Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails and more!

Disclosure: I attended an event where tasting samples of these ice creams, sorbets, and cocktails was complimentary, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

I’m trying to remember how long I have been loving Fifty Licks ice cream. I think it might have been when they first opened, since I have a photo in 2010 of their Red Bull Cola Ice Cream.  In other photos I wrote in the captions that the Stumptown Coffee and Tahitian Vanilla were excellent, and was particularly loving the bacon bit parts of their Maple Bacon.

I called it then “wonderful shake-ups to normal ice cream.” Even though coffee and vanilla sound plain, they were bursting with flavor, and you could notice and appreciate the high quality ingredients. I like how the French custard style makes their product so creamy and soft.

Since then, I’ve visited their adorable, nostalgic light blue truck at the Good Foods Here food cart pod at SE Belmont and 43rd  (at least until that food pod closes), as well as when I run across their other truck (locations vary). The last delicious flavor I remember is from a few months ago a Toasted Milk ice cream, and before that was Passionfruit Szechuan Peppercorn sorbet (tart with a kick!), so clearly they are still bringing it, combining classic with creative.
Eat Mobile 2013: Toasted Milk ice cream from Fifty Licks Fifty Licks ice cream truck at the Good Food Here food cart pod Fifty Licks ice cream truck at the Good Food Here food cart pod Fifty Licks Ice Cream, My passionfruit szechuan peppercorn sorbet

I also remember saying that Chad Draizin, owner, is the best dressed, most stylish ice cream man I have ever seen.
The best dressed ice cream man I've ever seen... Chad Draizin of Fifty Licks and his ice cream truck The best dressed ice cream man I've ever seen... Chad Draizin of Fifty Licks and his ice cream truck

Recently (this past August), they opened up a brick and mortar location at 2021 SE Clinton at 21st, just down a door from St. Jack, and also easily walkable from SE Division or Powell if the other offerings on SE Clinton aren’t enough options.  This sounds like a PERFECT end of a dinner for me. They are just a cute, clean crisp little bright spot.

Fifty Licks ice cream shop at SE Clinton Fifty Licks ice cream shop at SE Clinton Fifty Licks ice cream shop at SE Clinton Fifty Licks ice cream shop at SE Clinton

Actually, it’s even better than I thought. It turns out the Fifty Licks is more than just an Ice Cream Parlor. Besides offering  ice cream flavors and sorbets you can also get Fifty Licks sorbet cocktails and Cafe Cubano. So it can be your stop before and after dinner!

Chad has brought Cafe Cubano in case you want a little pick me up to warm you up from your walk. The little pot serves four, and it is extremely strong so the key is in beating the crap to cream that generous helping of sugar, as he demonstrated for us. Thanks for bringing this from Miami for us Chad.

Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano Fifty Licks Cafe Cubano

They have twelve rotating flavors of scooped ice creams and sorbets. The flavors will continually be updated/rotated, based on what mad genius comes to fruition for the Fifty Licks imagination + execution testing! All you need to know is that Chad is a mad genius, and you cannot go wrong with any flavor you pick.

Ok, I guess I can elaborate. Chad is a perfectionist in terms of making sure any new flavor is the best it can be, often developing flavors for weeks and paying attention to details like how purely the original high quality ingredient comes through in the final ice cream/sorbet, how the texture feels, and even (and particularly for Chad) the aromatics … Even the pint packaging he thinks about the way it sounds and feels to close the lid. He cares about every detail of your entire experience.

And, even though he humbly shrugs that everything he knows is just stuff he picked up along the way, don’t be surprised if he is suddenly channeling a sweet young version of Alton Brown as he begins to explain how he can make caramel out of anything (such as for his Caramelized Apple flavor, he made the caramel directly out of apples! And is there a way to do that from sweet potatoes he wonders…) or talks about using the pressure cooker one second and food chemistry and reactions of ingredients at a molecular level a few seconds later.

It’s addicting to watch and listen to this combination of food purist (he wants flavors to be singular and appreciated, not muddled in complexity) and science nerd and creativity explain how his flavors are crafted. For instance, the Toasted Milk flavor came to him in a dream- he didn’t know how he was going to make it happen, but he knew what it would end up as, and so began his quest… And the result is a treasure, sounding strange but then after one taste you feel nostalgic and homey and comforted and loved like a young toddler with a milk bottle, but so much better.

He mentioned lots of intriguing ideas he has (I think there was at least 5 different flavor combinations just with chocolate!), but I don’t want to spoil it so you’ll just have to follow Fifty Licks on Facebook, Twitter handle @FiftyLicks, and feast with your eyes on their Instagram feed FiftyLicks.

