Courtesy of Blue Bell

Do two Texas greats taste great together? Blue Bell and Dr Pepper certainly think so.

The two iconic Texas brands have teamed up to create a new Blue Bell ice cream flavor called Dr Pepper Float. Available now in both half gallons and pints, it combines vanilla ice cream with a Dr Pepper-flavored sherbet.

“The best ice cream floats are made with Dr Pepper poured over a few scoops of Blue Bell,” Blue Bell vice president Jimmy Lawhorn asserts in a press release. “Why not put a spin on this popular treat and create our own version? The flavor of Dr Pepper and texture of the sherbet combine perfectly with the smooth vanilla ice cream. You may find yourself reaching for a soda glass instead of a bowl.”

Certainly, it’s easy to imagine taking Lawhorn’s suggestion. Not only could someone eat a scoop of Dr Pepper Float ice cream, they could also make a Dr Pepper float by pouring a can of Dr Pepper soda over some scoops of Dr Pepper Float ice cream in a tall glass.

If it isn’t immediately available in the freezer section, be patient. Blue Bell will distribute the flavor through 2024. Currently, the Brenham-based company sells more than 40 ice cream flavors in 23 states, including places as far away from Texas as Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia.

Photo courtesy of Casa Kumwesu

Sweet Texas couple's new Waco Airbnb is an over-the-top ice cream dream

sprinkles of fun

A dynamic Texas couple is promising some sweet dreams with their new dessert-themed vacation rental in Waco.

Jessica Serna and Ismail Mpiana, wife and husband behind My Curly Adventures travel blog and My Culinary Adventures food blog, respectively, have debuted an ice cream-themed rental home called “Casa Kumwesu.”

The name pays homage to Serna's Hispanic roots and Mpiana's Zambian-Congolese heritage. It roughly translates to “our place/our house/our village.”

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house spans 2,300 square feet on several acres of land, and can accommodate up to eight guests.

Highlights from the listing include:

  • one king-sized bed, one queen-sized bed, and two single beds
  • kitchen with stainless steel appliances
  • formal dining table and long island with seating reminiscent of a soda fountain
  • coffee bar stocked with syrups and toppings in a nook with seating
  • large soaking tub
  • plush bedding in each bedroom
  • four parking spots
  • two outdoor security cameras

But beyond the nuts-and-bolts, it's the Instagrammy design details that make the house a whimsical wonder. It's sprinkled with ice cream decor throughout, from ice cream cone seating and bathroom wallpaper to dish towels and pulls on the kitchen cabinets. On the walls, bright pastel colors and quirky patterns (one looks like "melting" ice cream) would make Willy Wonka proud. A photo-worthy ice cream cart bearing the name "Casa Kumwesu" stands outside on the patio.

Other fun features include a full-size Ms. Pac-Man machine and a super trendy flower wall with neon sign that says, "Treat Yo' Self" over a bed.

Mpiana says the ice cream theme wasn't due to any great love of the frozen treat (although Serna did recently have an ice cream named after her at Picole Pops). It was essentially marketing presentation that came to life.

“Jessica was doing a keynote seminar to destinations about the importance of owning a particular niche and going all out with it,” Mpiana says. “She ended up using an example of an ice cream theme."

As she was researching, she ended up falling in love with the colors and fun of ice cream and "just ran with it,” he says, adding that they both ended up enjoying the design process.

It was important to them to fill Casa Kumwesu with pieces and products that support Texas businesses, they say, from beautiful custom artwork created by local artists to personal care items by H-E-B’s Field and Future line. Many items were sourced through Etsy and Instagram. For instance, kitchen towels were designed by artist Volta Voloshin-Smith (@colorsnack on Instagram), a fringe wall was done by Oh My Darling Party Co (@ohmydarlingpartyco); and Home Airbnb designer Erica Dike (@ericaoohdesigns) helped bring it all together, with a cherry on top.

But, why Waco? Serna says its proximity between Austin and Dallas made it the perfect location for them.

“We spend so much time passing through Waco on all our travels across Texas, and we just started to fall in love with it,” she says.

