dream!
The five pints arrived perfectly frozen, packed in their own cooler with dry ice. They were still frozen, not a sign of melting anywhere. And I live in Tucson and it's summer! Plus the handled cooler they came packed in is a cool little dividend. Sadly, I had to put them away, hard as it was, because I wanted time to give them a real taste test and to work out some recipes and, at that particular moment, I was immersed in Daiquiri week recipes.
BUT, naturally, first I grabbed a spoon and immediately tasted each one, even though it was only 10 a.m. I'm no fool, and who can resist boozy ice cream? I really could have polished a whole pint off then and there, but, sadly, I had to tuck them in the freezer. Man, that was hard. Yeah, okay, I kept sneaking back for little spoonfuls.
So, a few days later there I was with the (somewhat depleted) Frozen Pints and Ice Cream Bar goodies lined up in front of me and five dishes and spoons at hand ready to give serious attention to each flavor. Can I just say, I love my job?
REVIEW OF FROZEN PINTS & ICE CREAM BAR ICE CREAMS:
Ice Cream Bar BOURBON BUTTER PECAN
I made Homemade Toasted Walnut Infused Maple Bourbon and used up my entire first batch pouring it on ice cream so I immediately dug into this one! The first taste you get is the bourbon, which is what you want in bourbon ice cream, but then it mellows as the ice cream melts and the vanilla comes in and kisses your palate. The last burst of flavor is from the chunks of toasted pecans which combine their slight bitterness with the sweetness from the caramel for a really pleasant finish. Best use? Pour in 1 shot of good bourbon, half a shot of cold espresso and a scoop of this into a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes, shake hard, strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a dusting of espresso powder.
Ice Cream Bar WHITE RUSSIAN
Tastes like a really cold, really creamy White Russian. Best use? Grab a spoon.
Frozen Pints MALTED MILK CHOCOLATE STOUT
Tastes just like a chocolate malt then surprises you with the stout at the end. The malt is at the forefront, nice and creamy and sweet then the sweetness drops down with a little chocolate sliding in, then - bam! - that stout grabs your attention. It's sort of a roller coaster of tastes as you go from one spoonful to the next. Kind of fun. Best Use? Savor with a crisp chocolate wafer cookie or go full tilt boogie and do my Malted Milk Beer Float.
Frozen Pints BROWN ALE CHIP
This is the one I'd keep in the fridge all the time. Interestingly enough, I don't like chocolate chip ice creams, the chips are too large and they're so cold from the ice cream you don't get the full richness of the chocolate. Someone over at Frozen Pints is smart, they made the chips small so as the ice cream melted the chocolate started to melt and you got that dark chocolate hit on your tongue. The brown ale here was a nice tang at the end. Best use? Served up as my Chocolate Chip Beer Float!
Frozen Pints PEACH LAMBIC
Right off I wasn't in love, probably because I tasted this right after the White Russian Ice Cream, but on my second go 'round I felt like I was eating a very fresh peach sherbet with a twist of bitterness from the Belgian lambic that complemented the sweetness of the peaches and left a little zing on my tongue. Turns out this ended up my favorite of all, especially after adding Raspberry Ale and turning it into a Peach Melba Beer Ice Cream Float. Seriously, one of the best floats ever! Best use? That Peach Melba Float!
Overall I was really impressed with these alcoholic ice creams. Because of the alcohol they never freeze as solid as regular ice cream which is good because ice cream should never be eaten that cold. This means you can dig right in and fully experience the flavors. Interesting enough, they don't seem to melt any faster than non-alcoholic ice cream. The texture is creamy, smooth with no noticeable ice crystals and they're not whipped full of air for volume and, as a result, don't turn to foam in the mouth. (Cheap aerated ice creams are a particular pet peeve of mine.)
I'm not a huge beer drinker and if you would have told me a month ago I'd be not only creating but really enjoying beer ice cream and beer floats I would have looked at you crossways. But I'm a convert. You really can teach an old dog new tricks, especially if you use beer ice cream as a treat! As for the Bourbon and White Russian Ice Creams, all I can say is I'm glad these can't be found at my corner market (yet) or I'd probably end up pulling my fat pants out of storage.
(This is not a monitarily compensated post. I got free ice cream samples and I'm not complaining!)