Zephyr proudly tells its customers that everything is made in-house with real fruit and no dyes. Photo by Megan Gray

Summer doesn’t technically start until June 20, but I was feeling the heat on a recent Wednesday in May when the temperature in Portland hit 80 degrees for this first time this year.

I needed a cool treat, so I walked over to Zephyr Ice on Spring Street. I had only tried shave ice once before on my honeymoon in Hawaii, and I was happy to pretend that I was vacationing on Kauai instead of working from home. The surfboard mural outside and bright colors inside definitely gave me island vibes.

Every order starts with a scoop of ice cream (I chose the coconut vegan option). The ice goes on top. I liked that I could mix and match from the menu of syrups. I was in the mood for fruity and fresh flavors, so I picked one of the suggested combinations, The Forrest, which has raspberry, passionfruit and pineapple syrups. My toppings included a snow cap (a hearty drizzle of sweetened, condensed milk) and toasted coconut. Next time, I’ll get a sprinkle of Tajin seasoning for a little contrast of chili and lime.

An 8-ounce ice with vanilla ice cream and two syrups is $7.25. A 12-ounce is $9.25. Macadamia nut and dairy-free ice creams are $1.50 and $2, respectively. Most toppings or extra syrups are an additional 50 cents.

Zephyr proudly tells its customers that everything is made in-house with real fruit and no dyes. The colors were almost too pretty to eat, but I had walked there in the heat, so I was ready for a cool-down. The flavors of my selected syrups were punchy and vibrant, and I would order that vegan ice cream on its own with no hesitation.

I could envision warm days at the beach on the horizon as I ate my fruity dessert, but I realized I would happily seek out this treat for a taste of summer all year round.

Shave ice, starts at $7.25, Zephyr Shave Ice, 129 Spring St., Portland. @zephyr_ice on Instagram.

Zephyr Ice is located on Spring Street in Portland. Photo by Megan Gray

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