JP Licks, which is heading into its 40th year of business, recently announced the arrival of new alcohol infused flavors, including Caramel Bourbon Fig, Cherry Amaretto, Bourbon Praline, and Coquito, which is a returning flavor.
All flavors will run “through the holiday season,” according to JP Licks.
Beth Otis, Production Manager for JP Licks, told the Gazette that inspiration for the flavors comes from “talking about the times and folks being home and what gives everybody comfort,” she said, as well as “the feelings of home and warmth” that are synonymous with the holidays. “That’s really where the flavors come from,” she said.
Caramel Bourbon Fig pairs bourbon-marinated figs and caramel with sweet ice cream. “We’ve always wanted to do something with figs,” Otis said, but added that they are not known for being packed with flavor, so the team decided to marinate them “to see if we could bring out some more flavor.” She said the taste of figs reminds her of eating fig pudding during the holidays, a memory she has of growing up, so that was her “little input” into the flavor.
The Coquito flavor has been around for a few years, and will return again this holiday season to bring the tastes of coconut, rum, and cinnamon together into an ice cream. Coquito means “little coconut in Spanish,” and the Puerto Rican drink is similar to eggnog. Otis said this flavor is popular at the shops during the holidays, and will still be around in time for National Coquito Day on December 21.
“Pralines have always been one of Vincent’s favorites,” Otis said, speaking of JP Licks Founder Vincent Petryk. She said that their “sweet and crunchy” texture pairs well with bourbon ice cream in the Bourbon Praline flavor.
“Cherries always make us think of Christmastime,” Otis said. Cherry Amaretto’s pink color comes from red cherries marinated in Amaretto and blended with amaretto ice cream.
Otis said the hope for these flavors is “giving everyone some kind of comfort,”as there are different flavors and textures in each.
While ice cream may not be the go-to winter dessert, Otis said that New Englanders always find their way to JP Licks year round, but especially this year as “people are just trying to yet out a little bit, but still be safe,” she said. “Instead of going to the movies, people will bring ice cream home. “
She said that even if it’s chilly outside, New Englanders will “eat ice cream all year round. We just have great families,” she added, calling ice cream “always a comfort food.”
If folks are looking for a hot beverage to warm up this winter, JP Licks also roasts its own coffee beans, and “comes up with new blends all the time,” Otis said. She said the beans are roasted right in Jamaica Plain at the JP Licks headquarters on Centre St.
“Right now, our specialty is the holiday blend,” Otis said, which this year consists of Sumatra coffee blended with coffee from Peru and Ethiopia.
She said all of JP Licks’ coffee is “fresh” and the shop offers many different roasts and origins of coffee. She said they’re “very good” and are “all different. Some are lighter and some are darker; you can always pick something.”
Otis said that JP Licks also takes customer suggestions and feedback into consideration when creating new flavors or rotating other ones in or out. She said that no samples of flavors are being given right now because of the pandemic, but JP Licks is a kosher company and when it comes to flavor suggestions, “we do our homework and research to see if we can make it into an ice cream.”
But she also said suggestions sometimes lead to the return of an older flavor that people want to see again. She said most recently, the “mainstay” Sweet Cream flavor was removed from shops because it wasn’t selling well, but “a lot of customers asked to bring it back.” As a result, the flavor was brought back as a “special run” in some shops.
“We do really listen to the customer comments,” Otis said, and “try and make it happen.”
The new boozy holiday flavors, along with a plethora of other homemade flavors, can be found in all 17 JP Licks locations.
Petryk said that ”liquor and ice cream go together so well- any sweet creamy drink translates very nicely into an ice cream flavor.”