No doubt the lemongrass-ginger kulfi at Ambrosia goes down smooth after an indulgent meal at Ambrosia.

Image: Kimberly Park

Whoever allotted ice cream only one 24-hour period for its “official” holiday (which was Sunday) obviously never endured a Texas summer. The triple-digit temperatures to which we are frequently treated June through September, not to mention the still-sultry 80- and 90-degree days in “autumn,” mean that every freaking day is the day to celebrate ice cream.

In a city bursting with creative cuisine, it’s no surprise the ice cream purveyors have raised the bar with regards to offering innovative flavors, in addition to oldie-but-goodie varieties such as vanilla, mint chocolate chip, and cookies and cream. Here’s the scoop on five of some of the most deliciously irregular ice creams around town.

Marzipan

Chef Chris Leung was one of the early pioneers of crazy creams in H-town via the introduction of flavors like toasted rice and cafe sua da at his Cloud 10 Creamery. While Leung continues to impress us with his seasonal concoctions (spring included an outrageous Orange & Black Pepper Olive Oil flavor), his standby marzipan is a definite sweet favorite.

Lemongrass-Ginger Kulfi

Ambrosia, a romantic lounge hidden in a side street off South Shepherd, is perhaps best-known for its shareable Asian-fusion small plates. Not to be overlooked, however, is its delightfully fragrant house-made lemongrass-ginger kulfi, Indian-style ice cream, which is accompanied by light pandan sponge cake, condensed milk drizzle, lime crumble and fennel fronds.

Maple Bacon Bourbon

As if there wasn’t enough temptation when you walk into Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts. The latest addition to its already decadent, diet-wrecking menu is homemade ice cream. We think the perfect complement to some pieces of fried poultry is a cup of the rich, but refreshing, maple bacon bourbon ice cream. (Psst: Teetotalers will be just as satisfied with the sweet cream corn.)

Editor's note: The ice cream can be found on rotation at Petite Sweets as part of Lee's Creamery; Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts has stopped serving ice cream.

Waterloo Strawberry Buttermilk

Some friendly competition with regards to boozy iced confections can be found in the form of the Waterloo strawberry buttermilk ice cream at Fat Cat Creamery. Made with strawberry preserves, tangy buttermilk, and Waterloo Gin from Treaty Oak Distilling Co., this flavor boasts a sweet, sneaks-up-on-you buzz reminiscent of hour two of a garden party.

Orange Chocolate Chip

Finally, while the inventive banana pudding ice cream at Hank’s Ice Cream is the crowd favorite, this writer suggests trying the under-appreciated orange chocolate chip, whose sunny citrus notes provide balance to the infusion of flecks of bittersweet chocolate.

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Editor’s Pick

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$$ Pan-Asian 2003 Lexington St.

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$ Dessert 5216 Morningside Dr.

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