This summer there are more new small batch, locally made pints than we could shake a spoon at. So we made the ultimate sacrifice and tasted them all to bring you the ones not to be missed. Whiskey sundae, anyone? By Laura Li, REDBOOK.
Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Jeni's 1. Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Jeni's
Based in Ohio, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams has won national acclaim for its wondrous concoctions. The cherries give this ice cream a nice bit of tartness, while the goat cheese provides an intense creaminess without being overpowering - this is as comfort-food as ice cream gets.
2. Bourbon Burnt Sugar, High Road
Just as yummy as it sounds, the burnt sugar and bourbon meld into ice cream that tastes just like crème brûlée.
3. Strawberry Honey Balsamic With Black Pepper, Salt & Straw
The Portland-based shop sources local Oregon strawberries and honey to create an ice cream that is both sweet and tart. The addition of vinegar and pepper is a pleasant twist on a classic flavor.
4. Tennessee Whiskey, L.A. Creamery
L.A. Creamery takes its alcoholic ice creams very seriously. Tennessee Whiskey, which tastes like Southern hard sauce, is so boozy that you have to be 21 years old to order it.
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5. I Love Bacon, Sweet Republic
Carnivores, rejoice! The bacon craze has found its way into the frozen dessert aisle, and the I Love Bacon pint is a satisfying blend of salty and sweet with bits of bacon brittle scattered throughout.
6. Scharffen Berger Black Raspberry Chip, Dr. Bob's
Anyone who spent their childhood chomping on fruit-yogurt popsicles will revel in the tart creaminess of this ice cream. The Scharffen Berger chocolate chips add a pleasant, crunchy texture and dark flavor to the berry base.
7. Salty Caramel, Steve's
Steve's was the overwhelming office favorite among hoards of salted caramel offerings. With just the right amount of salt in a creamy caramel with caramel swirl, this classic flavor from the Brooklyn-based shop comes highly recommended.
8. Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Graeter's
Made with fresh Oregon-grown berries, this ice cream features a muted raspberry flavor that complements the rich chocolate chunks within - the product is an irresistible treat that is smooth and satisfying.
9. Coconut, Adirondack Creamery
Palm trees definitely don't grow in the Upstate New York-based Adirondack Creamery, but this ice cream is fresh enough to transport your palate to the tropics. Little bits of coconut add a satisfyingly chewy texture to the creamy, clean and refreshing base.
10. Banana Whama, Phin & Phebes
Fans of banana cream pudding will love this ice cream from Brooklyn-based Phin & Phebes, which blends ripe banana flavor with vanilla wafers for a creamy treat.
11. Lick The Bowl Cake Batter, Capannari
Cake and ice cream are two of the best desserts ever, so combining them is bound to produce amazing results. The gooey texture and frosting-like taste really does evoke memories of sneaking nibbles of cake batter while baking.
12. Brown Butter Pecan, L.A. Creamery
The organic dairy ingredients in this ice cream lend it a light and fluffy texture with a creamy finish. The brown butter is yummy without being too sweet, and the pecan pieces add a delicate crunch.
13. Cherries Moobilee, Moomers
The Michigan-based creamery produces all of its dairy in-house, and boasts a menu of more than 100 flavors. A spectacular take on the Queen's dessert, Cherries Moobilee features big, ripe fruit pieces that complement the creamy cherry ice cream and soft brownie bits.
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14. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Three Twins
Riffing on one of the most perfect flavor combinations known to man, this ice cream contains the perfect balance of chocolate and peanut butter. The organic ingredients form an indulgent base for the chocolate peanut butter cups sprinkled throughout.
15. Blackberry (MORA), Mora Iced Creamery
For its namesake flavor, Mora Iced Creamery uses local wild blackberries grown on Bainbridge Island near Seattle to create an ice cream with genuine berry flavor and a wonderfully soft, mousse-like texture.
16. Ginger Cookie Snap, Phin & Phebes
This pint combines a zesty ginger base with ginger cookies and lemon icing. The result is a cool, clean flavor that, according to one tester, is "like having milk and gingersnap cookies."
17. High Peak Coffee Bean, Adirondack Creamery
Coffee aficionados will undoubtedly savor the strong flavors in this pint, which taste just like chocolate-covered espresso beans. One serving, flecked with freshly ground aromatic beans, is sure to wake you up.
18. Scharffen Berger Really Dark Chocolate, Dr. Bob's
Dr. Bob doesn't hold back on intense flavors, and the use of Scharffen Berger chocolate is testament to that. The Really Dark Chocolate lives up to its name - it has an excellent, deep flavor guaranteed to satisfy chocolate-maniacs.
19. Elena's Blueberry Pie, Graeter's
This flavor was concocted for The Cure Starts Now Foundation and was named for a little girl who lost her fight to cancer. True to her favorite dessert, this flavor tastes exactly like pie à la mode, with juicy blueberries and big pie-crust chunks. The result is a super-indulgent dessert that continues to benefit the charity.
20. Basil Lime Sorbet, Sweet Republic
Like summer in a carton, Arizona-based Sweet Republic's Basil Lime Sorbet is a refreshing blend of two complementary flavors that make for the perfect end to a big meal or a hot day.
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21. Hibiscus Ginger, High Road
Atlanta-based High Road offers a creative infusion of hibiscus tea, agave and ginger juice to produce a sweet, almost fruity sorbet with notes of ginger.
22. Pistachio & Honey, Jeni's
This flavor leads with the salty, nutty taste of pistachios, only to be followed by the mellow ambrosial Ohio honey. The unusual flavor combination is guaranteed to have you dipping your spoon to try more - and more.
23. Cupcake, Moomers
This rainbow-specked ice cream immediately conjures images of childhood birthday parties, and the cupcake chunks within caused one tester to rave, "If I could live off this for the rest of my life, I would!"
24. 10-Year Aged Madagascar Vanilla, Capannari
Hailed as our office's favorite interpretation of the ice cream staple, the delightfully creamy and sweet vanilla is a flawless representation of a classic flavor.
25. Sabayon, Mora Iced Creamery
Sabayon is traditionally made with sweet wine, sugar and egg yolks, and Mora does the Italian dessert justice with the luxurious taste of Marsala wine custard. "Tastes expensive," enthused one tester.
26. Chocolate Malt, Three Twins
Northern-California-based Three Twins managed to create an ice cream that gets better as it melts. Chocolate Malt tastes just like the old-fashioned milkshake that brings all the boys - and girls - to the yard for a scoop.
27. Arbequina Olive Oil, Salt & Straw
Ice cream as a non-dessert? This flavor certainly raises the possibility. The richness and saltiness of Arbequina olives shine through, making this ice cream easy to pair with either a savory or sweet topping.
28. Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Phin & Phebes
Vietnamese iced coffee is traditionally made with a French press over condensed milk, and this ice cream hits the mark with a strong coffee flavor and thickly sweet aftertaste, rounded out with hints of chicory and cardamom.
29. Blackberry Honey, Steve's
The flavor pairing is an unusual one, but the prominent wildflower honey and sorbet-like texture makes this a refreshing warm-weather treat.
30. Dulce De Leche BA, Mora Iced Creamery
The Argentinean-imported dulce de leche in this pint truly stands out - the ice cream is incredibly creamy with a deeply sweet caramel flavor.
31. Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream, Bubbies
A round morsel of delicately flavored green tea ice cream is contained inside a supple layer of rice cake. This confection, made in faraway Hawaii, is a marvelous, pillow-y Japanese dessert.
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