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What flavours of ice cream can be used with different types of alcoholic drinks to make a great float?

We all know that root beer makes a great float, usually with vanilla ice cream. But I would like to know about the possibility of using different flavours of ice cream with various types of alcoholic drinks such as gin or even apple ciders?

Any recommendations?

  • I added a boozy root beer float and grasshopper to my answer below. The Grasshopper could be my new summer favorite. – willman Mar 25 at 20:26
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My favorites:

  • Vanilla ice cream in Jagermeister
  • Orange sherbet in Bailey's Irish Cream (it's like an adult dreamsicle).

As @Rory mentions, ice cream cocktails automatically become sweet and creamy, which is why I find sticking with liquors that you expect to be sweet and creamy pair very well.

Per your original mention of the classic root beer float, I just recently discovered that adding a single shot of vodka to a typical root beer float is pretty awesome.

I also recently discovered the "Grasshopper", which is apparently a "classic" cocktail:

  • 1 shot COGNAC
  • 1 shot GREEN CREME DE MENTHE
  • 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream

Blend all together and enjoy your boozy liquid version of a Think Mint cookie.

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One of the great ones we grew up with was the Cider Spider - a cider float with vanilla ice cream, using proper cider, not the strange thing that seems to pass for cider in the US. I assume it came from Australia, as it was my mother who introduced us to it.

But since then experimentation has showed that most basic ice cream flavours can work well in fairly normal drinks. Strawberry with rums and gin, vanilla with everything, and even chocolate with dark rums and chocolate liqueurs.

There are some weirder ice creams that work in cocktails - chocolate, orange and rosemary ice cream can work well with a spiced rum or tequila-based cocktails.

In reality, I think the use of ice cream is only limited by your palette or imagination. Ice cream cocktails are generally sweet and creamy, which puts some people off. They can also congeal rapidly - which can be offputting.

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  • Thanks Rory, I will definitely try these out. – Ken Graham Mar 1 at 16:41

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