OF ALL THE national food holidays, ice cream day is probably the most important if you live in sweltering Texas. President Reagan gets the credit for making it official in 1984 when he designated July as National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. Scoop up these mouthwatering specials while it’s hot!
Craft's mini-scoops (photo by Dominique McGhee)
This local ice cream outpost encourages ice cream lovers to start the celebration with a scoop of Bastani — its unique version of Persian ice cream made with rose water, saffron and pistachios. If you can’t decide which flavor to try, consider an ice cream flight of seven mini-scoops. Love wine just as much as ice cream? Chef Steve’s wine-and-ice-cream dinner is Aug. 15 and 16.
Chocolate soft-serve with peanut-butter whiskey (photo by Duc Hoang)
Through Labor Day Weekend, the fun hotel resto is featuring soft-serve happy-hour daily from 4-7pm. Flavor options include chocolate, vanilla, watermelon and strawberry ($5 each). Or kick it up adult style with chocolate soft-serve and peanut-butter whiskey, or watermelon and Limoncello ($9 each).
Peaches and Cheesecake waffle cone (photo by Caroline Fontenot)
New summer additions to the chef-driven dessert menu include cookies’n’cream served in a waffle chocolate cone with chocolate drizzles, and the peaches-and-cheesecake ice cream waffle cone crowned with fresh peaches, cheesecake crumbles and whipped cream. Or splurge on the Baked Alaska for two made with pecan-whiskey ice cream and strawberry jam.
The latest seasonal flavors are inspired by the taste of summer and backed by serious star power. The Brooklyn-based ice cream shop is scooping BIGFACE coffee affogato created in partnership with Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler, and vegan strawberry sumac sorbet, a tangy treat from YouTube sensation Gigi Gorgeous. Sample these and other luscious flavors including fave Blueberry Shortcake at any Houston location. Can’t make it to the shop? Find these five new flavors at Walmart: Grey Poupon with salted pretzels, Campfire S’mores, Summer Peach Crisp, Honey Cornbread with strawberry jam, and Espresso Fior di Latte Chip.
This national brand peppered around town features drool-worthy flavors that mimic restaurant desserts — think mango cheesecake; goat cheese and cherries; wild berry lavender; raspberry rose jelly donut, and more. Just released summer flavors include sweet cream biscuits and peach jam, watermelon taffy, and golden nectar ice cream.
Frohzen at Cafe Leonelli (photo by Emily Chan)
A summer day at the Museum of Fine Arts isn’t complete without popping in to Café Leonelli for a chilly treat. Popular flavors now include salted caramel, coconut ice cream, and mango passion sorbet. Also expect novelties like artful ice cream sandwiches and frozen pops.
This Austin-born sweet shop wows with real-deal Italian gelato — more than a dozen flavors daily, along with seasonal scoops and ice cream sandwiches. Making their summer debut are refreshing watermelon sorbet and the ricotta-honey-pistachio gelato. Yum!
Photo by Chuck Cook
Paws up for Heights’ favorite scoops crafted with hyper-local ingredients, like milk chocolate ice cream made with Convict Hill oatmeal stout. Every day in July is like Sundae with warm peach cobbler, two ice cream scoops, pecan streusel and peach caramel — have your pie and ice cream, too! Note that Fat Cat recently opened a second shop in Garden Oaks.
Miso-banana-brownie-caramel ice cream (photo courtesy of Instagram)
Owner Josh DeLeon is churning out inventive desserts that will make junk-food junkies melt. His ice cream flavors are posted on Instagram weekly and can be picked up at his drive-through window in Montrose — but he sells out quickly. Viral creations include Frosted Flakes and blueberry compote; graham-cracker-infused ice cream with vanilla bean marshmallow fluff and chocolate ganache chunks; and salted brûlée ice cream with miso caramel and chopped brownies.
Photo by Lauren Marek
Handmade frozen custard made from all-local ingredients is the star of this recently debuted scoop shop in the M-K-T Heights multi-use development. Its new peach-tomato-leaf frozen custard is made with peach jam, saltine crumb and a tomato-leaf base — a true taste of summer picked fresh off the vine! Cucumber shishito lime sorbet is another must-try.
The Woodlands Resort restaurant is blending up peaches-and-cream milkshakes with a boozy twist. Made with a peach sauce and brown sugar syrup, the Sazerac rye whiskey-infused milkshake is topped with a brûlée Texas peach and served with a fresh-baked peach pie on the side ($14).
Here’s a special summer steal: Buy two pints of homemade ice cream and get one free through July! Exotic flavors include Ube made from purple yam; Pandan creamy custard fragrant with vanilla and curry powder sprinkle, and creamy Durian for fans of the Malaysian fruit ($7-$8).
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