How To Make A Beer Float

Skip the soda and make yourself a boozy dessert

There's an old saying that goes something like this: "If you're going to put ice cream in your drink, you may as well make it alcoholic."

And even if we made that up, we're going with it: Instead of scooping vanilla into root beer this summer, we're experimenting with beer floats.

Sound a little unusual? It's really not. Effervescent beer is a naturally fizzy accompaniment to a scoop of ice cream. Some restaurants are even getting in on the act, such as Chicago's Hutch or The Chocolate Room in NYC.

While making one at home doesn't get much more complicated than two steps—pour beer, insert ice cream—there are some tips for making the cool, refreshing and wonderfully indulgent beer float right every time.

When picking a beer and ice cream, start with classic combinations. A thick chocolate stout, such as Rogue Ales' Chocolate Stout, and creamy vanilla ice cream are a no-fail pairing. It doesn't matter if the ice cream is homemade or store-bought.

For something more fruit-forward, start with a German Hefeweizen or Belgian Saison. The light floral notes of these beers intensify when combined with a strawberry ice cream or berry sorbet. The sky is the limit here, so experiment with different fruit.

Like coffee? Double up for caffeinated bliss. Think of this as the affogato's heavyset, drunk cousin: Simply pair Flying Dog's Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout with your favorite coffee-flavored ice cream. This stout has body, so don't gulp it all at once.

Always pour your beer first. Whichever pairing you decide on, pour your brew carefully and make sure to get a nice foamy head for the ice cream to swim in (even though it won't matter once it's all melded together in creamy, beery goodness).