Casa Kumwesu

Photo courtesy of Casa Kumwesu

Guests can share a meal at the large island, which resembles an old-fashioned soda fountain.

The home is located minutes away from a few of Waco’s most popular spots: Magnolia Shops at the Silos, Lake Waco, and Baylor University.

Casa Kumwesu has quietly opened for reservations via Airbnb and Vrbo. According to the booking sites, pricing starts around $550 per night (before cleaning and service fees), with a two-night minimum.

B.D. Riley's Irish Pub & Restaurant Facebook

Find your pot of gold at the end of these 8 St. Patrick’s Day events in Austin


We may not have a river to dye green, but Austin knows how to celebrate an international holiday — even in the midst of SXSW. Green beer seems to be one of the main talking points for this upcoming St. Patrick's Day. Is it tacky or is it tradition-worthy? You'll have to try it and find out.

Lucky for you, we've gathered eight events for you to sham-rock your way through the weekend.

B.D. Riley’s
Embrace Irish hospitality at B.D. Riley’s, a pub with live music performances, this time by Irish native Daithi Arwine, The Chancers, and the Kristen Gibbs Band. Enjoy the classic Irish menu with a full Irish breakfast available all day, but you won’t see any green beer at this establishment. Doors open at 10 am. The restaurant will not be accepting reservations or take-out orders.

Yard House
Beer lovers can get their fill of Guinness and some famous house brews at Yard House. The bar will offer a special Dublin Mule cocktail that features both Jameson Irish Whiskey and Guinness Dry Irish Stout. Green beer will be available on tap.

Lick Honest Ice Creams
Enjoy a bright green treat that isn't beer: Lick’s peach leaf graham crunch ice cream during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. The almond-flavored ice cream features peach leaves from Hausbar Urban Farm in Austin. The leaves are also folded in with cinnamon crumble for a crunchy texture. Top it off with some housemade green whipped cream to make it the best sweet treat.

Otopia Rooftop Party
Have you ever seen the city from 11 stories above the skyline? Get a look at Otopia’s St. Paddy’s rooftop party from 5-11 pm. Try a specialty cocktail or green beer while enjoying music by a live DJ. If you buy the cocktail, you’ll be entered to win a free resort experience with the winner selected at 9 pm. Eight-person VIP booths ($500-$600) with a complimentary bottle of Jameson and general admission tickets ($20) are available on Eventbrite.

Punch Bowl Social
Punch Bowl Social is inviting everyone to test their “Irish luck” at its many games while enjoying music by a live DJ and $7 beer and shot specials all weekend at both locations. They’ll also have special Paddy’s Irish Whiskey cocktails. RSVPs are encouraged and can be found on Eventbrite.

Cork & Barrel
In celebration of its two-year anniversary, Round Rock’s own Cork & Barrel will be throwing a birthday party full of live music and games beginning at 11 am. Selected performers will be providing the entertainment throughout the day, including Ryan The Bagpiper, Irish dancers, and Sean Orr’s Celtic Gold Acoustic, with a final performance from 9-11 pm by The Damn Quails. The head chef will be cooking up some Irish specialities for the occasion, as well as Irish Car Bomb cocktails.

Burger Bar on Campus
For the entire month of March, guests will be able to try Burger Bar on Campus’ special Guinness Burger and hand-spun mint milkshake in celebration of St. Paddy’s Day. The burger has two beef patties, Irish cheddar cheese, bacon, and sweet onion Guinness jam. The bright minty milkshake will be topped with whipped cream and gold flakes.

St. Nicholas at Hyde Park Theatre
This one-man show on March 17 is all about an Irish theater critic’s yearlong experience being employed by vampires. Doors open at 7:30 pm, and the show begins at 8 pm. Tickets are half price for opening weekend ($11.50) and can be found via TicketWeb.

