The Crushery, a popular ice cream and sweet spot at 1579 South Pearl Street, just got a little sweeter and a lot cooler. That's because it's now making frozen treats with liquid nitrogen.
"Our name is Negative 321 because that's what the temperature is," says operations manager Josh Ruderman. When nitrogen is separated from the air and compressed, it becomes a liquid, with a negative 321 temperature.
After customers pick their ingredients -- almost fifty choices ranging from Oreos to lavender and powdered Altoids -- the Crushery makes the ice cream on the spot with the way-below-freezing liquid. "We do it right in front of you," Ruderman says. "If I have your ingredients, I could whip something up in a minute. It freezes in about thirty seconds."
When nitrogen is separated from the air and compressed, it becomes a liquid, with a negative 321 temperature. After customers pick their ingredients -- almost fifty choices ranging from Oreos to lavender and powdered Altoids -- the ice cream is made on the spot with the way-below-freezing liquid. "We do it right in front of you," Ruderman says. "If I have your ingredients, I could whip something up in a minute. It freezes in about thirty seconds."
The Crushery is all about "build your own," so when the shop expanded to ice cream, everyone wanted to keep the same concept. "We carry the options over into the ice cream world," Ruderman says. "We wanted it to be fun and have different ingredients. We want you to step out of the box and try something different."
And customers certainly are. "People are excited about the crazy combinations, but people like us to suggest flavors to them, too," he adds. "Some people are more timid, but we give you a little push to try something you wouldn't try every day,"
The mastermind behind the ice cream operation is Crushery owner John Davidson. "He has a real knack for finding an even balance for flavors," Ruderman says, "and he likes to recommend ways for people to step out -- and it's the same for the ice cream. We don't just want plain Jane vanilla, we want the customer to get into it, too."
Negative 321 is anything but plain Jane in flavor -- and the process makes the freshest ice cream possible. "Most traditional ice creams get aerated and iced up, and that takes away the flavor," Ruderman explains. "Our ice cream is very intense, because you're not wasting any time freezing it."
The Crushery is currently offering its liquid nitrogen ice cream at $2.75 for a kid's portion, $3.50 for a regular, and $4.50 for a shake or smoothie. For more info and hours, call the Crushery at 303-733-4117.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.