We made it to another July and there’s no question that it’s officially summer. Finding ways to keep cool is a national pastime at this point. Regardless of your political persuasion, I think we can all agree that President Reagan knew what he was talking about when he declared July as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984 to be National Ice Cream Day.
This year, National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, July 20th according to the International Dairy Foods Association. However, Proclamation 5219 wasn’t just about having a sweet treat in the summer sun. It was about business too. Even back in 1984, the ice cream industry generated “approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales,” providing jobs for thousands of people. The dairy industry is an important part of the economy.
We the people of the United States have been called upon “to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Therefore, consider it your patriotic duty to eat some ice cream.
As you choose from the variety of flavors, there are many that are not for kids. A growing trend is ice cream infused with enough alcohol to require showing an ID. BLVD Creamery in Las Vegas is scooping up flavors including: Suds Sorbet, a combination of Shock Top beer and orange zest, along with Tipsy Bubbles, which contains Prosecco.
Also for those who are 21 and older, if you are in Florida, California or Arizona, you can go to SnöBar. They have created gourmet frozen alcohol ice cream and ice pops. Vodka and triple sec are in the Cosmopolitan Ice Pop. Tequila and triple sec are in the Margarita Ice Pop. Each serving is a full cocktail.
So what exactly is a serving of alcohol? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a standard drink in the United States is 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. If you are 21 or older, imagine the amounts below in your ice cream.
- 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
- 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
- 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80 proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)
The sale of alcohol is closely regulated and laws vary by state. Mercer’s Dairy is located in New York and their Wine Ice Cream is world famous and “trade-secreted.” According to the website, the ice cream alcohol content is 5% and only for the 21 and over crowd. Their wine ice cream “varietals” are: Cherry Merlot, Chocolate Cabernet, Peach White Zinfandel, Port, Red Raspberry Chardonnay and Riesling. Some states do not allow the sale of wine ice cream, including Louisiana. Recent legislation would have allowed the sale, but it has failed to pass.
Louisiana may be home of “The Big Easy,” but when it comes to the sale of wine ice cream, there is nothing easy about it.