Courtesy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni's Ice Cream For Breakfast Day

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams will present their annual Ice Cream for Breakfast Day celebration. Last year's runaway hit flavor, Maple Soaked Pancakes, is returning for a limited time. The first 50 Splendid Rewards members will get a free, very limited Ice Cream for Breakfast Day mug. Visitors can also enter the giveaway for free ice cream for a year by taking a photo in your PJs at a Jeni’s shop, sharing it with the hashtag #icecreamforbreakfast, and tagging @jenisicecreams.

Courtesy of R19 Taqueria

5 things to know in Austin food right now: Lake Travis taqueria closes up shop

News You Can Eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.


Lakeway street taco restaurant R19 Taqueria is closing at the end of the month. The restaurant announced the impending closure on Instagram, statng that it did not get enough business to keep up with costs. The restaurant opened just over a year ago as a revival of Reunion 19 — the East Austin taqueria that was opened by four Los Angeles chefs just prior to the pandemic (it shuttered in 2022). R19 is located at 2422 Ranch Road 620 S A-120 in Lakeway, and fans are encouraged to stop by to connect over tacos and burritos until the official closure. The taqueria has reduced hours to accommodate fewer staff: 9 am to 7 pm.

Other news and notes

Believe it or not, panettone has range. There's a special place in our hearts for all boxed cakes with ribbon handles, but Houston chef Roy Shvartzapel has elevated the Italian fruitcake game. Now he's taking his famous creation to Austin in a collaboration with the unstoppable pastry chef Susana Querejazu of the Commodore Perry Estate. The next-level panettone includes caramel, banana, and Texas pecan — and it costs $125. Great press and lots of word-of-mouth says it's worth a try. Email cpe.panettone@aubergeresorts.com to order.

There's nothing like a labor-intensive hotel desert, and Watertrade just committed to the bit with its Baked Hokkaido, made in collaboration with extravagant ice cream maker Bésame. Like a baked Alaska, it's blanketed in a toasted meringue, this time containing blueberry mochi cake, tea-infused coconut ice cream, yuzu curd, and an earthy buckwheat and white miso crumble. The cherry on top is actually a small glass of private label sake, crisp and light. Served now until December 17.

The only thing that isn't awesome about brunch is that you're usually expected to get dressed for it. This is not the case at "Santa's Pajama Party," a Saturday, December 17 brunch at the Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta. Adults and children are invited to show up in their pajamas for hot chocolate, bottomless mimosas, and holiday cookie decorating. The hotel will also be collecting donations for Toys for Tots Austin. Brunch is from 11 am to 1 pm. Tickets ($71 for adults, $40 for kids over 3) available on Eventbrite.

'Tis the season of dairy in your cocktail, and Z'Tejas is serving up a Southwestern twist on a classic eggnog. Called the "mi abuelita eggnog," these creamy drinks feature rum and spices based on a recipe passed down by the chef's grandmother, and will be available for a short, very Christmas-centric window from December 20-31. The $14 drinks will be served at both Austin locations.

Photo by Chris Anderson

7 things to know in Austin food right now: Michelin-starred chef brings burgers to Rainey Street

News You Can Eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.


Chef Phillip Frankland Lee has been very busy opening new restaurants and earning Michelin stars. This time, skateboarder Neen Williams joins him in a new collaboration, NADC Burger. The tiny burger joint is just a window behind Idle Hands, a Rainey Street bar and backyard. The third-pound patties use the same Texas Wagyu beef as Sushi by Scratch Restaurants and Pasta Bar. Leftover fat is used to fry the french fries. NADC (Not a Damn Chance) refers to Williams’ seasoning out of Dallas, which flavors the only burger variety offered at the window, with onions, pickles, jalapeños, sauce, and American cheese. NADC is open from 6 pm until it sells out, and is only accessible through the bar (so visitors must be 21 or older).

Chi’Lantro BBQ almost doesn’t need an introduction: Its famous kimchi fries, a loaded pile of french fries with onion, kimchi, sriracha, and more, are a hit every year at Austin City Limits Festival, and they’re coming to North Austin with Chi’Lantro’s10th restaurant. The menu brings “all the favorites” including Korean fried chicken wings, wraps, and customizable bowls. The new location at Anderson Mill (12129 North FM 620, Suite 202) is open every day from 10:30 am to 10 pm.

