By Sabrina Sucato and Lizzy Sobiesk
When the temperatures rise to unbearable heights, the only real way to cool off is with a sweet, refreshing treat. While ice cream is a go-to for many, sometimes our taste buds crave something else. During times like these, the eateries of the Hudson Valley save the day with chilly fro-yo, ices, popsicles, and sorbets. On the next scorcher, skip the creamy concoctions and try one (or more) of these icy confections instead. They’re so scrumptious that you may just shiver with delight.
Boice Bros. may be known for their dairy products, but the chocolate dipped bananas deserve a little attention too. If you see the frozen treats on the menu, be sure to sample them for yourself. They are perfectly sweet and semi-healthy, so you can feel virtuous as you chow down.
Vegans rejoice at the New Confectioner stand, which pops up primarily at farmers markets and shops in Dutchess County. Refresh with dairy-free flavors like pineapple, orange, and raspberry. The vegan ice creams and sorbet are also addicting.
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A popular Filipino dessert, halo halo combines crushed ice, evaporated milk, and tons of toppings to create the perfect cool-down. Try it at acclaimed Karenderya, where the colorful bowls include nata de coco (fermented coconut water), kaong (sugar palm fruit), jackfruit, red bean, bright purple ube, leche flan, and milk.
Although you won’t find these on the restaurant’s online menu, the sangria pops are well worth a trip into New Paltz. Take a peek at the Ulster County location’s Instagram for a glimpse of the white wine, piña colada, and sangria popsicles. Fair warning — one taste and you’ll want to try them all.
Founder Gene Warrington started the tradition of making Italian ices here in the 1960s. Today, the classic flavors, which include lemon, mixed berry, and watermelon, are still made with just fruit, sugar, and water. Feeling thirsty? Order a drinkable Freeze (Sprite plus Italian ice), which can be spiked with booze at the White Plains location.
Mamaroneck and White Plains
In the midst of a national fermentation craze, chef and founder Katiushka Melo launched Culture Cream to make innovative ice creams and sorbets with home-brewed kefir and kombucha. Available in not-your-usual flavors, like raspberry-hibiscus, apple-ginger, and pineapple-lemongrass, Culture Cream’s sorbets are also rich in probiotics, meaning you can finally argue that dessert is healthy.
With locations in New Windsor and Wappingers Falls, Toppings is all too conveniently located on both sides of the Hudson River. Flavors range from fresh strawberry and peach to dreamy dark chocolate and cookies and cream. Pick the base of your choice, then load it up with gummy worms, marshmallows, sprinkles, and candy bars galore.
New Windsor and Wappingers Falls
Anyone with a lactose intolerance or allergy can do a little happy dance at The Dutch Udder in Troy. The upstate shop serves up “nice” cream, or dairy-free ice cream that is so rich and creamy you’ll swear you’re eating the real deal. Flavors change regularly, but look out for the Piña Colada, made with pineapple rum, or the Mango Tango, infused with mango schnapps.
Since 1985, Amy Keller and Bob Guidubaldi have crafted small-batch sweet treats for the Hudson Valley. Made with whole fruit, Jane’s sorbets are dairy-free and include standout flavors like Damson plum, Alphonso mango, pineapple-coconut, pink grapefruit, blackberry, and pear.
If you’ve never had a paleta before, make a beeline for Zora Dora in Beacon. The small-batch company owned by Culinary Institute of America grad Steven Astorino crafts creamy ice pop treats in flavors like ginger and honey, turmeric-coconut latte, and Muddy Hudson coffee. Try something out of the box and prepare to be delighted.
While Penny Lick’s ice cream is top notch, the popsicles are arguably even more impressive. Whether you desire an after-dinner specialty like white bourbon caramel or rum raisin or prefer to stick to comforting classics like honeycomb and fudge, you’ll be in dessert heaven.
As the sister store of Lagusta’s Luscious in New Paltz, Commissary! delivers on tasty, flavorful vegan eats. The summertime slushies and shaved ices are no exception. Ask about the selections of the day, which are as creative and zany (lime corn, anyone?) as everything else on the menu.
If you’re looking for an all-natural cold treat, The Blue Pig is the place for you. This shop offers a variety of ever-changing vegan ice creams, like creamsicle and chocolate peanut butter, both of which contain no high fructose corn syrup. For those topping lovers, fresh fruit comes from local farms or the shop’s own garden and is available to customize scoops.
After ordering takeout from one of the many restaurants on Beacon’s Main Street, take a walk to The Chocolate Studio for dessert. Have a scoop of The Vegan Stuff, the shop’s dairy- and gluten-free ice cream. It comes in flavors as varied as pumpkin pie rocky road, mint chocolate chip, and burnt caramel, so there’s a scoop out there for everyone. Fair warning: they’re made in limited batches, so pick up any flavors you like ASAP.