By Rebekah Skochinski

You can lick it, scoop it, or drink it. Sometimes it runs down your chin, and sometimes it makes your fingers sticky, but a summer without ice cream is hardly a summer at all. So let’s all scream for it together, because Red Lion Smokehouse and Espresso Joya in tandem with The Singing Poplar are serving up some next-level deliciousness.

Red Lion’s Retro Tubs of Take-Away

Using time-tested recipes, quality ingredients, and the Swiss-made wizardry of the Pacojet (which micro-purees frozen items into ultra-fine textures) Red Lion is turning out ice cream in flavours like ginger, hokey pokey, peanut butter, caramel, espresso, strawberry swirl, and mint chocolate chip with plans to add more in the coming weeks. Dig in to any one of them, and you will soon realize that what you think has been ice cream all of these years has been an imposter. The fresh mint in the mint chocolate chip lights up in your mouth and the bits of 75% dark chocolate lend a nice crunch to the light yet creamy vanilla base, which is more like gelato in texture and equally as divine.

For those who prefer a lighter option, they have a lovely assortment of sorbet, made from fruit sweetened with a touch of simple syrup and whirred together, in flavours such as rhubarb (harvested from the chef’s garden!), grapefruit, watermelon, pineapple, peach, and strawberry.

Tucked into take-away tubs in a freezer near the entrance, you can walk in, walk out and be in ice cream nirvana faster than you can say “yum.”

Red Lion Smokehouse
28 South Cumberland Street

Pure Joy at Espresso Joya

Thomas White of Espresso Joya has teamed up with The Singing Poplar to offer ice cream by the scoop. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, or orange (with new flavours to rotate throughout the summer). The ice cream is delightful, but what has been garnering a lot of attention is the Café Affogato, which allows you to get your caffeine fix and craving for something cool in one fell swoop. A generous portion of rich and flavourful vanilla bean ice cream is drowned in a medium to dark roast Peruvian blend espresso (roasted locally by Rose N Crantz Roasting Company) and then served with a spoon. Easily the most sophisticated and exquisite ice cream sundae you’ve ever tasted.

Espresso Joya
8 South Cumberland Street

The Singing Poplar

Ayla Ludwig started the ice cream-making venture with her mom, Mary, last year. Located in Lappe, they small-batch process the old-fashioned way using wholesome and local ingredients. In addition to supplying Espresso Joya, The Singing Poplar is at Willow Springs Creative Centre every Friday (until October 9) from 3 to 7 pm, where you will find your favourite standbys—a quintessentially summery strawberry rhubarb, ice cream sandwiches, and dairy-free coconut-based options. It’s definitely worth the drive.

Willow Springs Creative Centre
10160 Mapleward Road

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Espresso Joya’s Cafe Affogato