Underserved: Buffalo & Bergen’s Boozy Ice Cream Sodas

Blackberry Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda

Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering.

What: Boozy Ice Cream Sodas with Trickling Springs Creamery vanilla ice cream, house-made flavored syrups, and two ounces of your spirit of choice

Where: Buffalo & Bergen in Union Market, 1309
5th St. NE

Price: $13

What You Should Be Drinking

What if you could experience the retro charm of an old-school soda fountain and get your fix of naughty too? That’s what “mixtress” Gina Chersevani is encouraging Buffalo & Bergen patrons to do by way of adding alcohol to her ice cream sodas. The “make it boozy” option at the Union Market mainstay lets customers choose from house-made syrups that get swirled with Trickling Springs Creamery vanilla ice cream, soda, bitters, and two ounces of whichever spirit has their number.

If decision making is a customer’s kryptonite, however, allow Chersevani or one of her team members to make a suggestion like a blackberry Manhattan ice cream soda with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Angostura bitters, orange bitters, and a brandied cherry on top. “You can really go anywhere,” Chersevani says. “Say you love Scotch. Let’s put it with pear, sage, bitters, and vermouth for fall.”

Why You Should be Drinking It

Despite being both playful and decadent, Chersevani is finding some resistance when it comes to ordering her boozy ice cream sodas. “There’s some kind of stigma against it, but there shouldn’t be,” she says. “I can’t understand why ice cream and alcohol makes people scared—look at drinks like the Brandy Alexander.” That classic cocktail is just a scoop of ice cream over brandy with some nutmeg. “Your grandmother loved it, [and] your grandmother’s grandmother probably did, too.”

No matter how you doctor up your ice cream soda, the resulting concoction will not only be something you suck dry because of its flavor and texture, but it will feel like a throwback to childhood with a grown-up spin—like that time in college when you watched The Wizard of Oz while Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon played.

Photo by Laura Hayes