Jeni's Holiday 2023 Ice Cream Flavors, Ranked

Merry Berry, Boozy Eggnog, Rum Ball ... 'tis the season all around, especially at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. The brand has a rotating array of special, high-quality, and creative flavors for purchase both at your local grocery store and the company storefront — and if you have yet to try a pint of Jeni's, this might just be the best time of year to do so.

It would have been amazing to taste every single flavor Jeni's has ever developed, but alas, that will have to be a job for another day. For now, we are content to taste and rank six of the specially selected holiday flavors available. In these pints, there is something for everyone: The fans of juicy, fruity flavors; the chocoholics who happen to be dairy-free; the sophisticated tea drinkers among us; the kids at heart; the peppermint people; and the ones who love everything spiked. Needless to say, everything was delicious, but what took the (ice cream) cake? Read on to find out our ranking.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

5. Merry Berry

This ice cream is sort of ... tart. But wait, that does not mean it's bad! It's just not your typical sugary-sweet, deeply indulgent dessert that consumers might be used to. A definitively fruity ice cream, it's also definitely unique. That might be because the ingredients include a medley of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and even the elusive old-world festive favorite, black currant — but not strawberry. Steering clear of the time-honored, big-name fruit flavor was the way to go because Merry Berry was entirely unique and new.

That tart, sweet-sour flavor was not merely thanks to the berries. Jeni's developed a buttermilk-infused ice cream base that plays with expectations in a really interesting way. It took a few spoonfuls to really fall in love with this flavor since it is definitely for more mature palates. But, in a season loaded with decadence and sugary sweets, having a dessert with a little bite to it was nice.

4. Boozy Eggnog

It's immensely impressive that Jeni's managed to nail the exact flavor profile of a carton of good eggnog but with a little extra something mixed in just to spice it up. And no, we're not talking about nutmeg. We're talking about whiskey. This pint is entirely smooth, with no add-ins like chocolate chips or caramel swirls, which means that all the focus is on the layers of flavor in every bite. Since eggnog is a polarizing flavor, we have to put this pint dead center. Those of us who already love the famous holiday beverage thought it deserved the number 1 slot. Those of us who never cared for it to begin with much prefer a lower ranking. Diplomacy prevails.

While every single pint of Jeni's ice cream has a luxurious, grade-A texture, Boozy Eggnog's consistency was off the charts. It was incredibly thick, rich, smooth, and velvety, which is everything you want in both a sip of eggnog and a spoonful of ice cream. If you love eggnog, you need to try this. By the way, making your own homemade eggnog is a fun project, and if you want to try the seasonal flavor when added to more than just ice cream, how about a bundt cake?

3. Buckeye Frenzy

What is a "buckeye"? Basically, it's a chocolate-coated ball of sweetened peanut butter and one of the simplest but most crowd-pleasing candy at a holiday party. Jeni's uses these confections as the inspiration for the Buckeye Frenzy ice cream. But, as per usual with Jeni's, there's a bit of a twist. Instead of just going with the typical, expected chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls, Jeni's inverted the classic.

In this pint, the ice cream base is a bombastic, highly concentrated peanut butter flavor. It hits your tastebuds immediately in the best way. Then, there are indeed flecks and flakes of chocolate, but the chocolate is crunchy like teeny, tiny Rice Krispies treats. If you like the textural contrast of creamy and crispy, this one's for you. We did decide that, however, there could be a little bit less of those add-ins. It would be nice to get a few spoonfuls of plain, pure, peanut buttery perfection without the crispiness if we so wanted to. This is an intense one, so a little goes a long way, but it's also strangely moreish, so we weren't left with as much as we thought we would be. Funny.

2. White Chocolate Peppermint

Jeni's White Chocolate Peppermint is a thing of beauty. The pink and white striped packaging on the pint is not just clickbait; once you break open the seal, you will see, literally, swirls of Barbie-pink and ivory-colored ice cream. Best of all, it tastes just as sweet as it looks.

Traditional, year-round mint ice cream usually involves chocolate chips and is decidedly different from peppermint. This Jeni's flavor swaps out the chocolate for white chocolate, which has a mild, mellow flavor that lets the fresh holiday mintiness really shine. Have you ever had those small, creamy treats known as "buttermints" before? If so, you know that they are a very different kind of mint than a pack of Trident gum. There is a specific extra creaminess to peppermint that has yet to be achieved in regular mint ice cream, and it's as good a reason as any to pick up this Jeni's concoction. Something is glistening and magical about it, like the first snow of the season. We loved it.

1. Rum Ball

A rum ball is an old-fashioned sort of holiday treat. Typically, it's a mish-mash of cake, doused generously with rum and tossed with some shiny fruit jam and rich chocolate — kind of like a grownup cake pop. If this sounds a little old and stodgy, like the elderly fruitcake's twin sister, we understand. Oh, and it's vegan. The cards were stacked against this Jeni's Rum Ball flavor, honestly, and we were prepared for a unanimous last-place ranking. But lo and behold, a holiday miracle ... it's in the first place.

It's still ridiculous to think that a dairy-free ice cream beat out the other "regular" ice creams, but spoonful after spoonful, it blew us away. The dark chocolate base is no joke. This is some of the most dense, satiny chocolate ice cream we have ever tasted, and it's made from coconut cream. Crazy! There is also so much flavor jam-packed into one recipe; intense, bright notes of acidic tangerine lift you up from that deep, dark chocolate, and little puffs of white cake are a fun surprise. And, since it's that time of year, there is no shortage of warm holiday spices and a noteworthy twist of a certain alcoholic beverage. There's so much going on here, but it all comes together beautifully. Nostalgia and ingenuity mixed together is, apparently, magical.