The secret? It’s not the cows: University

John Adams

Along with booze, guns and cigarettes, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will soon be regulating ice cream, thanks to one University researcher.
Ice Cream Bar Inc., along with University food scientist David Smith, has manufactured the first ice cream containing enough alcohol to warrant regulation by the ATF.
But don’t worry about licking and driving — one would have to eat four four-ounce containers of the ice cream to equal one beer.
And though 99 percent of the ingredients are grown in Minnesota and perfected on the University campus, Iowa gets the first taste. Because its excise taxes are much lower than Minnesota’s — 50 cents per gallon compared to $5.03 per gallon — Iowa will be the first state to market the product this month.
The ice cream liqueur, called Blend’s, will eventually be made in 30 flavors. For the first market in Iowa, nine flavors are offered, such as “Grasshopper” or “Whiskey Cream,” each with an alcohol content of between 2.5 and 3.6 percent by volume.
The ice cream liqueur was made possible by advances in the alcohol which goes in it. Previously, the instability of the alcohol made ice cream lack substance when the two were combined. With the counsel of Smith, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, the ice cream liqueur was perfected.
The ice cream will sell initially in single 4-ounce cups and in a 10-pack.
“Quite obviously it will give you a buzz,” Orris said of a future product offering of a liter and 1.75 liter sizes.
The wording on the packaging is more similar to a bottle of Jack Daniels than to a quart of Ben and Jerry’s. Orris said it took the ATF four years to figure how to regulate the unique food-alcohol mixed product. This was the first such product the ATF had encountered that was not a liquid.
The contents are measured in milliliters and all the standard alcohol warnings are on the package.
Daryl Orris, president of Ice Cream Bar Inc., and inventor of the product, is in partnership with Central Minnesota Dairy Co-op which provides the cream and distills the alcohol. Co-op employee Jerry Fericks said the product could eventually use 60,000 to 70,000 cows because of the large amount of milk in the ice cream.
But Orris is most proud of the all-Minnesotan ingredients, from the thousands of gallons of milk a day that go into making the ice cream to the grain and sugar beets that go into the alcohol.
When asked how Orris, a businessman, came up with the idea, Smith said, “I think it helped that he wasn’t a scientist.”