Brain freeze buzz

Alcohol-infused ice cream shop hits Long Beach

The Under the Sea dessert, perfect for Instagram photos, is made with mango margarita and raspberry limoncello sorbets.
The Under the Sea dessert, perfect for Instagram photos, is made with mango margarita and raspberry limoncello sorbets.

When temperatures are soaring and the ocean breeze blowing over the boardwalk isn’t quite enough relief, what’s better than cooling off in the summer heat with a chilly scoop of ice cream? Not much—except getting a scoop (or two) that’s infused with booze.

Time was when such an idea was reserved for barstool chatter on hot summer nights. But when Tipsy Scoop—which serves up alcoholic ice cream pints, sundaes, custom ice cream cakes and more—opened its first Long Island location in the heart of the West End this past Memorial Day weekend, the dreamy notion became reality.

“We had an incredible turnout, we sold out of our pints on the first day,” recalls owner Melissa Tavss, who has two other shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Long Beach’s “barlour,” which delivers across Long Beach and Rockville Centre, serves up alcohol-infused flavors every day, which contain up to five percent alcohol. Spiked mint chocolate chip, cake batter vodka martini, vanilla bean bourbon, Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, and spiked hazelnut coffee (a recent top-seller, Tavvs says) are just a few options on the forever menu. As summer gets into full swing, the Mumm Napa Brut Rosé Strawberry Lemonade Popsicle taps into a “rosé all day” vibe. Non-dairy alcoholic sorbets are also available, and for children the LB location offers “virgin” flavors, including Shirley Temple, vanilla and chocolate.

Tavss started Tipsy Scoops in 2014 for catering gigs while she was in graduate school. “I wanted to combine the best of both worlds: ice cream and liquor,” she says. By 2016, Tavss started selling wholesale, and the federal and state-approved concoctions could be spotted in New York City’s Whole Food stores.

Around that time, notable media outlets, like Buzzfeed and Insider, ran profiles on the business. Before Tavvs knew it, Manhattanites were stopping by her private incubator kitchen, eager to purchase pints. It prompted her to open a 300-square-foot brick-and-mortar store in 2017 in Manhattan’s Kips Bay. The Brooklyn shop opened with a liquor license just two years later.

As with many home-based indulgences, the pandemic only exacerbated the popularity of the personal pints, which have been made available for nationwide shipping. “From March 2020 to now, it’s like Christmas every day,” Tavss says, referring to the level of busyness. In-store, customers must present ID before purchasing any non-virgin scoops. Funnily enough, Tavss says, the shop did not require a liquor license for the boozy treats.

“When the ice cream is in solid form, it’s a non-beverage,” Tavss explains. “Once it’s put into a milkshake, it’s a liquid—and a liquor license is needed.”

Inspiration has been all around her over the past year, but Tavss likely would not have ever guessed that the spark for her recently created the Key Lime Kerfuffle sundae would have come from an article that appeared in the Long Beach Herald about the store’s opening. The writer described the permit process with the City of Long Beach as a “kerfuffle’—and thus, the key lime rum cream, white rum and graham cracker crumbs dessert was born.

The Key Lime Kerfuffle may be the most newsworthy creation, but manager Allison Blanchette, of Long Beach, says she’s “geeking out” over the summer exclusives — especially the Cosmopolitan Comeback, which contains Absolut Citron, cranberry and lime.

“It’s exceptional,” says Blanchette, who previously worked as a bartender at Beginnings Kitchen & Bar in Atlantic Beach. “And there’s something about the Strawberry White Sangria that taps into my bartender’s side that makes me want to take it home and mix in more alcohol and add fresh fruit. It’s such a fantastic base layer or on its own. These are as simple as you want them to be, but can also be complex.”

To place an order, visit @TipsyScoop on Instagram or