REVIEW: Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Champagne Ice Cream

Like most television shows, Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Krave Cereal, “Dry January” was started in the UK before being adopted a few years later in the United States. The temporary alcohol abstention movement — fueled partially, no doubt, by the unyielding power of social media — has become so trendy in the US that 19% of respondents to a 2022 Morning Consult poll said they planned on participating. (By, you know, not participating in drinking.)

Not wanting you to be forced into a joyless, totally booze-bereft existence, though, artisanal ice cream maker Van Leeuwen is here to tempt you with its newest novelty offering, Champagne. Unlike many of their other “limited edition” offerings, however, there are no peculiar mix-ins or “swirls,” no chunks of macaroni or pockets of pizza seasoning. Instead, you are presented with a very straightforward offering: champagne-flavored ice cream.

But so, here’s the thing — I got almost NO champagne flavor from this at all. As delightfully creamy as usual (they use lots and lots of egg yolks, which is how French ice cream becomes French, apparently), this tastes like an almost straightforward vanilla, but then, at the very, very back end, there’s a slightly sour punch that I associate with champagne. But honestly, it’s almost imperceptible. And actually, as someone who never cared for champagne before I quit drinking half a decade ago, I didn’t mind that this was largely a champagne-free affair. The real stuff used to give me heartburn and a headache; in ice cream form, it mostly made me feel bloated.

If you’re a big champagne consumer, though, or you’re desperately white-knuckling through Dry January and looking for some sort of respite, I don’t know that this will do it. And on that same note, if you’re looking for some wacky tasting dessert meant to illicit a fun reaction from unsuspecting eaters, again, better luck next time. If, however, you want a high quality vanilla ice cream with the very tiniest hint of something else at the end, knock yourself out. The added benefit, of course, is that you won’t actually end up knocking yourself out, which is, you know, always a possibility when real booze is involved. Or it was for me, at least. Hooray for sobriety!

Purchased Price: $4.98
Size: 14 fl oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 270 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 21 grams of total sugars (15 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.

5 thoughts to “REVIEW: Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Champagne Ice Cream”

  1. Given how innovative/quirky Van Leeuwen seems, I was wondering if they’d found a way to reproduce the “bubbles” with which I associate champagne, but it sounds like this was one was a little bland. Also wondering about testing a Champagne float for Valentine’s Day.

    Thanks for the review.

    1. I had the champagne float thought, too. If you’re a champagne imbiber, sounds kinda cool.

  2. If you REALLY wanna be disappointed, try the red velvet. I was utterly shocked at how far off base it was. It has brownie chunks in it…

  3. I got almost no champagne taste and thought it might as well be plain vanilla. However, I loved the King Cake ice cream they have out right now.

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