3 Delightful Ways to Booze-Up Your Dessert

By Olenka Burgess
Posted in The Field Guide to Drinking in America, on June 21, 2016

What could be better than ice cream or booze on their own? Ice cream and booze together, of course! Now that summer is upon us, we’ve rounded up several pathways toward boozy ice cream bliss, in order of difficulty.

The Basics

Serious Eats has compiled a fantastic introduction to the dos and don’ts of boozy ice cream. The beauty of adding alcohol to ice cream is that since alcohol has a low freezing point, it keeps your ice cream creamy and scoopable. Although summer heat usually does an excellent job of softening ice cream, if you’re anything like us, you want to eat perfectly scoopable ice cream straight out of the freezer. Minimal effort and instant gratification—is that too much to ask? We don’t think so either.

Boozy Ice Cream Float

1. The Float

The float is a great entry point to the world of boozy ice cream. This is the laziest—er, excuse us, easiest—method of concocting your ultimate summer refreshment: all you do is scoop some ice cream into a glass and add your booze of choice. You get bonus points if you can serve your floats with flair. (We recommend mason jars or ice cream cone shot glasses!) The combinations are infinite, so this was a very difficult choice, but we narrowed it down to two excellent recipes:

Boozy Biscoff Beer Floats by Bakers Royale

Chocolate, coffee, cookies, and beer? Yes, yes, yes, and yes, okay. Great. How could we resist this one? The magic ingredient here is Biscoff, a spread made from cookies. Yes, you read that right. It’s basically impossible to fail here, although you may need to exert the slightest effort to fold the Biscoff into the ice cream.

Lime Sherbet Gin and Tonic Floats by 84th and 3rd 

These floats are simply delightful. JJ from 84th and 3rd came up with an amazing sherbet from avocado, honeydew, apple, and lime, but you could easily recreate this recipe with a fruity store-bought sorbet as well. Mango would be an excellent substitute! If you need something to read while you’re sipping your float, check out our guide to celebrating World Gin Day (complete with cocktail recipes and an excellent soundtrack).

Boozy Grasshopper Shake

2. The Shake

One step above the float is the shake. The additional step of blending your concoction raises the bar ever so slightly (see what we did there?), but don’t be deterred; we think you’ll find it well worth the effort. Here, again, the possibilities are endless, but we’ve selected a beginner and an advanced option to get you started.

Grasshopper Shake from Alie & Georgia of Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia

Ahh, chocolate and mint. So classic, so refreshing. This recipe can be summarized as follows: vodka, chocolate liqueur, mint-choco-chip ice cream, blender, GO! For bonus points, you can add a nice sprig of mint or perhaps some crushed chocolate cookies. (Here’s a more sophisticated version from Jeffrey Morganthaler at Pepe le Moko.)

Claire Gallam’s Patriotic Milkshake at SheKnows

Gallam intended this milkshake for inauguration day, but why not do a test-run for July 4th? This is a bit of a high-maintenance milkshake, with food colorings and multiple bowls and inter-layer-freezing procedures, but the effect is truly stunning! Whether you’re hosting a BBQ before the grand fireworks display or a dinner to eagerly watch the poll numbers roll in, this shake is sure to impress.

Boozy Ice Cream Scoop

3. The Scoop

To reach boozy ice cream mastery, big luscious scoops are where it’s at. For perfect texture, moderation is key: too much alcohol will leave you with a mess of slush. Serious Eats recommends no more than a few tablespoons of alcohol per batch of ice cream. Since you’ve made it this far down the list, we won’t hold back; here are two advanced boozy ice cream recipes to inspire you:

Boozy Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream from Bojon Gourmet 

This mouthwatering recipe requires a bit of dedication, but it sounds absolutely spectacular. It features a base of buttery roasted bananas spiked with rum and a marbled swirl of bourbon butterscotch sauce. Rum and bourbon: double boozy! Alanna from Bojon Gourmet did her research with this one, consulting several ice cream experts to refine her banana techniques, so you can be sure that this one is a winner.

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Sandwich from Imbibe

This might be the ultimate boozy ice cream treat. Not only is there stout in the ice cream, but it’s also in the cookies! And for the grand finale finishing touch—ready for this?—there is a LAYER OF PRETZELS encrusting the ice cream filling. We shall say no more.

3 ½. Bonus Round!

After eating all that boozy ice cream, you might run the risk of an ice cream hangover. Well, have we got the perfect cure for you: more ice cream! According to Reuters, South Korea has just introduced a hangover cure called the Gyeondyo bar, which translates to something like “hang in there.” The active ingredient, oriental raisin tree fruit juice, has been a folk remedy for hangovers since the seventeenth century, and a study recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that this ingredient reduced symptoms of intoxication in rats. It’s not yet available in the States, so we suggest taking it easy until then.