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The Magic of Citrus Season

Back in the summer of 2012 when I first started scooping at Lick, Blackberry, Lime, & Basil and Cilantro Lime were my unquestioned favorites of all the ice creams we had in the case at the time. The complex, slightly citrusy flavors were always my go-to when I wanted a scoop that first summer. The taste of Cilantro Lime pressed down into the bottom of a waffle cone is, for me, one of the strongest sensory memories of that time. A lifetime chocolate-lover, one of the most striking things about my job at Lick since day one has been that, of all of our flavors, it’s the fruities, juiciest ones that I consistently find myself most drawn to. Other favorites of mine have included Roasted Beets & Fresh Mint, Persimmons & Sage, and Orange & Fennel. Lucky for me, one of those three has returned to our shops today!

Though Blackberry, Lime, & Basil is not in our citrus season line-up this year, Cilantro Lime and Orange & Fennel will be, along with the other three citrus flavors we’re adding to the case today. This means that I, along with all of my fellow fruity ice cream lovers will be more than happy in the coming months. These first, early spring seasonal flavors are truly the hallmark of a long spring and summer of vibrant, fruit-filled flavors in our shops. After a couple of months of cold weather and heavy, decadent flavors, I’m ready for the warm weather that passes as a Texas February and the first fruits that come along with it.

Citrus and fruit flavors in general have always been an essential part of the Lick experience for me, and I’m clearly not alone in that. Cilantro Lime was ranked as one of GQ’s 50 Best Things to Eat and Drink in the entire country in 2013. Before Lick was opened, when our founders, Anthony and Chad, were living in Ohio, Cilantro Lime was an ice cream that Anthony would make for himself to cure his homesickness for the flavors of Texas. The flavor combination was one he associated most especially with south-central Texas, and this homemade ice cream was one of the reasons he was inspired to open the shop when he and Chad moved back to Texas. Diana, our Operations Manager, also says that our citrus flavors are a reflection of her personal preferences. To her, they are classic, and the first flavor she ever invented on her own for the shop contained citrus.

Early on in her career at Lick, when Diana was Anthony’s kitchen assistant, she asked Anthony if she could replace one of the coconut-milk based flavors they had at the time with something of her own design. Diana felt that the shop needed to have a coconut flavor with some texture to it, something it currently lacked, so she decided she needed to make a flavor combination that would go well with toasted coconut flakes. At the time, she and Anthony were already making one flavor that used only lemon juice and one that used only lime zest. Diana wanted to save the kitchen some money and be thriftier by using the whole fruits, so she experimented with taking the unused parts of the fruits (zest from the lemons and juice from the limes) and combining them into a gooey, tangy curd. She folded this into her toasted coconut ice cream, and so Tart Toasted Coconut was born.

These days, we rely a lot on the versatility and the vibrancy of citrus to make a collection of flavors which are each uniquely and distinctly delicious, from Grapefruit Champagne Marshmallow to Sweet Lemon, Gin & Juniper. This is a nice time to be working up at our kitchen. Everything is bright and fruity and beautiful, and the kitchen staff send everyone home with fresh squeezed orange juice from the fruits that were zested that day. We hope that you’ll love this season’s collection of flavors as much as we do here.

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