Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, Mystic
July 14, 2012
It’s not often I can knock out three CTMQ-worthy food/restaurant pages in one fell swoop. (After writing that phrase, I looked at it and wondered where it came from. And it’s stuff like that that makes the Internet so great.)
After dining a few minutes east at Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank – which, like the part of Mystic this ice cream shop is in is actually a part of Groton – we braved the tourists of downtown Mystic. We drove past Mystic Pizza and saw people in jorts snapping photos before eating rather average pizza. I found Main Street parking right in front of the Mystic Psychic.
Actually, there are two signs for the Mystic Psychic right next to each other so it’s a redundant redundancy. Of course, perhaps the Mystic Psychic was being purposefully cheeky when naming the business, but that would be giving too much credit to a charlatan grifter who preys on the vulnerable.
The ice cream shop is situated right at the famed Mystic drawbridge; a rare and historic bascule beauty that will one day have its own CTMQ page. Although it opens at 40 past the hour, every hour, during summer days we didn’t see it in action. Eh, at least it didn’t distract from the equally important matter at hand: ice cream.
Mystic Drawbridge is actually a deli of sorts as well. But at 5:30 on a summer Saturday afternoon, the deli side of the place was empty and the ice cream side certainly was not. The line moved quickly and I ordered: the usual chocolate for Damian and toasted almond for Hoang.
I veered off the path and opted for Drawbridge’s unique Lemon Chocolate Kiss. It is a lemon custard ice cream with chocolate bits here and there. Hoang was horrified. I absolutely loved it. And, for the record, little Calvin ate half of it himself. It was excellent, though I’m not even sure what the point of the chocolate in it is, as I found the pieces to be fleeting at best and completely overwhelmed by the tart sweetness of the creamy lemony ice cream.
Hoang’s toasted almond contained whole almonds, which I don’t recall seeing elsewhere. Damian’s chocolate was rich and thick and very chocolatey. I’ll wait a couple paragraphs before writing my vent about this place… So guys, how do you make your ice cream?
First, in the European Tradition start with rich cream from a local dairy, sweeten with real cane sugar, add only the best pure Bourbon Vanilla, imported Dutch Cocoa, fresh roasted nuts, real Maple Syrup and premium fresh fruits to create ice creams unequalled in quality and taste.
Second, minimize overrun. All ice cream has air whipped into it, otherwise it would freeze rock hard (not the best for licking or enjoying). The percentage of air added is called overrun. Most so called “homemade” and mass produced ice creams are made with 80-100 percent overrun. This means that by volume almost half the ice cream is air. By contrast we at Mystic Drawbridge make all our ice creams with 30– 50 percent overrun. That is why our ice cream is richer, creamier and more flavorful.
Third, we make all our ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbets one batch at a time. We carefully hand mix every batch adding our fresh fruits, nuts and candies. In this manner we can retain maximum freshness and flavor. It is a true “Love of Labor”. We love what we do and dedicate ourselves to providing our customers with “The Best” ice cream possible.
Now THAT is a mission statement I can get behind. We’ve had homemade ice cream all over the state and most claim to have less air in theirs than most. And I’ve found that to be the case over and over again. But that’s not to take away from this place at all.
Yes, the ice cream is great. But once again, as we’ve found at high-end ice cream joint after high-end ice cream joint, THEIR CHEAP FLIMSY WEAK PLASTIC SPOONS DROVE US CRAZY. Drawbridge brags (rightfully so) about their thick ice cream and then they provide essentially bendy straws with flat parts with which to eat it. I paid 12 bucks for 3 scoops of ice cream (think about that for a second) and they can’t provide usable utensils. Argh.
It may be a little more expensive than some other places, and their spoons are terrible, but who would complain about a few extra bucks’ premium to enjoy great ice cream in downtown Mystic right next to the drawbridge and across the river from the historic Seaport Village?
No one. Especially not this greedy little kid: