Lonely Planet Writer

Get ‘buzzed’ about Tipsy Scoop, NYC’s first boozy ice cream parlour

When your sweet tooth needs satiating, but it’s also happy hour – this one-stop-shop has got you covered. Tipsy Scoop, a venture that blends New Yorker’s two favorite things (alcohol and trendy food) is one of those concepts which ignites the question, “why didn’t I think of that?”

You just can't lick it! Boozy ice cream shop opens in NYC
Time for a few scoops at New York’s boozy ice cream shop. Image by Getty Images

The premise is simple – spiked scoops inspired by popular cocktails – that pack an impressive 5% alcohol content. That’s more than what you will find in a bottle of light beer, and in case you were wondering, yes ID is required upon entering this ice cream ‘barlour’.

It’s safe to say that Melissa Tavvs, the brains behind the operation, has the sweet stuff running in her veins. The entrepreneur comes from a long line of distinguished ice cream purveyors. In fact, her Italian ancestors are credited with bringing gelato to Scotland in the 1800s, and her great grandfather even served as the president of the Ice Cream Alliance of Great Britain.

Tavvs has been serving liquor-infused dessert to the masses since 2012. Stocked at selected supermarkets across Manhattan, cartons of Tipsy Scoop were going down such a treat with customers that they were starting to turn up at the address on the label, only to find an industrial ice cream factory in Harlem. Opening a bricks and mortar location was, therefore, a no-brainer.

The newly opened Tipsy Scoop is located on East 26th Street, in the Kips Bay/Murray Hill area of Midtown Manhattan. It is not unusual to see lines forming at any given time of day, especially on Saturdays which is the busiest day according to the barlour’s attentive and cordial staff. The location is currently open until 10pm, with hopes to extend hours during the summer.

According to servers, the most in-demand flavor is the dark chocolate whiskey salted caramel option, with vanilla bean bourbon coming a close second. Although with delectable offerings such as tequila Mexican hot chocolate, spiked hazelnut coffee and mango margarita sorbet on the menu; you’ll have a hard time settling on your own personal favorite.

If you live outside of New York but your mouth is already watering, you will be pleased to learn that Tipsy Scoop delivers their delicious cargo to every state (even Hawaii!) in ice-packed pallets.

Tavvs seems to have her finger on the pulse of food trends, and knows that her creations are likely to end up on social media. Customers have the option to order four mini scoops of spiked ice cream which come in shot glasses dipped in edible chocolate and sprinkles. These samples are presented in a painted wooden paddle board and marked with small wooden flags which display slogans like #NewForkCity and #IceCreamWasted. Instagram bait if we ever saw it, and it seems to be working; there are already thousands of images geotagged with the newly minted location.

We’ll raise our cones to that!