New York’s premier boozy ice cream brand Tipsy Scoop is finally opening an ice cream shop — just don’t forget your ID to enjoy it.
The cleverly named Barlour (a hybrid of ice cream parlour and bar) will open May 7 at 217 E. 26th St. in Gramercy, with hours from noon to 9 p.m. It’s the first storefront for Tipsy Scoop, the Harlem-based ice cream, gelato and sorbet brand that’s been popping up at NYC food markets and selling pints since 2012. Hot tip: The first 25 sweet-toothed lushes on opening day get their scoop for $1, and the first 50 will receive an #icecreamwasted tank top or tote.
“Brick-and-mortar really was not in our business plan at all,” says founder Melissa Tavss. But after videos of their ice cream started going viral on Facebook last fall, “people started showing up to our East Harlem production facility — which is very hard to find — in swarms, and just found us in there making ice cream.”
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The bar-like setting — Barlour will have an exposed brick wall, amber lighting and “rustic” serving area — is perfectly on theme, as all of Tipsy Scoop’s flavors begin with a cocktail or a pairing idea, like the whiskey and chocolate tastings Tavss did in her previous job as a marketing coordinator. There will be 15 in all, going up to 5 percent ABV and many of them as complex as anything you’ll find at a bar, like Cake Batter Vodka Martini (cake-flavored vodka, amaretto, chocolate liqueur) and Spiked Hazelnut Coffee (Cafe Patron, hazelnut liqueur, cold-brew coffee).
One special monthly flavor will highlight a particular wine or liquor; the first reimagines Patron's Margarita of the Year as ice cream (served in a special churro bowl!); next month is a play on the Aperol Spritz.
“Going into a crazy mixology bar can be a little bit intimidating, so we’re trying to keep it light,” she says, adding that you’ll likely to feel “a little warm” afterward, but that’s about it. “We're really using the liquor as an ingredient rather than as sort of gimmicky ‘Get drunk off ice cream!’”
After proving you’re 21+, you can get your Tipsy Scoop in a cup, cone bowl, as an ice cream sandwich with funfetti or chocolate chip cookies, cake (preorders recommended) and a flight of four flavors, served in shotglasses rimmed with chocolate ganache and rainbow sprinkles.
For the woefully underage, there are several virgin flavors (root beer float, Shirley Temple and pina colada). Toppings will be kept to a simple cherry and whipped cream, on request, and if you’ve got an idea for their next great flavor, feel free to suggest it — but you’ll be running up against science.
“Sometimes we have custom requests that really won't work,” because alcohol doesn’t freeze, says Tavss. “We try to be pretty honest about that, what would taste better as a sorbet vs. ice cream and what would highlight the liquor versus hide it.”
In other words, trust your Barlour-tender.