Lick Honest Ice Creams, known for unique flavors like roasted beets and fresh mint (in one scoop!), is celebrating 11 years in business with a free scoop to all visitors, to any Lick shop, on October 19 from 7-10 pm. A more lasting celebration is the opening of a new location in College Station, at 175 Century Square Drive, Suite 11. This is the brand’s seventh location, and the first outside of Austin or San Antonio. Some of Lick’s seasonal flavors currently include spiced sweet potato pie (with marshmallows and molasses cookie), caramel apple cake, Hazel’s pumpkin pie (a more straightforward pumpkin spice), and a vegan coconut chia chai.

Cinnaholic, the vegan, customizable cinnamon roll shop, officially opens at The Arboretum on Friday, October 14. To celebrate, all cinnamon rolls on opening day will be $2 between 10 am and 2 pm. After that, Cinnaholic is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm at 10000 Research Boulevard, Suite 136. There are more than 20 toppings to choose from including nuts, fruit, and other sweets prepared at the shop. There’s much more than cinnamon rolls, like Barrett’s coffee, Pineapple Dole Whip, non-dairy soft-serve ice cream, and brownies.

Other news and notes

It’s always a party when tequila is around, but Arte Agave takes that to the next level. This mini festival on October 14 brings more than 100 varieties of agave spirits to try and demo cocktails with. Aside from the drinks, there are food vendors, a photo booth, music, and traditional dancing. A popup artisan market sells clothes, accessories, and baked goods. It’s all happening from 6-10 pm at Springdale Station. More information available at arteagave.com.

Pinthouse Brewing is celebrating a 10-year milestone at its anniversary celebration on October 15. At the Burnet location, where the brewery started, there will be a brand-new hazy double IPA in collaboration with Minnesota’s Surly Brewing, limited-release keg tappings, a guest food vendor that’s “a festival favorite,” special edition merch, and yard games like mini golf. Check Instagram for updates about the party, which starts at noon.

There are few more stylish places to watch a spooky movie than Honey Moon Spirit Lounge, the velvet and wicker-covered house just north of the University of Texas campus. Every Tuesday evening until November 1, the restaurant is showing scary movies and handing out free popcorn. There are “creepy cocktails” to go with it, like the Smokus Pocus with mezcal, squid ink agave, bitters, and smoke. Tickets ($10) available on Tock, call (737) 209-0319 for titles.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events; plus more top stories

hot headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From hotel pools, to museums, to a show-stopping Hill Country rental, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events. The city is getting unreasonably hot again; It's time to start planning poolside hangs, which are even better with a cocktail.

2. Breathtaking Hill Country hideaway is one of Vrbo's top 10 vacation homes in the country. The retractable floor-to-ceiling glass windows are a nice touch in this $400-a-night house.

3. 6 Austin museums are offering free admission for military families all summer long. These organizations want to help military families spend more time together without breaking the bank.

4. Space-inspired screenings invade Austin Film Society ahead of Wes Anderson's upcoming release. Austinites looking forward to the June 16 release of Asteroid City can soak up the inspirations and watch a sneak peek screening.

5. Texas ranks No. 2 best state to start a small business in new report. The state's tax framework makes the finance side of running a business relatively easy.

4 Austin-inspired cocktail recipes to whisk you away from the Texas heat this summer


Now that summer weather has arrived in Austin, we can tell you’re thirsting for some new drinks to try. And with World Gin Day coming up on June 10, we’re sharing a few recipes from local Austin restaurants (and Austin’s favorite Topo Chico!) we hope you’ll enjoy.

The following recipes feature some of our favorite ingredients or mixers we’re loving at the moment. Whether your drink of choice is a cocktail or mocktail, we’ve gathered four bright and bubbly beverages to help whisk you away from the Texas heat. And if you prefer to drink them rather than make them, three of these lovely libations can be found on the seasonal summer menus at their respective restaurant.

Aba’s Rhubarb Rose Gin and Tonic
This cocktail was created by Senior Beverage Manager Thomas Mizuno-Moore.

