If popsicles, shaved ice and all those other icy treats make you think of adorable little kids lined up at cheesy sidewalk stands, you live in the distant past. These days, it's hard to find a frozen dessert that's not spiked with some sort of booze. And it's probably served in a schmancy dining room or rooftop bar. Need proof? Here's a handy list for those days when the best escape is a dessert that doubles as your cocktail.
PS 7's (Washington, DC)
This fun-loving DC restaurant is renowned for its cocktails that sometimes appear in unexpected places, like the "Halibut Gin & Tonic" on the dinner menu. Likewise, pastry chef Lauren Whitledge is a pro at creating seasonal Boozy Rum Snow Cones with a choice of two housemade syrups (the rotating list includes strawberry, passion fruit and mango). She also makes the brilliantly named Choose-A-fogato: A mix of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and espresso with your choice of liqueur: Grand Marnier, Kahlua or Frangelico.
Coolhaus (Locations in L.A., New York City, Miami, Dallas and Austin)
The hip ice cream sandwich vendor likes to describe their product as a "cool house - an ice cream sandwich deconstructed into a cookie roof and floor slab with ice cream walls." Their booze-laced ice cream list is long: Gin & Tonic (gin with elderflower-and-lime ice cream, which they recommend with their Snickerdoodle cookies); Chocolate Chipotle with Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce; Maker's Mark (the rotating flavor is sponsored by Maker's Mark and always includes the brand's bourbon - past selections include bourbon pecan pie and mint julep ice creams); and Blueberry Mojito. Something to note if you want to be the parent of the kid running around with a Bourbon Brown Butter-Candied Bacon ice cream sandwich, there's zero percent alcohol the ice cream. Yes, there's booze in it, but it gets cooked down to ensure proper freezing.
Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery (Seattle, Washington)
This new spot, from a chocolatier and a pastry chef, specializes in decadent take-and-bake molten chocolate cakes sold in little mason jars. And as of July, Hot Cakes has a new specialty: boozy milkshakes. Inaugural, alluring flavors for the vanilla ice cream-based drinks include Cold-Smoked Chocolate and Bourbon; Caramel, Salt and Mezcal; and Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberry with Light Rum. If you're not in Seattle to pick up a Hot Cakes milkshake, not to worry. Autumn Martin (the chocolatier) has just finished a cookbook featuring 60 malted milkshake recipes that will be published this winter. Hopefully some of them are spiked; if not, grab your favorite bottle and start experimenting.
Three Aces (Chicago)
This Little Italy spot describes itself as "the Italian countryside meets the American farmhouse...in Keith Richards's basement bar," so, you already love this place. On the bar bites menu, alongside duck fat fries with fennel pollen and pickled bacon and hen egg, the place offers boozy Italian ices in seasonal flavors. Currently the choices are Lemon & St. Germain (an elderflower liqueur), and Cucumber Ginger Gin.
Casa del Mar (Santa Monica, California)
Casa del Mar's mixologist goes to the local farmers market every single week. He uses the fruits and vegetables he finds there to create Adult Snow Cones, made with ice that's shaved fresh for each cone. You can go sweet or slightly savory in flavors that range from Strawberry Mint with Buffalo Trace Bourbon to Apple-Grape with Pisco to Tomato Caper with Horseradish and Reposado Tequila.
Rooftop 866 (Atlanta, Georgia)
What's the ultimate place to savor a boozy popsicle? That's right, a rooftop bar. Rooftop 866 has daily changing flavors, like Mojito and pineapple-mango rum, and basil-peach margarita (you could make that one part of a tasting, with the bar's signature rooftop shelf margarita). And these pops are only slightly more expensive than the non-boozy versions you can find: They're $4 each.