Guinness Floats

Celebrate the luck of the Irish with Guinness floats, Irish coffee-inspired ice cream cocktails starring Guinness, Ireland’s most famous beer. Coffee ice cream, smooth stout beer and chocolate sauce make for an indulgent treat to enjoy anytime.

a guinness beer bottle with two guinness floats and a bottle opener

When you think of Irish drinks, three things come to mind: Irish cream liqueur, Irish whiskey and Guinness.

Most St. Patrick’s Day cocktails revolve around these three liquids, from the Irish coffee to the Baby Guinness jello shot.

And this ice cream cocktail brings all these flavors together by combining beer with ice cream.

I know ice cream floats made with beer sound weirder than a beer margarita, but please trust me! This adult float is absolutely delicious.

Guinness Float recipe

A Guinness float is an ice cream cocktail made with Guinness beer.

The Irish beer behaves similarly to a root beer float in which the fizzy root beer turns into foam when it meets the super cold ice cream.

This results in a creamy milkshake-like texture with coffee flavors and that’s sippable with a straw. If you’re a beer drinker who loves ice cream, this cocktail is worth a try!

a guinness beer pouring into a pint glass

What is Guinness?

Guinness is the brand name for a particular milk stout beer that is brewed in Dublin, Ireland. Known for its dark black color and the signature thick layer of foam on top, Guinness is a beer worth trying at least once. It’s not as scary as you’d think!

It has been brewed since 1759 and, to this day, the stout beer is beloved in Ireland and around the world. If you are lucky to visit Dublin, you can visit the original brewery for a tour and taste it fresh.

The Guinness logo features a golden harp instrument. Their slogan is, “It’s a lovely day for a Guinness,” and for good reason! It always is.

Though it was family-owned throughout most of the 20th century, Guinness joined the Diageo Group in 1997. Today, it is now brewed in 49 countries worldwide and sold in more than 150.

Delicious on its own or in cocktails, you can also bake it up into Guinness donuts and Guinness cake. You can even make tiny shots that look like baby Guinness beers.

Ingredients

You only need a few things to make a boozy float with Guinness. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:

Ice cream

Ice cream is kind of the main actress in this show, so please cast a good one. I used a coffee ice cream, but you could easily use chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

In fact, I heavily considered using chocolate ice cream for this recipe because I knew it would be a perfect combination with Guinness!

I recommend using a quality brand of ice cream. My favorite of all is Jeni’s, but I also love Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs.

Better yet, if you feel like making your own with an ice cream maker, that would make this cocktail even sweeter.

Stout beer

Guinness Extra Stout is the supporting role in these beer floats. You can use the original Guinness beer, either canned or bottled, or you can swing for another stout beer.

A milk stout or chocolate stout would be fantastic in this recipe. To me, the best thing ever is supporting a local brewery, so do that if you can or want to!

Toppings

You can adorn this float with toppings like chocolate syrup or hot fudge sauce, even some sprinkles if you like.

A pretty paper straw (or two) will also help make this float feel fancier, but also help it go down easier.

two guinness floats in beer can-shaped pint glasses

How to make a Guinness Float

Making a Guinness Float is super easy. You won’t believe how simple it is!

  1. First, scoop 1 or 2 scoops of coffee ice cream into a tall glass.
  2. Slowly, top it with Guinness. Watch it bubble!
  3. Add chocolate sauce, sprinkles, chocolate shavings — whatever feels good!
  4. Stick a straw in it and drink up.
a scoop of coffee ice cream in a pint glass

Variations and substitutions

You can mix up this delicious cocktail in a number of ways. Try one of these variations if that floats your boat (pun intended):

Change up the flavor. This recipe calls for coffee ice cream, but feel free to try some other combinations!

  • Make a chocolate Guinness float recipe with creamy chocolate ice cream.
  • Use scoops of plain vanilla ice cream to bring in some of that spiced flavor of the vanilla pod.
  • Peanut butter ice cream with the beer would bring a peanut butter cup flavor to this float.
  • Caramel ice cream would be delicious, like a caramel macchiato!

Make it boozier. Add 1 ounce of Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur or crème de cacao. Even Irish cream liqueur would be tasty.

Use your favorite stout beer. Any dark, rich, chocolatey stout beer will be perfect. It doesn’t have to be Guinness Brand.

Make it non-alcoholic. For the adult non-drinkers, use a non-alcoholic stout beer. For the kiddos, use cola or root beer.

a coffee guinness float with chocolate sauce on top

More ice cream cocktails

This Kahlua Coke Float uses coffee liqueur to sweeten the classic cola float with deep espresso flavors.

The chocolate peanut butter whiskey milkshake is a dessert cocktail made with chocolate liqueur and peanut butter whiskey.

Then there’s the maple bourbon milkshake that brings maple syrup, bourbon, caramel and vanilla together in every sip.

More St. Patrick’s Day cocktails

If you’re looking for some St. Paddy’s Day drinks

The Black Velvet is a Guinness and champagne cocktail. It’s dark and bubbly. Guinness fans should not wait another day before trying this mysterious beauty!

Made with ginger beer, lime and Irish whiskey, the Irish Mule puts an Irish twist on the classic Moscow mule.

The green mimosa is bubbly with a brilliant, bright green color. Make it for brunch.

two guinness floats in beer can-shaped pint glasses

Guinness Floats

Yield: 2 cocktails
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ice cold Guinness Floats made with your choice of ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce are the perfect way to celebrate St. Patty's Day.

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops coffee ice cream
  • 2 (11.2 ounce) bottles stout beer, such as Guinness
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce

Instructions

  1. Scoop coffee ice cream into two pint glasses.
  2. Slowly pour in Guinness. A thick foam will form.
  3. Top with chocolate sauce, sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
  4. Enjoy with a straw.

Notes

Feel free to substitute with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate or caramel (or a combination!) would be delicious with the chocolate and coffee flavors of the stout beer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 float
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 403Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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