Adult Ice Creams Could Be Gateway for More Underage Drinking

A generation ago Americans were tantalized by 31 flavors of frozen goodness at the local ice cream shop. Now ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard and snow cones come in all sorts of exotic tastes. But is there a line to be drawn? For example, is it responsible to create ice creams that taste like adult beverages? It’s not a moot question. Breweries and dessert makers at home and afar are already concocting frozen desserts either infused with or made to taste like beer, wine and favorite cocktails.

In 2012 Brazil’s Ambev Brewery created beer flavored Easter eggs. The next year they released beer-flavored ice cream under their popular label Skol. The ice cream didn’t actually contain any alcohol, but it did have a beer taste.

The legal drinking age in Brazil is 18 years and the country decided to only allow people of legal drinking age to purchase the ice cream. Still, many there and around the world wonder whether kids who are allowed to enjoy ice cream with a beer taste might not want a little more of the real stuff to satisfy an educated palate.

Lest we think that it’s only Brazilians who are experimenting with adding adult flavors to favorite childhood desserts, there are some U.S. examples of grown-up beverages married to treats with child appeal:

  • Fermental is a Wilmington, North Carolina, specialty store selling wine and beer along with wine flavored ice cream. You must be 21years old to enjoy the dessert.
  • Staten Island, New York’s Tip the Wagon offered ice creams and sorbets infused with favorite grown up drinks like lemon drop martini, chocolate martini and pina colada. The frozen yummies, which appear to be no longer available, had actual alcohol infusions.
  • SnoBar is an Arizona purveyor of ice pops infused with alcoholic, with mixed drink flavors like Cosmopolitan and Margarita.

With the popularity of flavored coffee and flavored carbonated beverages including energy drinks, one can’t help but wonder how long it will take before others decide to flavor their products in a similar fashion. But just because we can make one food item taste like another, does that mean that we always should?

Is there some point at which we as a culture decide that adult enjoyment just might be dangerous to youth?  Could flavoring ice cream treats with alcohol be a line worth drawing?

Posted on April 21st, 2014

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