Ice cream season is upon us, and we didn't need to look too far down Broadway to find our cold indulgence for the summer. Sweet Action Ice Cream opened its doors in early March to the general enthusiasm of the entire Baker neighborhood. After moving from New York to Denver, owners Samantha Kopicko and Chia Basinger knew they wanted to start some sort of business. "We thought about opening a bar," said Sam, "but it just didn't sound like fun." The couple had been messing around with making ice cream at home and got to the point where they felt like they had something special.
And they do. Not content to simply sling your standard ice cream around, they went into business with the goal of offering the best product possible, while being as responsible and sustainable as possible. This passion comes through in a variety of ways, from locally sourced milk and produce, to biodegradable spoons, to participation in Xcel's Windsource program. They support other nearby businesses by working with them in creative--and delicious--ways. Watch out for an ice cream/cupcake collaboration with The Shoppe, and for a monthly specialty flavor whose proceeds benefit a local organization.
All very impressive, but let's get down to it: how does it taste?
After feeling uninspired by a pint of horchata we'd picked up about a month ago (which tasted like very good vanilla, but missing the cinnamon notes we had hoped for), we were ready to have a go at some of the most interesting of the 24 flavors on offer in the case. We started with the margarita sorbet, which Chia said was made with 1800 tequila. Smart move, buttering us up with our favorite liquor. The sorbet was rich with citrus and a strong hit of tequila, but at the same time maintained a light and fresh mouth feel. It would be easy for a flavor like this to come out too close to a cheap frozen margarita mix, but this one managed to find the exact right balance between sweet and tart to create an amazingly refreshing sorbet.
In another local collaboration, Sweet Action got a hold of the filling WaterCourse uses for their famous sweet potato cinnamon rolls and swirled it into their cinnamon roll ice cream. The result is a super smooth ice cream, heavy with a bright cinnamon flavor and punched with a gooey ribbon of spice. We say if a cinnamon roll can be considered breakfast, there's no reason why you couldn't indulge in a pint of this stuff first thing in the morning.
Another star flavor came through in the unexpected garam marsala. This is one of Sweet Action's vegan options, made with a base of coconut cream in lieu of dairy. Once our brains were able to make sense of what was going on in our mouths--a spice-infused savory sensation with a kick of coconut--we were converts. This Middle Eastern spice worked in the same way unusual flavors like olive oil or avocado do, and the coconut base matched everything perfectly. The creaminess was so convincing, if we hadn't known otherwise, we would not have been able to tell it was dairy-free.
Other flavors we sampled included pomegranate sorbet (icy and strong), Guinness milk chocolate (creamy and dark, with a note of the stout) and Cherry Mash (one of our favorite old-fashioned candies thrown together with sweet cream).
Sweet Action has over 100 flavors they have developed that are constantly in rotation. So consider yourself lucky and act quickly if you show up and find favorites like baklava, white Russian or salted butterscotch on offer.
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The worst part about owning an ice cream shop? Not being able to enjoy other ice cream as much anymore. "We know too much," said Sam.
"Yeah," chimed Chia with a somber look, "Never eat the soft serve at Water World."
Follow Sweet Action on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute reports on new flavors.