Fifty Licks: Dessert, Cocktails, and Cuban Coffee

Portland has a pretty popping ice cream scene to say the least. Among others, there’s Salt & Straw if you’re willing to line up and sample funky outside-the-box concoctions; then there is Ruby Jewel if you’re craving a scrumptious ice cream sandwich to finally quiet down that rambunctious sweet tooth- and now there is also Fifty Licks where you get the options of sorbet cocktails and Cuban Coffee. Now WHO can say no to that?

A couple of weeks back, I had the honour of being invited along several other bloggers to an “Ice Cream Social” at Fifty Licks hosted by proprietor and ice cream creator extraordinaire, Chad Draizin and Heather Jones of Heather Jones Consulting. So, lo and behold in anticipation I spent my lunch break that day taking advantage of my brand new 24 Hour Fitness membership and munching on stuff like fancy asiago-laden kale salad.

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As some of you may know, Chad Draizin (who was formerly in Real Estate) started Fifty Licks out as a food cart. The first time I sampled his goodness was on a sweltering July day back at the Mississippi Street Fair in 2012.

After substantial success, Draizin recently opened up his own shop, an adorable ice cream parlor on SE Clinton nestled right behind St. Jack.

Upon arrival, Chad started us out with a demonstration on how to make Cuban Coffee, one of the specialties served at Fifty Licks. It’s essentially a shot of super strong coffee mixed in with some sugar…something that would be incredibly useful at reducing the number of times I hit the snooze button on Monday mornings.

And then out came the samples…

As someone who normally shuns any ice cream imitators, I have to admit that Fifty Licks changed my mind. Their sorbets are so creamy and out of this world that you would swear that they had to be made with dairy. My absolute favourite? The coconut lemon saffron sorbet. Delightful.

As for the ice creams I was a huge fan of the Oregon Honey Strawberry, Stumptown Coffee and an Orange Creamsicle flavour which had been a leftover from Halloween (so sadly is no longer available).

And as I mentioned earlier in the post, Fifty Licks has another refreshing and amazing specialty: Sorbet cocktails

My favourite of the cocktails? The Furacao for sure- there was something about the coolness of the passionfruit sorbet that balanced nicely with the Sichuan pepper flavour- and the spiciness was subtle; a successful dichotomy nevertheless.

And after all that, Chad was such a darling and gave us all a package of some Cherry Bourbon ice cream to take home (and yes, I’ve already finished it all and it was delightful)!

So there you go! If you’re looking for a trendy new neighbourhood spot that serves up some boozy dessert (or just some awesome ice cream or vegan frozen treats), then head over to Fifty Licks for a dose of some suga’!

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