Before I even begin this post, I would like to point out that I am the only man who currently writes for Verily Lifestyle. How appropriate, then, that my first little series would be about beer, right? Beer is that all-American, frat-boy, manly beverage that every male worth his salt is supposed to enjoy and chug in large quantities, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Consumption of the beverage—whether it’s green in color, of the Guinness variety, or otherwise—spikes every year on this holiday. Current totals place the number at about 13 million pints consumed globally—and that’s just Guinness.
I thankfully do not fit that all-American male stereotype and my views towards beer are similarly anti-stereotypical-male. Beer, like any alcoholic drink, is something to savor and enjoy. Appreciating the aromas and tastes of the beverage is essential, and, contrary to popular practice, beer can be used as a mixer to create delectable cocktails, instead of its more common use as a chaser for hot wings.
For St. Patrick’s Day, turn that bottle of Guinness into a dessert with a Guinness Float. Like a grown-up root beer float, the drink combines bitter stout beer with sweet and creamy ice cream, giving way to a balance of flavors. Topped with homemade chocolate syrup and spiked with a touch of sweet liquors, it will have you thinking twice before ordering another cold one on St. Patrick’s Day.
Guinness Stout Float
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (recipe below)
1 tablespoon Kahlua
½ tablespoon Amaretto
1 scoop of chocolate ice cream
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
6 oz. (half bottle) Guinness Stout beer
In a stout glass (a tall pilsner or wheat beer glass also looks good), combine the chocolate syrup, Kahlua, and Amaretto. Give a stir to combine. Place the two scoops of ice cream in the glass. Pour beer slowly down the side of the glass, to prevent excessive foam. Top with additional chocolate syrup, if desired.
Chocolate Syrup Ingredients:
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup cocoa nibs, optional
2/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, cocoa, and nibs with a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Whisk 3 tablespoons boiling water into saucepan to make a paste, then add the remaining water. Bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute to thicken a bit. Pass the syrup through a sieve to strain out nibs. Mix in vanilla and allow the syrup to cool before using. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
(photography by Anne-Marie Cheely)
Matthew Powell is a food and lifestyle writer based out of New York City. He has been published in New York magazine, Bon Appétit, Interior Design, Good Housekeeping, and online entities.