Parlor & Yard (601 W. Sixth St., parloryard.com) The newest Bridget Dunlap bar, which took over the former Arro space on West Sixth Street, was designed to look like the sort of vintage sports bar that Frank Sinatra would’ve frequented. If he stepped into the space today, though, he might not know what to make of the “pop-tails” that Parlor & Yard bartenders started making as an antidote to the heat. But to us, they make delicious sense: GoodPop frozen pops are dropped into cocktails, acting as the ice to cool them down while also melting and infusing them with additional flavors. The trio of options include the Hakuna Matata Cooler, with Hendrick’s Gin, soda and an ice pop of hibiscus and mint; the Pink Lady, with Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, triple sec and a strawberry-lemonade frozen pop; and Mia Sandia, with Tequila 512, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur and a watermelon agave ice pop. They’re available when the outside bar opens on weekends. Sweeten the deal with … the Hakuna Matata Cooler, easily my favorite because the hibiscus and mint play so well with the gin.
Prohibition Creamery (1407 E. Seventh St., prohibitioncreamery.com) You certainly wouldn’t have found an ice cream shop like this one in alcohol-starved 1920s America. Owner Laura Aidan opened this East Austin bungalow (designed to look like it came from the Prohibition era) for much the same reason that Elliott did her bakery: as a way to combine two of our favorite indulgences.There is certainly a lot to choose from. In addition to nonalcoholic options like salted caramel ice cream, Prohibition Creamery offers ice cream and milkshake flavors like Whiskey Chocolate, Mezcal Vanilla and Bananas Foster. Even the toppings would make Prohibition’s most fervent supporters shudder, with Bourbon Whipped Cream and alcoholic pour-overs like espresso liqueur available. And don’t forget the beer and cocktails — a diverse mix of largely classics like the Clover Club, a creamy gin drink. Sweeten the deal with … a couple of scoops of the Pineapple Tequila Sorbet in a waffle cone. Paired with the Mexican Firing Squad — tequila, lime juice, grenadine and Angostura bitters — it’s a south-of-the-border delight.
Sno.Co Flattop Shaved Ice (2307 Manor Road, atxsno.co) Served in reusable, color-changing plastic cups, the shaved ice that Risto Lawson and Ben Braten make out of a lime-green trailer is never topped past the lid, to keep from getting too messy. Although their Sno.Co truck has traditional flavors like Tiger’s Blood,renamed into Austin-friendly names like Red River, the friends created more original flavors as well. Partly because of the proximity to the Vortex complex on Manor Road — Sno.Co is located in the parking lot — Lawson and Braten have a roster of booze-inspired options: the Manor Mule, the Your Tie (It’s Not Mai Tai) and the Mojito, among others. The Vortex’s Butterfly Bar can add real alcohol to them, too. “I’ll have the mule, and it tastes so much like a real one that I’ll forget: ‘Is there vodka in this?’” Lawson says. Sweeten the deal with … a spiked snow cone with help from the Butterfly Bar. The bartenders there know just the right amount of booze to add that won’t prematurely melt the ice — rum in the Piña Colada flavor, for instance.
Walton’s Fancy & Staple (609 W. Sixth St., waltonsfancyandstaple.com) This charming deli and bakery recently added a rotating roster of homemade ice cream sandwiches to the menu as a way of “having some fun with our ice cream maker,” Walton’s general manager Cass Whitton says. But you’d best come early to get one: Walton’s has sold out of them before 5 p.m. a few times, promising to have a new round of flavors the next day. Among the most popular has been a sandwich with Hops & Grain Porter Culture ice cream and two Bailey’s-infused chocolate cakes, as well as one with whiskey walnut ice cream and spiced vanilla cake. They aren’t all made with alcohol; basil ice cream sandwiched between two brownies is another big favorite. “The infusion process is quite simple,” Whitton says. “We sometimes work backwards by thinking of the type of alcohol that we want to use first and then seeing what it will pair well with.” Sweeten the deal with … Walton’s, next door to Parlor & Yard, has been making Icy Pops as well in a variety of fruity and spiked flavors, such as the bubbly-infused Mimosa Pop.
Bribery Bakery (1900 Simond Ave. #300, briberybakery.com/mueller) Decked out in shades of bright pink and blue, owner Jodi Elliott’s second location of her dessert haven embraced a new type of concept when it opened early this year in Mueller: a bakery bar where you’re encouraged to order a glass of wine or a cocktail to enjoy alongside a slice of carrot cake or one of Bribery’s much-loved cinnamon rolls. “I wanted a place where you can indulge in all kinds of things,” she says. “Somewhere very feminine and whimsical, somewhere to get you excited before you even see what you are going to eat.” Although not many of the baked goods are made with alcohol in them, the accompanying cocktails — crafted to be light and sweet, like the desserts — pair well, giving you a bit of adult fun while your kids add extra sprinkles — poured out of large shakers — to their sundaes. Sweeten the deal with … a cocktail like the Mavis, a combination of bourbon, peach purée and basil. It’ll add a fruity element to your dessert pairing.
Nightcap (1401 W. Sixth St., nightcapaustin.com) Owner Christin Rowan converted a 1920s-era bungalow into the place of her dreams: a bar called Nightcap that offers the things we crave most at the end of a long day — drinks and dessert. Although the menu has a healthy range of savory bites, much of it is sweet, in keeping with the concept she devised a few years back. Among the sweeter items are the six booze-filled milkshakes. And yes, you will feel the alcohol by the time you lean back from the table; some of the shakes have been spiked with multiple spirits or liqueurs while still being surprisingly easy to slurp down. As Rowan intended, they make a great nightcap. Sweeten the deal with … Nightcap’s Honey Bear. Nightcap has versions of your standard shake options, from the nutty Milk Stout Shake that satisfies chocolate lovers to the Not Your Father’s Root Beer Float, but go with the Honey Bear, a mixture of American Honey bourbon, lemon, honey and a garnish of two little Teddy Grahams. Fans of mint chocolate chip ice cream will also find no fault with the Grasshopper, made with Branca Menta, creme de cacao, sea salt and mint.
Cantine Italian Cafe & Bar (1100 S. Lamar Blvd. Suite 2115, cantineaustin.com) Italians, it seems, have just as much of a sweet tooth as we do. The Italian eatery in the Lamar Union development owned by longtime Austin restaurateurs Emmett and Lisa Fox tries to remain as authentic to the Mediterranean flavors of the European country as possible, a mission that extends to the drinks. One of the two cocktails with homemade soft serve ice cream as the base is the Sgroppino, a refreshing summer drink hailing from Venice and featuring limoncello, vodka, cava and creamy soft serve, rather than the traditional lemon sorbet. “It’s like a boozy ice cream float, sipped through a straw,” Cantine’s bar manager Adrian Braun says. Sweeten the deal with … the lemon semifreddo, with raspberry broth and basil, on Cantine’s dessert menu. The Foxes, who discovered it during time abroad, “have been noticing more desserts with booze, like limoncello or grappa, poured over them in Italy, so we’ve replicated that,” Emmett Fox says. If you choose to get the half-ounce of the lemon liqueur on top, you’ll find it’s the perfect cap on a dessert that covers sweet, tart and herbal flavors all in one.