Because you’re never too old to enjoy an ice cream sundae or a frosty milkshake, here are nine restaurants, dessert shops and ice cream parlors around the country that serve up adult twists on childhood favorites. From Guinness-and-Port-spiked ice cream sodas to rosé-infused scoops, we’ll all scream for ice cream all summer long.
Addison, San Diego
If your taste runs to ice cream floats in a fancy setting, look to the restaurant inside the Fairmont Grand Del Mar hotel. At Addison, Beverage & Wine Director Rafael Sanchez and head bartender Ian Ward make a point of including an elegant-but-boozy float when they change the menu each season. The current ice-cream float, called Å La Crème Glacée features sparkling rosé, Cognac, toasted coconut syrup and house-made strawberry ice cream.
Bub City, Rosemont, IL
On the outskirts of Chicago, this barbecue spot encourages visitors to spike their milkshakes. Try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana (chocolate ganache, banana, chocolate rim) with a shot of rum, or the Cookies n’ Cream (cream cheese frosting and Oreo cookie rim) dosed with Bourbon.
Hot Cakes, Seattle
Best known for molten chocolate cakes in mason jars, drinks are also part of the line-up at this Seattle dessert shop. Boozy milkshakes of your dreams include The Drunken Sailor (peanut butter, caramel, whiskey) and Laphroaig & Smoked Chocolate made with chocolate that’s cold smoked in-house using a specialized technique. Can’t get to Seattle? Hot Cakes lets you order their signature Old Overholt-spiked rye whiskey caramel online.
The Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain, San Francisco
Here, soda jerks working behind an Art Deco lunch counter serve up boozy “Remedies” from the soda fountain, including The Dublin Honey (Guinness stout, caramelized-honey ice cream, Valrhona chocolate syrup and a float of 10-year tawny Port) and Fortunato’s Reviver (amontillado Sherry, Carpano Antica, black walnuts and vanilla ice cream).
Jackrabbit, Portland, OR
This restaurant from chef Chris Cosentino has a summertime special called the Boozy Ice Cream Trio. On the list this season? Smoked Whiskey S’mores (smoked dark chocolate ice cream, smoked whiskey and toasted marshmallow swirl), the Drugstore Cowboy (ice cream with Chivas Regal blended Scotch, honey and sangria) and the Mojito (rum ice cream with lime and fresh mint).
Smitten Ice Cream, San Francisco; Smorgasburg, Los Angeles
Head to the Mission outpost of this Bay area chain of ice cream shops for a scoop of Sonoma Rosé. This limited-edition, wine-infused ice cream is made by Smitten with Scribe Winery’s Una Lou Rosé, in collaboration with Big Night Restaurant Group’s pastry queen Emily Luchetti. (The flavor also will be on the dessert menu of BNRG’s newly-opened Petit Marlowe.) In advance of the opening of an upcoming outpost in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood, Sonoma Rosé also will be available at Smorgasburg Los Angeles through Labor Day.
Tipsy Scoop, New York City
The online purveyor of liquor-infused ice cream has a new storefront in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, where you can stop by on sultry afternoons to order classic scoops like Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel and Strawberry White Sangria Sorbet, or a limited-edition Aperol Spritz ice cream sandwich.
Last Updated: May 4, 2023