Nisreen Galloway and Elizabeth Nash were writing and literature majors at Emerson College in Boston, but the two met and became friends in an entrepreneurial class.
Galloway grew up in Boston, and Nash grew up in Milwaukee, but the two of them both shared a heritage of pairing ice cream and spirits.
“We both are foodies,” says Galloway. “My dad would pour a shot of brandy over sundaes.”
“My family and friends would hold these very elegant dinner parties, and they’d serve a sorbet with a shot of vodka, and that just stuck with me for years,” Nash adds.
The two liked ice cream and pairing ice cream with liqueurs so that became the genesis of Crème De Liqueur liquor-infused frozen custard.
The two began working on their company in 2019, and they debuted their spirited ice creams in Boston and Milwaukee in July 2021. What’s unusual about this artisan company is that it is locally based in Boston, where Galloway lives, and in Milwaukee, where Nash lives.
Using local cream, local liquor and other local ingredients is a cornerstone of their business. It’s the same recipe, but they make it with different local ingredients in each city.
“We work with local distilleries and local partners in each state,” Nash says. “And it’s not just distillers, as we look for local bakeries for mixing in things like brownies and cheesecakes.”
Their four main, year-round flavors are pistachio amaretto, vanilla bean horchata, chocolate brownie bourbon and lemon cream vodka. “A bent of chocolate brownie bourbon will have a slightly different profile in Milwaukee than in Boston because we’re sourcing locally,” Galloway says.
In addition to their four main flavors, seasonally, they will try out different flavors, and sometimes they’ll try out new flavors in just one city.
Their latest release this fall in Massachusetts is Twisted Apple Pie, which is a collaboration with two other, women-run businesses, Petsi Pies and Boston Harbor Distillery. The ice cream is made with Boston Harbor Distillery’s Demon Seed whiskey and Petsie Pie’s crisp apple pie.
“Together, we’ve crafted a fall flavor that celebrates local, and brings three women-owned businesses together in one pint,” Galloway says.
Other fall flavors will include a whiskey s’mores ice cream and a vanilla bean cognac. “We test out flavors every month or so, rotating our selection based the season,” Nash says.
Besides Boston Harbor Distillery, they also work with Bully Boy Distillers and Short Path Distillers in Massachusetts, and in Wisconsin, they work with Central Standard Craft Distillery, Twisted Path Distillery and Wollersheim Winery & Distillery.
The two started selling cups and pints of their infused frozen delights at farmers markets in both cities, and they expanded to doing pop-ups and events, and now, they’re in local specialty grocery stores, as well as restaurants, bars and distilleries.
“One of our favorite things (about both Boston and Milwaukee) is that they’re pretty much year-round ice cream places,” Galloway says.
“The cold doesn’t bother people too much,” Nash says. “Last year, we sold our ice cream at some of the winter markets, including the Milwaukee Christkindlmarket. In fact, we were approached by the mayor of Oak Creek (Wisconsin) to come and sell at their farmers market because he tried it at the Christkindlemarket.”
The ice cream sells for $5 to $7 per single serving, and $13 to $16 per pint, and each ice cream has only 2 percent ABV. As their ice cream has gained a following, fans have asked if they’ll open up outposts in Chicago and New York, as well as New Hampshire.
“As we grow, some things might have to shift a bit, but our goal is to keep local as a cornerstone of our business, with flavors unique to local areas,” Galloway says.