Häagen-Dazs new indulgent Spirit Collection is the perfect boozy summer treat. I am a long time HD fan (me and Rocky Road go way back). When I heard that they had combined two of my favorite pastimes - drinking and eating ice cream, I was ecstatic. The collection consists of five ice cream flavors, a cookie square and a non-dairy option. Don't worry, you don't need to be 21 to buy it. The alcohol amount is below 0.5%, giving you all of the flavor without the buzz.
According to flavor developer Aaron Butterworth, the flavors for the collection were carefully chosen to keep in line with Häagen-Dazs commitment to creating rich and indulging desserts. The ice cream is designed to be enjoyed on its own or paired with a cocktail. Bourbon was a natural pairing with vanilla and is showcased in both the Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle and the Bourbon Praline Pecan. The latter is great with an Old Fashioned, whereas I enjoyed the Vanilla Bean Truffle as a milkshake blended with more bourbon.
Rum Tres Leches combines white rum ice cream with ribbons of dulce de leche and chunks of Tres Leches cake. When I think of indulgent, this flavor is what comes to mind. This ice cream was heavenly all on its own, but a little rum made it even better.
Häagen-Dazs Irish Cream is a long time fan favorite, but it has been elevated and reinvented into two new forms. The Irish Cream Brownie has Irish Cream infused ice cream with chocolate brownie pieces and a decadent fudge swirl. The Irish Cream Cookie Squares are my personal favorite with just the right amount of ice cream in a portable package. Both of these pair well with an Irish Coffee.
I've loved chocolate stout ice cream since my first bite at Fat Cat Creamery, so I was very excited about Häagen-Dazs Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch. The malty flavor of the ice cream with a pop of fudge and a hint of salt from the pretzels was the perfect combination of flavors. I paired it with the equally indulgent 11 Below Negative Space Milk Stout.
The biggest surprise of the entire collection was the non-dairy Amaretto Black Cherry Almond Toffee. Black cherry jam and almond toffee pieces are folded into the creamy Amaretto-infused frozen dessert. "The special thing about our Häagen-Dazs non-dairy Amaretto Black Cherry Almond Toffee is that we use a rich and creamy almond butter base (not almond milk)," explains Butterworth. "We are able to achieve a super rich and creamy taste and mouthfeel that almost makes you forget you are eating non-dairy." Indeed it does. I found myself enjoying it way more than I expected, especially with a drizzle of Amaretto on top.
The Häagen-Dazs Spirit Collection is available at stores nationwide and retails for around $5.29. The ice cream comes in 14 oz. cartons and the cookie squares are sold in a 3 count package.
Disclosure: I am the spouse of a Nestle employee. Product was provided for me to sample, but all opinions and photos remain my own.
About the Author
I like eating, traveling, and enjoying liquid libations. I'm all about great wines, signature cocktails, and local brews.