It’s science: The only way to beat 90-degree heat is to eat a shit-ton of ice cream. Good news, then, that this summer brings cool new seasonal flavors like fresh corn, dirty mint julep, rhubarb, and Pea-Nut, which is made with sweet peas. Why stick to plain ol’ vanilla when you can eat Key-lime-pie-flavored goat’s-milk soft-serve topped with fruit from the Greenmarket? We’ve rounded up great ice-cream parlors, carts, and trucks that are experimenting with fresh flavors — acquaint yourself with the cones of summer 2013.
Citrus vanilla-bean gin sorbet isn’t for kids: The new flavor’s a collaboration with Bulldog gin. The ice-cream shop (and accompanying trucks) will also soon begin to serve salted caramel with Buffalo Trace bourbon, green tea, cucumber sorbet, and in July, mint verbena. Plus: Van Leeuwen recently launched vegan ice cream.
OddFellows Ice Cream
Sam Mason’s new ice-cream shop opens on Thursday, and he’s mixing things up by serving flavors like cornbread, chorizo caramel, and sprinkles. Get excited.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
The beloved parlor on Bayard Street is offering cherry pistachio, peaches and cream, dulce de leche, orange pineapple, and durian (a fruity flavor that’s popular in southeast Asia) for the summer. All taste great with red bean sauce and lychee topping.
This Park Slope shop recently made cherry blossom, and it sold out super quickly. If Sky can track down more cherry blossoms, it’ll remake the popular flavor, but you can definitely count on finding lavender, jackfruit, and dragon-fruit sorbets.
The Brooklyn-based company’s rolling out several new flavors: sea salt caramel, banana cookie crumble, strawberry lemonade sorbet, mango sorbet, horchata, and non-dairy-based coconut. Its blueberry flavor isn’t new — just seasonal — but its made out of wild blueberries from Maine, and it’s incredible.
Momofuku Milk Bar
Through August 1, Milk Bar’s offering a special soft-serve flavor at each of its locations. Yuzu cherrysicle, a riff on Creamsicle, is in Williamsburg; Carroll Gardens has blueberry pie, with fruit compote and buttery pie dough; Pea-Nut, a blend of sweet green pees, roasted almond, and salt, is in the East Village; midtown’s got miso butterscotch; and cherry doughnut is being served on the Upper West Side.
Ample Hills Creamery
This is the first season that Ample Hills is offering soft-serve — hooray! The two debut flavors are Bourbon, Straight Up (made with vanilla bean and Maker’s Mark) and Cinnamon Toast, which is inspired by actual sugary bread, not the cereal. Popcorn and salted-pretzel flavors are next up.
Sundaes and Cones
The old-fashioned East Village shop recently started serving lavender, chai tea, and salted caramel.
The Park Slope specialty-foods shop is super into seasonal flavors. You’ll find strawberry gelato, rhubarb sorbet, strawberry sorbet, and mint chocolate chip — with fresh mint.
Ice-cream sandwiches will now be stuffed with "Honeyhock," made with honey ice cream made with homemade honeycomb. It’s named after Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House in L.A., and a portion of proceeds are donated to the building. Other new flavors include Dirty Mint Julep, David Rocky-Road Well (Nutella meets rocky road), and Patron Xo Cafe Crunch. You don’t even have to run around chasing the truck: Coolhaus’s treats are now available at Whole Foods, FreshDirect, Fairway, and other markets.
This vegan ice-cream company, which has a booth at Smorgsasburg, is debuting lemonade (with strawberry purée) and blueberry-lemon-ginger. Expect a red plum and ginger flavor later on in the summer.
Emack & Bolio’s
Though salted caramel chocolate-covered pretzel and bananas foster aren’t quite seasonally driven, these new flavors are still damn good.
The Italian gelati chain’s flavor of the month is fior di latte, a classic flavor that comes with new toppings like fresh cherries and chocolate chips. Other specials include tiramisu, mint chocolate chip, and a torta Siciliana flavor made with sheep’s milk, pizzuta almonds, and candied citrus fruits. The seasonal fruit sorbets are limone, mango, fragola (fresh strawberry), lampone (fresh raspberry), and albicocca (fresh apricot).
L’Arte del Gelato
Grom’s biggest competition in the West Village is now serving fruity melon and lemon-orange flavors.
Je & Jo
The shop’s on 47th Street, but there’s a traveling Je & Jo tricycle that sells the awesome hybrids of ice cream and cookie dough. Today, it introduced local strawberry ice cream with honey-English-thyme shortbread cookie dough. Another new combination is Dark and Stormy ice cream paired with ginger-lime shortbread cookie dough.
Though it’s not offered yet, Strawberry is coming soon! And possibly toffee and black raspberry, too — the shop’s still testing out new flavors.
This stellar parlor specializes in making goat’s-milk soft-serve with fresh Greenmarket ingredients. A brand-new beet flavor with honey and floral and mastic notes will debut soon, and owing to high demand from customers, there will also be a Key-lime-pie flavor, with ingredients sourced from Lousiana. You can also expect apricot frozen yogurt and "In the Land of Carob and Honey."
Il Buco Alimentari
The restaurant’s about to debut an ice-cream cart, but is keeping quiet about details at the moment. Hopefully, it’ll include Il Buco’s newest homemade gelato flavors, passion fruit and cherry.
June’s custard calendar includes cherry chip (Mondays), buttery caramel cocoa nib (Tuesdays), fromage blanc raspberry swirl (Wednesdays for the win!), root beer freeze (Thursdays), and mud pie (Fridays). There are also a new frozen custard flavor, peach pecan.
The gelato cart in Washington Square is now stocked with strawberry-lemonade and Creamsicle. It goes pretty under-the-radar in the park; there’s rarely a line.
This is another restaurant that has an outside to-go cart. Cafe Cluny recently introduced orange blossom sherbet and green Chartreuse, and in the next week or so, it’s debuting Black Forest chocolate chunk, apricot cobbler, rhubarb, and tristar strawberry.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
The super-inventive Lower East Side shop recently began churning out fresh corn, buckwheat, cardamom, Turkish coffee, dark-chocolate almond, graham cracker, and cheesecake. Go for corn: It’s not as weird as it sounds.