The weather has been amazing lately. This quarter will hopefully be filled with many warm and sunny days. On a beautiful day like this, what do you find most refreshing? For me there are two things. The first is a delicious, cold, bubbly, revitalizing beer. The second is a few scoops of frozen, luscious, uplifting ice cream. But what if you could combine the two? Actually you can.

There are two main ways to combine ice cream and beer. The first is a beer float. This is very similar to a root beer float except you don’t need any root. Think of it as the adult version. This combination, as well as the other one I will describe later, works best with a very sweet beer. There are many types of beer floats, but not all taste great. For example, if you went over to Keg ‘N Bottle and bought some Ben & Jerry’s and Natty Light, you probably wouldn’t have a very good beer float. The two best types of beer floats are the chocolate shake and the melted creamsicle.

To make the chocolate shake beer float, find a beer with some cocoa or chocolate flavors in it. They may seem hard to find, but there are surprisingly a lot of companies that make chocolate beer. Trader Joes and Keg ‘N Bottle both carry chocolate beer. Once you have your beer, add it to a tall glass filled with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. If you want to go the extra mile, add some chocolate shavings or crumbs to the top. As the ice cream melts, the beer float will begin to resemble a chocolate milk shake. For a chocolatier flavor, you can substitute the vanilla ice cream for chocolate ice cream.

The other delicious type of beer float is the creamsicle. For this concoction you want to find a honey flavored beer with citrus hints. A honey blonde or Hefeweizen should do the trick. Just like the chocolate shake, add the beer to a tall glass with vanilla ice cream in it. Next, sprinkle some nutmeg on the top. This beer float should resemble the taste of a delicious creamsicle.

If the thought of adding chocolate, fruit or spices to a beer disgusts you, then just use Guiness or any stout beer and vanilla ice cream. It won’t be as sweet as a beer float, but it is a good stepping-stone for those who believe beer should be drank by itself. Hollister Brew Co. actually serves these at their bar – I highly recommend them.

So as I mentioned previously, there are two main ways to combine beer and ice cream. Aside from the beer float, you can match the two refreshing tasties by actually cooking ice cream with beer in it. There are many types of beer ice cream, but I will focus on how to make some using stout. You need to get two cups of heavy whipping cream, three-quarter of a cup of granulated sugar, 8 egg yolks and a can of Guinness or other stout. From here you must decide if you want vanilla or chocolate. If you want vanilla, get a vanilla bean. If you want chocolate, get one-and-a-half teaspoons of cocoa powder. Now you boil the stout and the heavy whipping cream, and mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the boiled mixture, whisking the entire time to temper the eggs. Add the entire mixture back to the pot, then cook and whisk until you have thick custard. Let your concoction cool and then add it to an ice cream machine. Seeing as most college students don’t own an ice cream machine, you will probably have to borrow one from a friend. There are a bunch of other beer ice cream recipes you can find online if you desire.

During these next few months when the weather is warm and you need refreshment, keep in mind the delicious combination of beer and ice cream.