Harvard students’ dessert of choice? Ice cream. Their beverage of choice? Anything alcoholic. Noting these two preferences, many Harvard square ice cream shops have created a variety of liquor-flavored (but unfortunately mostly alcohol-free) options, aiming to satisfy both sugar and social cravings. But how do they compare to their intoxicating counterparts? FM loosened its belt buckle and sampled the offerings all over the Square.
Toscanini’s: Pub-inspired dessert
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Toscanini’s will give you a pint of your favorite Irish stout, in cup or cone. Over the years, their Guinness-flavored ice cream has become a beloved classic—and for good reason. Although a bit sweeter than the beer, this hearty dessert stays quite faithful to the original. While certainly not for everyone—if you don’t like dark beers, you won’t like this ice cream—this bittersweet concoction will be appreciated by pub-lovers and beer connoisseurs. Toscanini’s also offers a Bailey’s Irish Cream variety (they were out of it when FM visited), so you can celebrate St. Paddy’s with a one-two flavor punch.
Baskin Robbins: Intoxicating Selection
With 31 flavors, it’s no surprise that Baskin Robbins offers two different liquor-flavored options. First we tried the Rum Raisin, which was so foul-tasting that even Captain Morgan himself wouldn’t be able to stomach it. Offering the bitter kick of a shot of 151 without any of the high-proof rewards, this flavor is only recommended for the most masochistic. Baskin Robbins’ other offering, however, proved delicious. Conjuring images of spring break and beach-side bars, their Margarita Ice flavor was as good as the real thing. Without the nagging taste of tequila, this dessert was sweet and delicious, even emulating the icy consistency of the frozen drink. Plus the price is right, with a full-sized cone coming in at under $2.
Ben & Jerry’s/Herrell’s: Plain Vanilla
Harvard Square favorites Ben & Jerry’s and Herrell’s both disappointed, each offering a prohibition-era draught: zero flavors. While Herrell’s is said to please Kahlua fans with their White Russian ice cream, their rotating list of flavors means that on many days there no liquor-flavored options available. Ben & Jerry’s steers clear of any alcoholic offerings, opting for ice creams like Phish Food and Cherry Garcia inspired by controlled substances other than alcohol. (Drugs not included.)
7-11: “If you like Piña Coladas...”
Not to be forgotten among the variety of high-priced Harvard Square ice cream shops, 7-11’s classic Slurpees also offer something for the bar addict in all of us. With its surprisingly accurate Piña Colada flavor, everyone’s favorite convenience store gives you one last alcohol-free frozen treat to last you until the weekend. Although not as trendy as Herrell’s or Toscanini’s, this inexpensive dessert can bring you bliss 24 hours a day.