By CINDY DEACHMAN
I scream for ice cream — and hot summer days do too, dontcha know. Hike it up a notch with luscious ice cream drinks: bring on the ice cream sodas, smoothies, shakes, and malted milks. Anything goes! Start with your favourite frozen dessert. The classics, for instance — vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream. Then there’s nougat, peppermint, or peanut butter cup gelato. How about black cherry or sorrel sorbet? (Don’t exclude granitas, ices, frozen yogourt, frozen custard, or the Arab agraz, either, all of which come in innumerable flavours.) Now combine in one way or another with milk, Orange Crush, blueberry green tea smoothie, or mojito with fresh mint and lime. Imagination? You got it!
Root Beer Float>>
The ice cream float was invented more than 130 years ago in the United States, likely for outstripping the soda fountain competition. At Zak’s, a 1950s-style diner in the ByWard Market, the classic can be had — root beer with vanilla ice cream, topped perfectly with a maraschino cherry. There’s something so satisfying about ice cream melting into the root beer fizz. Of course, you can order other pop too — orange Fanta and cream soda are popular. Ice creams include chocolate and strawberry. $5.49. Zak’s Diner, 14 ByWard Market Sq., 613-241-2401.
The frappé LocaMoka-Lata is a “milkshake with a little twist,” says Tammy Giuliani, owner of gelateria Stella Luna. Chocolate gelato gets whizzed with espresso and coconut milk; whipped cream is the icing on the cake. Super thick! Giuliano explains that because the little butterfat in gelato (hers contains a quarter the fat of regular ice cream) hardly coats the tongue, the mocha flavour comes through loud and clear. You got that right! $5.25.
Stella Luna Gelato Café, 1103 Bank St., 613-523-1116.
La Bocca Juice With Lebanese Ice Cream
The whirl of a smoothie called La Bocca Juice is made with fruit: bananas, strawberries, pineapple, and mango with chunks of the fresh fruit mixed throughout. A scoop of ice cream floats on top. But not just any ice cream. At this gelateria owner Mohamed Najjar makes Lebanese ice cream — booza. But not just any booza. His grandfather taught him how to make the ashta variety, which has a stickiness, the result of mastic resin and sahlab (dried orchid tubers), that makes it melt more slowly than it would ordinarily. It’s a rich yet light Lebanese concoction that tastes like clotted cream. Najjar’s has lots of pistachios and a few drops of rosewater. The delicately flavoured ice cream, when paired with the tutti-frutti smoothie, is simply out of this world! $6.95.
La Bocca Juice, 2446 Bank St., 613-523-1500.