Ice cream or a cocktail? No need to choose with these boozy ice cream drinks

Try "The Float" at NIOS.
Try “The Float” at NIOS.

In the height of summer, sometimes you can’t decide whether your afternoon treat will be ice cream or a crisp, white cocktail. Happily, you don’t have to choose. Many places in the city offer ice cream cocktails, and we’ve included our favorites below. This month is National Ice Cream Month, so grab a glass – and maybe a spoon – and dig in.

At NIOS in the Theater District, the wine bar is veering away from grapes to offer a spinoff on a root beer float. The Float, a combination of Bulleit Rye, Guinness and vanilla ice cream, will be included in the cocktail menu through the end of July as a nod to both National Ice Cream Day, which was Sunday, and this month’s honor of National Ice Cream Month. The drink substitutes the darker beer of Guinness for an unusual twist on the classic.

Brit bartender Richard Woods, who is also head of the cocktails and spirits program at Samba Brands Management restaurant – including NYC’s Sushi Samba — splits his time between traveling to different continents to train new mixologists and creating innovative cocktails at London’s Duck & Waffle. One of his latest, the Wasabi Collins, combines gin, lemon juice, elderflower liquor, simple syrup and a house-made wasabi sorbet crafted with celery and apple. Served in a glass over ice and topped with fresh mint, it’s a fresh-tasting cocktail, even for those who might say no to wasabi.

Swing by The Fourth, right off of Union Square, for dessert next time you’re in the area for dinner, or eat first at the brasserie — options vary from a burger to leg of lamb. Their Fullers Dark Ale Ice Cream is made with Fuller’s Beer from the London brewery. Along with the brew, it has salted caramel, ginger, pistachio, amaretto and a cherry. The boozy ice cream is served with their lemon tart dessert.

At Pescatore, the Italian restaurant’s chefs are aware that sometimes in summer, you’re craving something sweet and tart but want it delivered in a martini glass. They offer a seasonal cocktail to fit this exact need: Their martini combines Sobieski vodka and a Campari sorbet, paired with cranberry juice and prosecco.

Slide, on Bleecker Street, hosts a whole menu of spiked shakes. Options include Peanut Punch, with Captain Morgan Spiced rum, peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter itself and whipped cream, or a Sweet Home Alabama, which mixes butter pecan ice cream, Jim Bean bourbon candied pecans and whipped cream. For those really wanting to curse the calories, the mmmm Bacon has vanilla ice cream, maple, bacon fat, bourbon and – a sweet topping – cinnamon sugar.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison


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