So what if it’s cold out? In our world, ice cream season doesn’t exist because we can find an excuse to enjoy it any time of year. And it looks like the team behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has the same mentality, because they’ve developed a collection that perfectly encapsulates classic holiday flavors like gingerbread, sweet potato, and peppermint.
The new flavors are inspired by Midwestern holiday staples, like casseroles, eggnog, and buttercup pumpkins. Maybe making an ice cream that tastes just like sweet potato casserole sounds strange to you, but to Jeni Britton-Bauer, it makes perfect sense. Take a look at the full collection, and our thoughts on it, before it launches on October 31.
Eggnog is a polarizing beverage, and people who don’t particularly enjoy it were hesitant to try this flavor. However, the addition of Middle West Spirits whiskey and brilliantly incorporated spices, particularly nutmeg, won a few eggnog haters over. Boozy Eggnog’s base is delightfully warming and complex, with a nice distribution of spice and vanilla and caramel notes. You could say it’s dangerously comforting, especially since this flavor doesn’t simply taste like alcohol, it works like alcohol.
Gingerbread with Cognac
When Jeni’s says they’ve made cognac ice cream, they are not kidding around. This flavor is the booziest of the bunch, and, depending on your alcohol preference, it’ll make your head spin or heart sing. Those averse to sweetness will enjoy this, as the smoky cognac ice cream is nicely balanced out by pieces of gingerbread cake, butterscotch bits, and a brilliant dark caramel ripple.
Pumpkin Cake Roll
Compared to the other holiday flavors, Pumpkin Cake Roll felt a touch mild and lackluster. You have to dig around a little to find the cake and spiced sweet cheese, and several tasters wished the pumpkin flavor was more pronounced. All of those flavors work great in an actual pumpkin roll, but here, they missed the mark. We’d rather have it as a cake.
Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows
This flavor, which is available in grocery stores and scoop shops now, was an experience. The sweet potato, nutmeg, and cinnamon translate to ice cream surprisingly well. However, the ratio of scorched to plain, unscorched marshmallows is pretty stark, and the overall eating experience vastly differs depending on which type of marshmallow you encounter. The torched marshmallows, which are much browner, are a great addition, but we mostly found plain marshmallows that seemed out of place.
White Chocolate Peppermint
Thanks to its subtle peppermint flavor and super creamy base, White Chocolate Peppermint is a bonafide crowd-pleaser. It’s very similar to Green Mint Chip in that it’s refreshing without tasting like toothpaste or seeming abrasive or spicy. Peppermint is a flavor that can go wrong very quickly, but Jeni’s interpreted it like a champ—here, we’ve got the ideal peppermint flavor, with the added bonus of white chocolate.