London Ice Cream Company ventures into new territory by mixing ice cream with beer
Writer: Dan Brown
Abbi Lezizidis uses an alcohol metaphor to describe the London Ice Cream Company’s approach to making its products.
“We are like a craft brewer, but a craft brewer of ice cream,” the head of sales and marketing for the company said, adding London Ice Cream aims to give customers the “full ice-cream experience.” In other words, this is not the sweet stuff to eat if you are watching your waistline.
“There’s nothing held back,” Lezizidis said. “Without fat, you can’t deliver flavours.” Given the booze comparison, it’s not surprising the company’s management team would task chef Kyle Fee, a chef instructor in Fanshawe College’s culinary-arts program, with coming up with recipes that blend the company’s ice cream with adult drinks.
Fee created concoctions such as Apple Pie, in which Salty Caramel ice cream is combined with mulled apple cider. Another calls for Pink Lemonade sherbert to be mixed with a light, hoppy IPA. “This is not your children’s ice cream,” Lezizidis deadpanned.
But where did the idea come from?
“So I’m a foodie, right? One night I was watching the Food Network” and a show featuring the Old North eatery Bungalow came on. That’s when the light bulb over his head clicked on. “I knew it could be good,” Lezizidis said of the idea of mixing alcohol like beer with ice cream. “It’s extreme food, it’s real food.”
What followed were experiments like using Forked River beer to soak the brownie bits in Moosetracks ice cream, also adding raspberries from Heeman’s. “You can taste the beer in the brownies,” Lezizidis enthused.
There was also a recipe that called for a honey ice cream to be infused with Jack Daniels. London Ice Cream employs 45 people year-around, but at the height of the summer as many as 80 workers are employed there.
The company’s slogan is, “Ice cream the way it used to be.” Staff use a homogenizer to split fat molecules up, allowing the flavours of the ice cream to shine through.
“You know you instantly have fat in your mouth. You get that full-body flavour,” Lezizidis said. The trade-off is price: A small cone at the company’s scoop shop goes for $3.75, a large a dollar more than that.
“We are one of the most expensive ice creams in the market, no doubt. I’m not afraid to tell people that,” Lezizidis said. “You get what you pay for.” And he confirms working for an ice-cream company in the summer is exactly what you would expect.
“This is the greatest place to work. No one comes to work mad.”
This article was first published in The London Free Press.