Guinness and Ice Cream

Guinness and Ice Cream

Author and Ireland-o-phile Colman Andrews says he “first heard of this surprisingly appealing concoction–sort of a root beer float for grown-ups–from my friend Belle Casares, née Holahan, a granddaughter of Irish-American writer John O’Hara, who was in turn descended from the Anglo-Norman Franeys of County Laois.” We’re certainly glad he did.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC Let's Get To It! Note

Enough of this genius concoction’s provenance. We’re more intrigued by the art of it all—the patient pour, the perfect melding of bitter and sweet, the ideal glass-to-taste-buds delivery system. Ready? First, pour slowly. Second, any stout will do, as will other flavors of ice cream, among them coffee, mocha, and chocolate. (Actually, some of us on staff have even done this time and again with amber ale rather than stout, and swooned each time.) Finally, we have it on darn good authority that any approach you can muster—whether a straw, spoon, even a barehanded approach to the glass—will suffice. Let us know how it goes.

Guinness and Ice Cream

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Serves 2 (maybe)
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Divvy the ice cream between 2 tall, ice-cold, wide-mouthed glasses, soda fountain glasses, or beer mugs.
Divvy the Guinness equally between the 2 glasses, pouring it very slowly over the ice cream. Wait a little for the foam to subside, then pour in the rest of the beer. Stir gently. You can take it from here.
Print RecipeBuy the The Country Cooking of Ireland cookbook

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Beer floats are one of those things that people either love or hate. I always prefer sweet root beer to beer in my floats, but I do admit that the sweet creaminess of vanilla ice cream does offset the slight bitterness of beer very well. Guinness is a good choice because it’s smooth and creamy on its own. Long-handled teaspoons come in handy when you want to get that perfect bite of ice cream and beer. When you’re ready to experiment, try Young’s Double Chocolate Stout or your favorite microbrew stout (stouts are creamy enough for this; porters I find too bitter). TIP: To cut down on foaming and overflow, fill your glasses half full with beer, then add in the ice cream (two scoops to each glass). Top it off with more beer.

Major bang for the buck! This one comes together in mere seconds, and even the most skeptical of guinea pigs—I mean dinner guests—were noisily slurping up whatever stray drops had eluded them. (Definitely serve this with a straw.) We tried it with both chocolate and vanilla ice cream (homemade), and actually preferred the latter. The chocolate ice cream was a bit of overkill, as Guinness already has lovely bitter chocolate and coffee flavours. I won’t be able to keep both ice cream and Guinness in the house at the same time if I want to be ready for bathing-suit season. This recipe is dangerous.


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  1. Ooh, we make something very similar at my house. A Guinness and Pepsi Shandy, with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Mmmmm. Great minds. ;)

  2. Another winner! Only one problem! We had it RIGHT after an Irish boiled dinner…big mistake. This is just as filling as the meal itself, but oh…so very good. The more the vanilla ice cream and the Guinness beer would blend together, the more we felt a slight coffee taste, so much so we thought about trying it again by actually adding a shot of expresso with it.

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