Serendipity, a hole-in-the-wall artisanal ice-cream shop located at 421 NW 26th St. in Wynwood, has quickly become a quirky neighborhood gem thanks to its creative flavors. Think a mashup of beer, wine, flowers, and fruits handmade just hours earlier by founder/owner Jessica Levison.
"What can I say?" Levison giggles. "Wynwood loves its booze and has an appetite for boozy flavors. They are definitely more popular than my regular flavors."
The garage-size shop always offers 16 varieties. Three to four are signature, two to four are vegan, and the rest are experimental and rotate every few days. Levison says one of the best parts about running Serendipity is the ability to develop new recipes with ingredients such as local beers, spirits, and even floral accents.
"Making ice cream depends on a zillion different things," she says. "And that's what is fun about experimenting. It keeps the products fresh and makes them something you can't find anywhere else."
Among the signature, vegan, and rotating flavors, a majority involve a boozy pairing, Levison says.
Some of the most popular are kir royale sorbet with Chambord black raspberry liqueur, which was inspired by the light and bubbly French cocktail; pear Riesling sorbet; white Russian with candied hazelnuts; dark chocolate whiskey; J. Wakefield stout; and moonshine-soaked apricot. Levison also offers special-order popsicles varieties such as mojito, strawberry daiquiri, piña colada, and passionfruit vodka.
"My flavors are always in constant evolution though," she says. "It's never perfect. But so far, these have really been hits, especially the moonshine-soaked apricot. Any opportunity I have to introduce booze into a flavor, I'm for it."
More recently, Levison has explored infusing edible flowers into her ice cream. She partnered with Homestead's Paradise Farms, which supplies Serendipity with various kinda of flowers depending upon flavor and season.
"When I met Gabriele from Paradise Farms, we immediately started talking about edible flowers," she says. "I learned that it was a really underutilized part of the garden, and I wanted to figure out how I could incorporate it."
Levison receives flower deliveries twice a week and says most of the flavors are still in experimental and developmental phases.
So far, she has created wild petunia-infused ice cream, blood orange sorbet, rose-infused ice cream with house-made pound cake soaked in rose water with crystallized rose petals, and a lavender-orange variety.
"I'm really excited about this," she says. "No one else is doing floral ice creams, and to have someone local supplying flowers is really in line with what I love to do."
Serendipity is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 305-527-7162.
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