Prohibition Creamery, the artisanal alcoholic ice cream shop housed in a restored bungalow space in Austin’s vibrant east side, opened last week. Founded by dining newcomer Laura Aidan, this long-awaited sweets parlor and cocktail bar combo was born out of a serious love of all-things sweet.
Prohibition came from Aidan’s love for local ingredients, handcrafted recipes, and her two favorite indulgences—alcohol and ice cream. The rich desserts are created entirely from scratch by hand, utilizing old-fashioned methods.
Aidan’s background is far from the typical culinary one. She graduated with a degree in computer science, and worked in software development. "I would come after my long commute on MoPac every night and come home to my kitchen, my happy place," says Aidan. "I decided I wanted to open an ice cream shop because I’m an ice cream nut."
With that in mind, the self-starter spent the last three years turning those ice cream dreams into reality with not much experience behind her. Aidan worked on creating a recipe base, researching the market, developed her business plan, and took as many classes as she could. She attended Penn State University's ice cream courses, as well as chocolaterie Valrhona's program in Brooklyn, and studied under a French pastry chef this recent spring. "I traveled all over the world tasting ice cream," she explains.
Ice cream isn't something you outgrow
With all of that schooling, she mastered the craft of infusing spirits into ice cream for an intoxicating experience. The shop, named after the the dark times when alcohol was illegal in America, offers booze hidden in ice cream, sorbets, shakes, and floats. This includes the already-popular signature flavor bourbon, tiramisu, and a sangria sorbet that is essentially a frozen cocktail, a refreshing treat perfect for Austin’s flaming summer days.
For sans-alcoholic options, the brown sugar caramel and peanut butter and jelly sandwich are just two of the classic ice creams available. The dark chocolate sorbet is rich and decadent, and just happens to be vegan. Aidan is never without future ideas for flavors, keeping three separate journals: ice cream flavors, milkshakes, and toppings.
Over at the cocktail bar, the menu features drinks with with sweet spins, like the vanilla bean daiquiri, which can be ordered on its own or paired with specific ice cream flavors. The bar program also includes a thoughtful wine list that couples well with the frozen desserts, and a beer list that emphasizes local breweries. Black and Blue Nitro Cold Brew from Austin’s Cuvée Coffee is offered on tap and, of course, can be combined with ice cream.
Prohibition's space is warm and welcoming, all wood and brass. Aidan called on Forge Craft Architecture and Design (she wanted architects who would "appreciate the house for what it is") to build the dessert bar, taking advantage of existing bungalow to create large front and back patios, full bar, seating room, and on-site kitchen.
"I wanted to open an ice cream shop for me," explains Aidan. "Adults love ice cream, too—it’s not something that you outgrow. There just aren’t enough ice cream shops where you stay and spend time hanging out." That’s why Prohibition Creamery is here to serve.
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Prohibition Creamery, 1407 East 7th Street