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From gourmet ice pop to ice cream cocktails, these frozen treats will delight

Time:2018-05-31 13:25wine - Red wine life health Click:

Delight will These cocktails Cream

The boutique ice cream business is booming. But Shira Gold has mined an idea for more unusual summertime treats: gourmet ice pops.

This month, Gold opened a Jamaica Plain storefront (3213 Washington St.; wildpopsusa.com) for “Wild Pops,” her refreshing line of small-batch licks available in flavors such as pink lemonade, spicy pineapple, dark Belgian chocolate, avocado and tamarind Thai chili. It’s the first brick-and-mortar for a brand she’s been slowly growing over the past year or so, selling through farmers markets, a few local restaurants and as a concession at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre. She’s also established a successful catering arm, creating custom ice pops for everything from corporate outings to weddings and Sweet Sixteen parties.

Gold got the idea for her ice pop while living in Los Angeles. Inspired by unique herbal teas prepared by a West Coast friend’s mother, she imagined making frozen versions — and set out experimenting with different flavor combinations.

She also emphasized a level of quality you don’t generally find in mass-produced pops. Gold hand-cuts and cooks down sweet fruits, like strawberries, to yield richer tastes than a simple puree would. The results are molded, frozen and stuck with sticks, yielding luscious, dense treats that (since they’re more substantive than conventional glamorized ice cubes) don’t melt so much as they do warm to room temperature. These are longer-lasting pops with layers of flavor.

Since Gold moved back to her native Boston, where she launched her burgeoning business with an assist from supportive family, she has been overwhelmed with praise for her gourmet takes on ice pops. Looking to the future, she plans to build up the wholesale side of her business and develop new varieties like matcha tea pops and seasonal New England flavors like maple walnut and pumpkin pie.

“People here eat cold treats all year long,” said Gold. “It feels nice to be back in Boston. These are my people. We speak the same language.”

New City Micro­creamery is a scoop shop with a secret.

If in-the-know guests head to the rear of this bright and cheery ice cream parlor in quaint downtown Hudson (28 Main St.), they’ll find an unmarked door with a covered window. Flip the nearby light switch, wait patiently, and the shutters will open to reveal a dapper staff member who speaks in hushed tones, unlatches the door, and ushers you into a dim, swanky speakeasy-style bar. Post-drink, visitors leave through an exit-­only second door disguised as the façade of a faux cobbler shop.

This complementary cocktail lounge inside a former shoe store, now dubbed Less Than Greater Than, is quite the cool curiosity from its ice cream-serving team. But it’s no gimmicky afterthought: Guests get to nosh on polished Asian-inflected entrees, like ramen in roasted corn broth, and enjoy top-shelf tipples like the Charlie Chaplin, sloe gin with lime and apricot liqueur.

They can also indulge in the best of both businesses’ worlds. A “Spirits & Cream” menu offers boozy ice cream concoctions such as the Frozen Old Fashioned, a vanilla base spiked with bourbon and Angostura and orange bitters, and the Berries & Cream, a sweet cream scoop trussed up with raspberry, strawberry and blackberry liqueurs.

It’s an unapologetically adult way to experience New City’s exceptional ice creams, available on the parlor side in a host of classic flavors plus more inventive iterations like lemon poppy seed, baklava and chai almond. The scratch-made stuff uses milk from Mapleline Farm, a century-old family farm in nearby Hadley, and uses a pioneering flash freezing process with liquid nitrogen that minimized the presence of chalky ice crystals and results in a silkier, smoother ice cream consistency.

Right now, the ice cream is available exclusively at New City and, in bite-sized “micro-cone” formats at Rail Trail Flatbread, its sibling artisanal pizza restaurant across the street. But New City, which launched in Hudson in May 2015, plans to open a pop-up location in the Boston area this summer, says co-founder Michael Kasseris. That spot will be sans speakeasy, but the Hudson location continues to see its popularity grow through word of mouth. “It’s a very different business model,” said Kasseris. “I’d stack up our cocktails against those you’d find anywhere else.” newcity microcreamery.com.

Three local ice creams to try this summer:

Vice Cream. Founded by cancer survivor Dan Schorr, this Boston-based ice cream, available in sinful flavors like L’Orange a Trois (orange-rippled vanilla with a “three-way” of dark, white and milk chocolate chips), will support ongoing research at the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl, an annual all-you-can-eat ice cream festival on City Hall Plaza June 5-7.

Crescent Ridge. In time for summer birthdays, Sharon-based Crescent Ridge just launched handmade ice cream cakes out of its stall in Boston Public Market. The family-owned outfit, launched in 1932 out of a Chevy milk truck, already serves robust flavors such as the Black Bear: raspberry ice cream with chocolate-covered raspberry truffles.

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