Last night I died and went to ice cream heaven. I'm not sure what I did to gain entrance to this dairy nirvana, but I was lucky enough to eat my way through the new fall flavors of Jeni's Splendid ice cream. If you're not familiar with Jeni's you should be. The Weddings staff loves the gourmet concoctions, and even Martha's a fan (she had Jeni's genius, Jeni Britton Bauer, on the radio this week).
Yesterday's event was held at a literal dairy nirvana, Murray's cheese shop. It was tough work but I plowed through 4 of the 5 new flavors on offer: salty caramel, sweet potato with marshmallow, maple walnut, and Yazoo Sue with rosemary. Just typing these words has me drooling all over again.
The Jeni's truck parked outside of Murray's (via Facebook)
Not salivating? Let me address the title of this post: In a very cool twist on wine-and-cheese pairings, each ice cream was served with beer (except the rosemary which was so amazing it stood on its own). Et voila, the beer float!
A sweet potato ice cream and pumpkin ale float
Admittedly, I've seen this trend popping up in restaurants that drown a scoop of vanilla in a rich stout, but these flavor combos were way more sophisticated. The sweet potato ice cream (laced with large, homemade, cinnamon-dusted marshmallows) riffed on classic holiday fare when paired with Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale. (Thanksgiving in a cup, essentially.) When combined with Southern Tier IPA, the walnut-studded maple ice cream was reminiscent of pancakes—it was buttery and syrupy, making it taste deceptively breakfast-worthy. Salty caramel was paired with a smoky Schlenkerla Doppelbock beer that I bet would appeal to whiskey drinkers.
I could see beer floats being served during a fun wedding reception, cocktail hour, or at a rehearsal dinner. What do you think?
P.S. If you're into this idea, you might also want to think about serving snow cones.