Skip to main content

Hardscoop Distillery: Where Booze and Ice Cream Come Together

hardscoop distillery alcoholic ice ceam cream
Hardscoop Distillery/Instagram
It’s one thing to pour booze over your ice cream, but what if you could eliminate a step and have booze in your ice cream? Thanks to Hardscoop Distillery, a new company based in Charleston, South Carolina, you can.

Founded by Jason Kirby, Chris Ledbetter, and Rachel Solomon, Hardscoop Distillery is the country’s only licensed distillery that makes spirited ice cream.

A federally-licensed distillery that makes boozy ice cream. There aren’t many words that could be added to that sentence to make it sound any better than it already does. (“Free Money” and “Porsche” come to mind, but let’s be real, it doesn’t get much better than alco-ice cream.)

Coming in at 8 percent ABV, each pint of Hardscoop is made from a mix of quality ice cream — Kirby says they use 14 percent butter fat — that is made from scratch in-house and grain neutral spirits.

“We make a premium product and our approach has always been that we want the customer to taste the richness of the ice cream above anything else,” Kirby says.

That means dialing the grain neutral spirit back from 190 proof (they don’t currently distill their own spirit) to 80 proof. This softens to alcohol flavors and allows the taste of the ice cream to shine through.

“We both enjoy the liquor taste in a cocktail or even poured ice cream, but we wanted mass appeal for a variety of palates,” Kirby adds.

The development process for these products took over a year and upwards of 350 test batches. (Boy, would we have loved to be the R&D team for those tests).

“We’d identify which piece we wanted to work on — proof or a specific flavor, for example — then approach those on an individual basis in a scientific manner. We worked one at a time in order to dial in each part right,” Kirby says.

In terms of being a licensed distillery, the choice, according to Kirby came down to the future.

“A scoop shop or a bar scenario are very restricted about where they can go, who they sell to, and when. It took a lot longer to get there, but we think, in time, it’ll be better for us and will allow us to expand,” Kirby says. It also gives them the ability to eventually make their own spirits to use in the ice cream.

For now, HardScoop has three core flavors — classics that are sure to appeal to just about everyone: vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. For the fall, they released a pumpkin pie flavor that will be available through Thanksgiving. Kirby says they also plan to experiment with other alcohols, but, for now, they are happy using the grain neutral spirit, as it really lets the other flavors of the product shine through.

There is one drawback to Hardscoop, sadly: it is currently only available in South Carolina. Next time you’re looking at taking a trip, you’re going to want to think about Greenville or Charleston as destinations so that you can try the sweet, beautiful, boozy dessert that is Hardscoop Ice Cream.

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
Whiskey upgrade: How to fat wash your favorite whiskey or bourbon to add new depths of flavor
Add flavor to whiskey or bourbon with fat-washing
Whiskey glass

If you pay attention to the cocktail or whiskey world, you’ve probably heard the term “fat-washed” at some point. You also might not have any idea what that means. You might assume you should, so you don’t want to ask anyone and seem foolish, right? It sounds like you’re washing whiskey with some kind of fat, whatever that means. If you think that, you’re on the right track. It is a technique to change the flavor of whiskey (and other spirits), but it has nothing to do with your kitchen sink, washing machine, dishwasher, or anything like that.

In the simplest terms, fat washing is a cocktail technique in which some form of fat (like bacon fat, butter, or some other fat) is added to room-temperature whiskey (like in a dish or sealable container, not a bottle). It sits on the counter for a few hours so the fat can separate from the spirit before being put into a refrigerator or freezer until the fat forms a solid crust on top. Scrap it off or strain it through cheesecloth and you have a buttery, fatty, flavorful whiskey to pour back into a bottle to use in your favorite cocktails. Sounds simple enough. To do it right requires a little bit more effort than that. There are steps that need to be taken.

Read more
Feeling rushed in the mornings? This is the best way to get great coffee
Custom coffee at-home without any special equipment? Yes, please.
Cup of coffee with beans on table

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while we tend to agree, the spread is nothing without some quality caffeine. Yet, we don't always have the energy or time to produce a solid cup. So, for those who live frantic a.m. lifestyles that barely make room for a sip of java -- let alone a bite of toast -- we have a solution, and its name is Frazy.

So, instead of dropping by Starbucks or dusting off that espresso machine (assuming you have one to begin with), try this convenient service instead. Created by baristas, the vials of coffee are customizable and require only water to create. One can decide on the strength of flavor and level of sweetness, along with dairy choice, and the resulting drink can take the form of either cold or hot coffee, along with a straight-up espresso shot.

Read more
Review: The HAVA R01 Compact Countertop Dishwasher might be the game-changer your home needs
A small dishwasher might be exactly what you need for your home bar
HAVA R01 countertop dishwasher

A dishwasher is the ultimate daily luxury. Washing dishes by hand is tricky to do properly and actually wastes more water than using a dishwasher. However, for those who lack the space for a full-size unit, or who crave the time-saving sudsy power of a second unit, the countertop dishwasher is the perfect solution. Whether your home bar boasts a sink or not, the HAVA R01 is an ultra-compact option to get your best barware and utensils sparkling clean. Here, we'll review the HAVA R01 model and run through its strengths and weaknesses, both as a stand-alone dishwasher and as a convenient addition to your wet bar.

A mini or countertop dishwasher is a free-standing electric appliance that hooks up to a kitchen faucet or fills with clean water manually and drains the dirty water into the sink. Because there's no plumbing to alter and the machine simply plugs in like other appliances, it is easy to move or store as needed. This makes it one of the most flexible yet hard-working appliances you can buy.

Read more