The proper dive bar is a multisensory experience. There’s the whiff of that baked-into-the-walls bouquet of spilled beer, long-lingering cigarette smoke, and industrial cleaning products; the feeling of sliding against the upholstery of a musty banquette until you encounter some weird sticky spot (if not there, on the scratched up table or floor). Now, at long last, these oddities that dive bar regulars accept as part of the appeal have been encapsulated into an ice cream bar, because who hasn’t smelled and felt these dank wonders and thought, I wish I could distill all of this into dessert?
To “celebrate the dive bar,” Miller High Life announced a partnership with Tipsy Scoop, a New York-based brand that sells liquor-infused ice cream. Per the press release, these themed ice cream bars feature High Life-infused ice cream with a 5 percent ABV, as well as (emphasis ours):
“delicious peanut swirl bringing the saltiness of the quintessential dive bar snack; a hint of tobacco smoke flavor reminiscent of that unforgettable dive bar scent; gooey caramel swirl to incorporate the distinct sticky dive bar floor feeling only the real ones know; a fun sprinkle of carbonated candy to provide the iconic Champagne of Beers effervescence in every bite; all dipped in dark chocolate to evoke the dark wood and dim lighting ambiance that all good dives share.”
Of course, cut out all of those lines of branding and what you end up with is basically a slightly fancier Drumstick, with a flavor that wouldn’t seem too out of place at any moderately bougie ice cream shop or even the increasingly artisanal shelves of grocery store freezers. Compared to some of these burgeoning weird flavors, “dive bar” is actually pretty mundane; the self-described “curiously delicious” ice cream company Salt & Straw is literally selling spinach cake-flavored and mayo-based ice creams at this very moment, continuing the Great Experiment of American ice cream in 2022.
But like Coke’s recent foray into the surreal, dive bar ice cream suggests that brands are branching out of the boring realm of flavors and into the more expansive sphere of experiences — it is not just caramel but what the caramel is meant to convey. With each lick, you can imagine the dive bar floor. If that speaks to you, six-packs of Miller High Life and Tipsy Scoot’s ice cream dive bar are now available for preorder online.