Since I was with a group, we got little sampler tastings (obviously these sake cup portions are not the size you would get if you order), but I wanted to show some of the photos so you can see the detail even in these sample scoops. Don’t you just want to sip your spoon into that soft creamy ice cream?

Fifty Licks, some ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters Fifty Licks, some ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters Fifty Licks, some ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters Fifty Licks, some ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters Fifty Licks, some ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters

Example ice cream flavors for instance might include (remember these will rotate based on seasonal ingredients/new ideas!):

  • Stumptown Coffee
  • Tahitian Vanilla
  • Toasted Milk
  • Jasmine Tea with Apricot
  • Caramelized Apple
  • Cherry Bourbon
  • Jasmine Rice with Fragrant Pandan
  • Raspberry
  • Blood Orange Screamscle
  • Maple with Bacon
  • Single Malt Scotch

Sorbet flavors for instance might include:

  • Coconut Lemon Saffron
  • Passionfruit with Sichuan Peppercorns
  • Grapefruit with Rosewater
  • Rhode Island Style Frozen Lemonade
  • Chocolate with Toasted Oat Milk

You can select a gluten-free waffle cone instead of a cup if you’d like, as well as select from toppings such as Ghost Pepper salt, bee pollen, sweet corn dust, potato chips, Ovaltine, who knows what they might have! For instance,  below, this one on the left is Jasmine Tea with Apricot ice cream with bee pollen topping, and the other is Passionfruit with Sichuan Peppercorns sorbet topped with Ghost Pepper Salt, tart and spicy!

Fifty Licks, ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters, this one is Jasmine Tea with Apricot with bee pollen topping Fifty Licks Passionfruit with Sichuan Peppercorns sorbet topped with Ghost Pepper Salt, tart and spicy!

Unique Alert: Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails

Meanwhile, for their sorbet cocktails, look at these awesome concoctions! This alone is worth making a stop at Fifty Licks, if the above isn’t enough to persuade you. Now, they do not have a liquor license  (since that would require them serving food, which is more than this little ice cream parlor can handle in their space), but the few cocktails they do offer are so exquisite and I’m not sure why you would want anything else. These are so sophisticated I don’t know why they aren’t currently on a Bon Appétit or Saveur cover, they are so beautiful. On the other hand, maybe by June of next year, they will be…

  • The Furacão – Passion fruit with Sichuan Peppercorn Sorbet, Cossart Gordan Bual Madeira, Byrrh bitters.
    Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails of The Furacão – Passion fruit with Sichuan Peppercorn Sorbet, Cossart Gordan Bual Madeira, Byrrh bitters. Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails of The Furacão – Passion fruit with Sichuan Peppercorn Sorbet, Cossart Gordan Bual Madeira, Byrrh bitters.
  • The Bitter Rose: scoop of Grapefruit and Rosewater sorbet with orange bitters and Cocchi Americano Rosa.
  • The Nordic Palmer: scoop of Rhode Island Style Frozen Lemonade sorbet with Sparking Iced Tea from Main Mead Works.
    Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails of The Nordic Palmer: scoop of Rhode Island Style Frozen Lemonade with Sparking Iced Tea from Main Mead Works. Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails of The Nordic Palmer: scoop of Rhode Island Style Frozen Lemonade with Sparking Iced Tea from Main Mead Works.
  • The Velvet Shiso: fresh Shiso leaf and a scoop of Coconut Lemon Saffron Sorbet floating in a pond of Umeshu plum wine and sparkling AlexEli Riesling.
    Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails of The Velvet Shiso: fresh Shiso leaf and a scoop of Coconut Lemon Saffron Sorbet floating in a pond of Umeshu plum wine and sparkling AlexEli Riesling Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails of The Velvet Shiso: fresh Shiso leaf and a scoop of Coconut Lemon Saffron Sorbet floating in a pond of Umeshu plum wine and sparkling AlexEli Riesling

Only my good manners kept me from drinking one of these shared tastes by myself… and perhaps I may have finished the last leftovers of one of the Furacao and Velvet Shiso which offered a beguiling experience of flavors, and the tart refreshment of the Nordic Palmer is also delightful.

Fifty Licks winter hours now, so is open 4pm-10pm and 12-11p on Fri and Sat, and offers a Happy Hour on our sorbet cocktails every day, 4-6. You can also buy these adorable little pints to take home.

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Disclosure: I attended an event where tasting samples of these ice creams, sorbets, and cocktails was complimentary, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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Comments

  1. Seriously awesome thorough recap, Pech! Great photos too. I love that you included photos of the truck!

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