½ oz lime juice
¼ oz honey syrup
½ oz Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur
¾ oz Brockmans Gin
¾ oz Hendrick’s Flora Adora
2 oz tonic water
Rosebud tea, for garnish


  • Combine lime juice, honey syrup, Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur, Brockmans Gin and Hendrick’s Flora Adora in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake until cold.
  • Add tonic water to the shaker, then strain over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with rosebud tea and enjoy!

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo ChicoBecause everyone needs a good go-to mocktail recipe in their life.Photo courtesy of Topo Chico

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo Chico
This beverage might not be gin-themed, but it does make a great refreshing mocktail. If you don’t have Topo Chico Sabores on hand, you can substitute it with sparkling water.

1 Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon slices and additional blueberries, for garnish

Blueberry Syrup Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the blueberry mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the blueberry mixture into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set the blueberry syrup aside.

Mocktail Directions:

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce of the blueberry syrup, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a glass with ice and strain the mixture into the glass. Top off the glass with Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores (or sparkling water) and give it a gentle stir to mix.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and additional blueberries, if desired. Enjoy your refreshing Blueberry Sparkler!

Tillie's seasonal summer cocktailThis colorful cocktail is a lively take on a gin martini.Photo courtesy of Tillie's at Camp Lucy

Empress Gin Martini by Tillie’s at Camp Lucy
This martini recipe was developed by Paolo Lazarich, the mixologist for Abbey Row Restaurant at The Old Bell Hotel in the United Kingdom. Fun fact: Camp Lucy owners Kim and White Hanks also own The Old Bell Hotel, which is rumored to be England’s oldest hotel.

3 oz Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz dry vermouth
Splash of lemon juice
Lemon and rosemary for garnish


  • Add the Empress 1908 Gin, dry vermouth, and lemon juice to a glass and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy.

\u200bSummertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse There's nothing like a summer spritz.Photo courtesy of Dean's Italian Steakhouse

Summertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse
This recipe is geared toward a mixologist who enjoys the little details that make a cocktail so unique, such as making their own oleo saccharum or curating the perfect flower as a garnish.

½ oz lemon juice
½ oz strawberry oleo saccharum
¼ oz Aperol
¼ oz Giffard Abricot
1.5 oz Zephyr Gin
2 oz Brut champagne
1 each cocktail flower


  • Combine all ingredients except Brut champagne into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a wine glass with ice and add the Brut. Fine strain the cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with the cocktail flower

Extravagant estate in West Austin hits the market for $4.25 million


An imperial estate in the Lost Creek neighborhood of West Austin has become the latest addition to the city's stabilizing real estate market. The property was listed at $4.25 million.

The magnificent three-story home was originally built in 2009, making great use of Austin's Hill Country views that can be seen from every single room. The home spans 8,215 square feet on just over two acres of land, surrounded by lush trees and enclosed with a private gated entrance.

Natural light floods the inside of the home, highlighting intricate details and complimenting the high ceilings. The home boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three half-baths. The primary suite is reminiscent of an upscale resort, containing its own spa-like bathroom, walk-in closets, and access to a private balcony.

In the kitchen, the 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream. The area has plenty of space and storage with its rich brown cabinets, a sub-zero refrigerator, a cabinet-mounted wine rack, two sinks, and more.

8105 Talbot Lane in AustinThe 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream.Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

A few other highlights of the home include a game room, media room, terraces, and a resort-style pool deck with an accompanying hot tub, kitchen, and fire pit. The two-car garage also includes a guest suite above it, with a single bedroom, kitchenette, and half bath.

Looking into the property's history, it was listed in June 2022 for $4.9 million, which was reduced to $3.9 million by September. The home was reported as sold in October of that year before being re-listed for its current $4.25 million price in 2023.

8105 Talbot Lane in Austin

Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane in West Austin.

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane, which is a brief 10 minutes from downtown Austin, and is zoned for the highly-esteemed Eanes Independent School District. The listing is held by agent Wade Giles of Douglas Elliman.