Upgrade Your Ice Cream Float By Swapping Root Beer For A Good Stout

Since its inception, the combination of root beer and a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a frosty glass has been a classic. No matter what age you are, you're never too old or too cool to enjoy a root beer float. But as you get older, you might be looking to sip on something a little stronger than root beer.

You can always spike a traditional root beer float with a shot or two of vodka, or you could completely elevate your ice cream float experience by replacing root beer with alcoholic beer. In particular, there are many stout beers that would be delicious poured over a scoop of ice cream. Guinness dark beer pairs exceptionally well with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. For those who enjoy a strong stout, the added bitterness might be just what a scoop of ice cream needs. But the Guinness and ice cream pairing is only one of the many adults-only ice cream float possibilities.

Endless beer and ice cream possibilities

The beauty of a beer ice cream float is that there are so many flavor combinations you can experiment with. Dark stout beer is only slightly sweet with chocolatey, fruity, and coffee- and caramel-forward notes. These flavors in a stout can be amped up with the addition of a complementary ice cream. If vanilla ice cream isn't your speed, amp up the flavors of cacao in a chocolate stout by adding a few scoops of your favorite chocolate ice cream.

You could also opt for more "mature" ice creams, like butter pecan or coffee, to expand the complexity of a stout's flavors further. To experiment even more with your float, consider adding ice cream flavors with mix-ins, such as cookies and cream or Rocky Road. Nothing adds a burst of flavor and texture to your boozy beverage like a bite of crunchy Oreos or pillowy marshmallows. No matter what ice cream flavor you decide to use, a stout float will provide that same foamy goodness you look for in a root beer float, with the added bonus of a slight buzz from the alcohol.

Spike your sundae with other alcohols

Not everyone enjoys dark-roasted beer, so booze enthusiasts have found ways to pair just about any type of beer with suitable ice cream flavors. TikToker @eldereats discovered the magic of combining blond roasted beer with lemonade powder and strawberry sorbet for a fruity ice cream float that should be on everyone's summertime must-try list.

If you're just not a fan of beer, opt for cider instead. If you prefer an Angry Orchard over a Bud Light, consider pouring your fermented apple drink over a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and taste the essence of a caramel apple in boozy ice cream float form. Or, pour your cider over a classic scoop of vanilla and enjoy a sippable version of apple pie à la mode. If you infuse whipped cream with booze, you'll have a float topping that both tastes good and adds an extra bite of alcohol to the whole dessert.

For a balanced taste, pay attention to complementary flavor combinations. Just as a dark stout beer might not pair well with fruity sorbet in the same way a lighter ale would, consider how sweet, sour, or fruity you want your ice cream cocktail to be. For a beer-free idea, add lemon or lime sorbet to flavored seltzer with a few shots of tequila and triple sec for an elevated version of a frozen margarita. Or, add some velvety vanilla ice cream to a Dirty Shirley for a creamy mixture of cherry and vanilla.