FOOD & DRINK
06/23/2017 06:00 am ET

The Best Summer Ice Cream Flavors Of 2017

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
The best summer ice cream flavors of 2017.
Julie R Thomson
The best summer ice cream flavors of 2017.

Summer is officially here, and that means it’s time to eat all the ice cream.

We know there are plenty of folks who are happy with a simple scoop of vanilla or chocolate. But for everyone else out there who wants a little more excitement ― like campfire bacon s’mores ― we went on a great ice cream hunt.

We tried over 30 premium pints from some of the best ice cream makers in the country (they’re all available online) to find the most exciting flavors being made this summer. And boy, were we ever successful. We’ve been conducting this seasonal search for five years now, and this was hands down the best ice cream taste test to date. There was more than one salted caramel pick, and more than one mint chip. (Proof that it was a great year!)

Without further ado, these are the ice creams worth splurging on this season ― in order from “that’s some damn fine ice cream” to “I might eat this whole pint if you don’t stop me.” 

  • 12 Graeter's Black Cherry Chocolate Chip
    Sweet, dark cherries from the Pacific Northwest are paired with gourmet bittersweet chocolate chips in this decadent pin
    Julie R Thomson
    Sweet, dark cherries from the Pacific Northwest are paired with gourmet bittersweet chocolate chips in this decadent pint.

    Tasting notes: "Like really good Cherry Garcia." " Cherry! Good!" "Massive chocolate pieces."

    Graeter's Black Cherry Chocolate Chip is available online
  • 11 Haagen-Dazs Trio Crispy Belgian Chocolate Coffee And Vanilla Ice Cream
    Classic coffee ice cream paired with vanilla ice cream and an indulgent Belgian chocolate crunch.<br><br><i>Tasting notes: "U
    Julie R Thomson
    Classic coffee ice cream paired with vanilla ice cream and an indulgent Belgian chocolate crunch.

    Tasting notes: "Uh-huh, like this!" "Subtle and refreshing." "Classic."

    Look for Haagen-Dazs Trio Crispy Belgian Chocolate Coffee And Vanilla Ice Cream at stores near you
  • 10 Salt & Straw's Breakside Brewery’s Spent Grains & Bacon S’mores
    Combatting food waste is the point of this flavor, and it does it well. Spent grains form the base of this&nbsp;campfire-read
    Julie R Thomson
    Combatting food waste is the point of this flavor, and it does it well. Spent grains form the base of this campfire-ready ice cream. And pork belly is used to make bacon marshmallow fluff that streaks itself across each scoop.

    Tasting notes: "Smoky. Yeah." "Great base ice cream flavor -- toasty and malty." "Want. Always."

    Salt & Straw's Breakside Brewery’s Spent Grains & Bacon S’mores is available online (for the month of June 2017)
  • 9 Phin & Phebe's The Full Minty
    This mint ice cream is made with&nbsp;peppermint and double-fold Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract -- plus, chunks of dark c
    Julie R Thomson
    This mint ice cream is made with peppermint and double-fold Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract -- plus, chunks of dark chocolate gluten-free Mint Slims from Goodie Girl Cookies.

    Tasting notes: "Bold, mint flavor." "Refreshing!" "So many chocolate pieces." "Yum."

    Phin & Phebe's The Full Minty is available online
  • 8 McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams Banana & Salted Caramel
    Ripe bananas, pureed and folded into milk and cream, then paired&nbsp;with thick, salt-spiked caramel sauce.<br><br><i>Tastin
    Julie R Thomson
    Ripe bananas, pureed and folded into milk and cream, then paired with thick, salt-spiked caramel sauce.

    Tasting notes: "These two flavors belong together." "Rich. So yum. Gimme." "Smooth."

    McConnell's Banana & Salted Caramel is available online
  • 7 Salt & Straw's Birthday Cake & Blackberries
    Sprinkles, chunks of cake and blackberries make this pint a summertime treat.<br><br><i>Tasting notes: "Crunchy and sweet --
    Julie R Thomson
    Sprinkles, chunks of cake and blackberries make this pint a summertime treat.

    Tasting notes: "Crunchy and sweet -- better than cake!" "Actual cake consistency." "Tastes like a party in my mouth."

    Salt & Straw's Birthday Cake & Blackberries is available online (during the month of July 2017)
  • 6 Coolhaus Chocolate Molten Cake
    Rich milk chocolate ice cream with chewy chocolate cake bites and a fudgy swirl.<br><br><i>Tasting notes: "I could get lost i
    Julie R Thomson
    Rich milk chocolate ice cream with chewy chocolate cake bites and a fudgy swirl.

    Tasting notes: "I could get lost in this pint." "Yes, yes, yes." "Rich, smooth chocolate flavor."

    Coolhaus Chocolate Molten Cake is available online
  • 5 Phin & Phebe's Vietnamese Iced Coffee
    A blend of regular coffee and chicory coffee with&nbsp;a hint of cardamom to make your mouth sing.<br><br><i>Tasting notes:
    Julie R Thomson
    A blend of regular coffee and chicory coffee with a hint of cardamom to make your mouth sing.

    Tasting notes: "Rich, light, great." "Oddly refreshing." "Perfect coffee flavor, not too sweet."

    Phin & Phebe's Vietnamese Iced Coffee is available online
  • 4 Graeter's Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip
    Made by&nbsp;cooking brown sugar and cream with a pinch of salt, this pint is made even more decadent with the addition of go
    Julie R Thomson
    Made by cooking brown sugar and cream with a pinch of salt, this pint is made even more decadent with the addition of gourmet dark chocolate chips.

    Tasting notes: "Great!" "Those chocolate pieces are amazing." "Rich caramel flavor -- so good!"

    Graeter's Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip is available online
  • 3 Coolhaus Dirty Mint Chip
    Fresh local and organic mint leaves, brown sugar and semi-sweet chips make this pint. Take note: this is not your average min
    Julie R Thomson
    Fresh local and organic mint leaves, brown sugar and semi-sweet chips make this pint. Take note: this is not your average mint chip, you can taste the freshness of real mint leaves.

    Tasting notes: "Very fresh mint -- different!" "Great mint flavor!" "Whoa."

    Coolhaus Dirty Mint Chip is available online
  • 2 McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams Strawberry Rhubarb
    Strawberry rhubarb at its very best. This is basically what strawberry ice cream has been aspiring to be.&nbsp;<br><br><i>Tas
    Julie R Thomson
    Strawberry rhubarb at its very best. This is basically what strawberry ice cream has been aspiring to be. 

    Tasting notes: "This is the quintessential summer flavor!" "Good! Creamy! Awesome strawberry flavor!" "LOVE." "Soft, silky, subtle."

    McConnell's Strawberry Rhubarb is available online (though it does tend to sell out)
  • 1 Salt & Straw's Meyer Lemon Buttermilk With Blueberries
    Meyer lemon buttermilk ice cream forms the base of this brightly-flavored pint and generous blueberry fruit swirls across it.
    Julie R Thomson
    Meyer lemon buttermilk ice cream forms the base of this brightly-flavored pint and generous blueberry fruit swirls across it. This is summer.

    Tasting notes: "Super fruity!" "Bright, refreshing, crisp!" "Ding, ding, ding -- this is it!" 

    Salt & Straw's Meyer Lemon Buttermilk With Blueberries is available for purchase online (during the month of July 2017)
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