Following the viral success of Folderol, a Paris-based natural wine and ice cream bar, Australians are putting their own spin on the boozy ice cream trend this summer.
Sydney has already seen a pop-up collaboration between Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey and Elato ice cream, and a collaboration between Fellr and Messina is about to hit the road with pop-ups throughout the east coast.
One trend driving the popularity of this ice cream and alcohol combination is the growing demand for nostalgic flavours, with consumers gravitating towards drinks that echo the products they enjoyed in their childhood.
Jack O’Neill, Brand Manager, SouthTrade International, the company that imports Sheep Dog Whiskey, explained that alcohol adds an element of sophistication to the nostalgic experience.
“I think it’s becoming a popular combo as it manages to tap into the nostalgia and joy of ice cream with the sophisticated edge of alcohol, creating a unique and unexpected experience that appeals to adult tastes and simple pleasures during Australians’ favourite time of the year,” he said.
Combining the flavours of ice cream and spirits can create new opportunities for evoking these popular nostalgic flavours.
“Sheep Dog Whiskey’s notes of caramel, vanilla, and nuts, pairs well with sweet treats. In terms of flavour profile, Elato’s fig ripple ice cream with Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey is like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” Jack said.
Jon Prew, Marketing Manager – Whiskey & Shooters, Southtrade International, explained that the combination of ice cream and spirits can provide a sense of luxury. This is especially useful as consumers are seeking small luxuries amid rising cost-of-living concerns.
“Sheep Dog is a rich and indulgent whiskey so it’s a match made in heaven with ice cream,” said Jon.
For the Fellr and Messina collaboration, the drinks focused on refreshing, summery flavours, as Fellr Marketing Director Zoe Wendland explained.
“The key decision-making criteria revolved around bold, impactful flavours that strike a balance between a nice sweetness whilst keeping calories low. Additionally, we aimed for a rich, full mouthfeel, ensuring the products are enjoyable and sessionable,” she said.
The ice cream cocktail trend has proven popular on social media, with both the Sheep Dog and Fellr collaborations focussing on indulgence and flavour in their respective social media campaigns.
“Our approach was to create a visual identity that looked good enough to eat and that would cut through in-store and on socials during the highly contested Christmas period,” Zoe said.
Jon echoed the sentiment.
“We wanted to make mouths water just by looking at the photos and on our social media: indulgent ice cream shots, Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey ‘splash shots’ and honing in on the video element that is so popular these days,” he said.
Of course, another key element driving the popularity of this ice cream and cocktail combination is the weather. Well on our way through a scorching summer, demand for cold drinks is high, and ice cream cocktails are a way to provide a rich flavour while still keeping consumers cool.