New York’s first boozy ice cream parlor debuts holiday sundaes


Brick walls, a neon sign and a couple of bar stools in a 300-square-foot space at 217 E 26th St. make up Tipsy Scoop, New York’s first boozy ice cream parlor. The small shop would be easy to miss if one did not look carefully, but its size is no big deal for Melissa Tavss, the founder of Tipsy Scoop, who says the shop sees around 500 people over just the weekend. Three years ago, Tavss launched Tipsy Scoop primarily to cater events with her homemade recipes. “The inspiration came from some of my favorite cocktails, ” Tavss said of her unique recipes. “My favorite is the Cake Batter Martini.”

Tipsy Scoop, located just a short walk from Baruch College, opened its doors to intrigued customers this past May. Fusing a bar theme with an ice cream store, the “barlour,” as it is also called, looks like anything but a typical ice cream shop. Tavss runs Tipsy Scoop with about 15 staff members who work between the company’s production facility in East Harlem and the parlor in Kips Bay.

Tipsy Scoop’s menu consists of flavors such as Spiked Hazelnut Coffee, Red Velvet Martini, Vanilla Bean Bourbon and Strawberry White Sangria Sorbet. The flavors taste just as good as they sound. All of the flavors are just below 5 percent alcohol by volume, which can be compared to a light beer and an ID is required to purchase the ice cream. The flavors can also be found in supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Morton Williams. Additionally, Tipsy Scoop hosts free tastings at supermarkets and food markets.

Raspberry Limoncello Sorbet, Mango Margarita Sorbet, Spiked Mint Chocolate and Tequila Mexican “Hot” Chocolate are some of the most popular classic flavors. These flavors, among others, are part of the ‘Flight of 4,’ which is a set of four shot glasses with a scoop of any flavor in each, topped with a thin coating of chocolate and sprinkles around the rim. The ‘Flight of 4’ costs $11, but is $8 during happy hour between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The Raspberry Limoncello Sorbet tastes a lot like raspberry lemonade with a slightly watery consistency and has barely any taste of alcohol, making it the perfect treat for a hot summer day. The Mango Margarita Sorbet is a delight for margarita lovers, as it tastes exactly like a mango margarita, with the alcohol being more prevalent in this flavor than in the Raspberry Limoncello. All of the sorbets Tipsy Scoop offers are completely dairy-free and vegan, a perfect option for those who are lactose intolerant.

Perfectly minty and perfectly spiked, the Spiked Mint Chocolate Chip leaves the taste buds tingling for more. The Mexican “Hot” Chocolate flavor is a chocolate lover’s dream, as it is rich and creamy with just the right kick of the taste of tequila. The parlor also offers boozy ice cream sandwiches and cone bowls, along with seasonal flavors.

Tavss is ready to kick off the holiday season with six new limited edition boozy ice creams and sorbets. They are available in stores and for nationwide shipping via The six limited edition seasonal flavors are Candy Cane Vodka Martini, Santa’s Cookies & Whiskey, Blood Orange Champagne Sparkler, Drunken Gingerbread Man, Spiced Eggnog and Boozy Bananas Foster.

Candy Cane Vodka Martini is ice cream infused with candy cane-flavored vodka, bejeweled with bits of peppermint candy. Santa’s Cookies & Whiskey is made of whiskey-infused ice cream blended with cookie crumbles. Blood Orange Champagne Sparkler is a sweet and tangy bubbly based sorbet, while Drunken Gingerbread Man contains gingerbread ice cream that is infused with vanilla vodka and coffee liqueur.

Spiced Eggnog is brandy-infused ice cream spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, whereas Boozy Bananas Foster infuses banana ice cream with spiced rum and crème de banana, topping it with brown sugar. All of the seasonal holiday flavors are available by the pint, scoop and as options for a flight.

The holiday sundaes, priced at $8.25, are set to make their debut in the parlor on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the setting of a tropical Christmas theme. “I chose a tropical Christmas theme because of the demand of summer flavors even when it’s cold… so I figured why not make the theme tropical and have snow in the background too?” said Tavss.

One of the holiday sundaes, the Candy Cane Vodka Martini Sundae, consists of a chocolate hazelnult cone bowl, scoops of Candy Cane Vodka Martini ice cream infused with cake flavored vodka and candy canes topped with white chocolate covered pretzels, snowcaps and chocolate olives that are really just almonds. Another sundae is made of two scoops of Vanilla Bean Bourbon ice cream that are made into a snowman that is made with gummy cherries, snowcaps and pocky sticks.

With the popularity of many of the flavors, the parlor sometimes sells out of certain flavors. According to Tavss, the parlor gets deliveries about four times a week from the production facility and she is working on limiting the occasions on which certain flavors sell out.

Tipsy Scoop is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between noon and 10 p.m. and Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 11 p.m. The parlor is closed on Mondays.