Photos by Cristiana Caruso
Westchester ice cream lovers are in high spirits thanks to this new, alcohol-infused frozen treat that takes dessert to the next level.
If you asked Gabriela Baumatz what makes her happy, the answer is nearly automatic: watching someone eat her handcrafted, spiked ice cream. “Seeing people’s faces when they try the ice cream is so exciting because they instantly love it,” says the newly incorporated business owner. “I want to give someone a special moment of joy.”
After moving to the states in 2017 from Argentina, Baumatz was settling into her career as an architect, and even opened up her own firm. But this was a mere month before the pandemic shut down most of the world in 2020.
In a time of uncertainty and fear, Baumatz turned to the fond memories of her grandmother making ice cream as a comfort for herself and her family. While she had attempted the recipe before, nothing ever turned out quite right. And like many of us working from home this past year, she became bored. But out of that boredom came the question that has sparked many of the world’s greatest ideas: “What if I tried this?” She mixed chocolate ice cream with Malbec, and Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream had its first flavor.
The first few months were spent doing tastings for friends and family and, when the responses all came back as unanimous oh-my-gosh-can-I-buy-this-by-the-vat amazing, the mother of three decided to take this kitchen escapade to the next level. After finding a mentor in Buenos Aires that would help her nail down the delicate chemistry of ice cream, Baumatz began experimenting.
Now, she’s touting a 14-flavor roster of alcoholic ice cream since the business officially launched in March of 2021. With flavors that beckon a beach like paloma (infused with tequila) and kiwi breeze (infused with gin), digging into one of these pints is a vacation without any airfare. For Baumatz, that freshness and authenticity is one of the most crucial elements of her craft. “Everything is fresh; there’s no extract whatsoever. You can taste the fruit and the alcohol. And the alcohol is always premium,” says Baumatz, whose level of quality control is so high that she imports her dulce de leche from Argentina. “When the ingredients are cheap, the ice cream tastes cheap. And this ice cream is luxurious.”
Her most popular flavor is the espresso martini: coffee ice cream enrobed with Kahlua and vodka. The texture is smoother than any ice cream you’ll grab out of the freezer aisle, with the consistency of gelato but the flavor of your favorite cocktail; it’s a major task to put your spoon down.
Baumatz is optimistic about what’s to come, especially what other flavors she can concoct in the commercial kitchen into which Alchimista has expanded. “I love coming up with new flavors and seeing what different combinations to create.”
She currently delivers pints of paradise locally, but shipping is available for folks outside of Westchester looking to indulge. To meet the legend herself and sample a handful of Alchimista flavors, Baumatz can be found at the Larchmont Farmers Market on select dates.