Cider continues to be one of the fastest-growing craft drinks in the country. Its appeal is obvious: It’s sweet, oftentimes tasting more like soda than beer, and the apple-derived alcohol goes down easy and gets you lifted. I have remained skeptical, keeping cider at a distance for years, even as Old World styles — typically more tart and less cloying — have infiltrated the market. But this weekend, the folks of Downeast Cider team up with Tipsy Scoop for a collaboration that just might make me a convert. Hard Honey and Cinnamon Ice Cream is here. It’s real. And it’ll get you drunk. How could it not be our “beer” of the week?
The frozen confection, boasting a 5 percent ABV, was crafted out of Downeast’s Hard Honey Cider, which fuses apples with orange-blossom honey for a lightly floral flavor slightly spiced with the addition of coriander and citrus zest. To complement these notes, Tipsy Scoop fortified the drink with a backbone of cinnamon and cow’s milk. Because, why not? The Manhattan-based ice cream caterers specialize in liquor-infused scoops, with popular flavors like dark-chocolate whiskey-salted caramel and mango margarita sorbet. This marks the maker’s first foray into cider.
Trekking down from Charlestown (Boston), Downeast has yet to offer its products in the New York market. The collaborative effort with Tipsy Scoop debuts at the NYC Craft Beer Festival, which runs tonight and tomorrow at the Lexington Avenue Armory. Beyond that, curious palates can hope to procure a taste at Tipsy Scoop when the brand secures a brick-and-mortar location in the near future.
Although I’ll surely remain wary of the cider trend, Hard Honey and Cinnamon is a union I can really sink my teeth into. And in bringing together booze and ice cream, Tipsy Scoop deserves more than a toast — it’s earned my undying gratitude.