The Easy Guinness Floats You Need to Make for St. Patrick’s Day

This quick recipe can be a last minute, lazy addition to your St. Patrick’s Day spread, but it also might be the tastiest — so tasty you might find yourself making it year-round.

There’s something so kitschy and charming to me about a grown up ice cream float. Easier than a milkshake but just as frothy and decadent, they’re sort of my go-to guilty pleasure. If you caught my Boozy Watermelon Floats recipe, you know their simplicity also makes them great for entertaining.

Nostalgia + decadence + easy to serve to a crowd pretty much screams ‘holidays’ to me, and no ingredient screams ‘St. Pat’s’ louder than Guinness. The roasted coffee and chocolate notes of this Irish stout lend themselves wonderfully to pairings with ice cream.

My favorite ice cream flavor to use in a Guinness float is plain old vanilla, because I don’t like to overpower the beer itself (we’re trying to showcase the flavors and give them a gentle push into dessert territory, not mask them), and I love the contrast in color from deep dark stout to light and airy cream. But if you prefer chocolate, coffee, or even caramel, those flavors work very well too. Just make sure you use a high quality ice cream — when your recipe only calls for three ingredients, you have to make sure they’re all delicious to begin with.

You can certainly just pour the beer right over the ice cream, but I prefer to stir in a small amount of syrup, first — it just bridges the flavors of the ice cream and Guinness together more seamlessly. Real maple syrup is the easiest, but if you can make or buy a traditional cinnamon bark syrup, that’s delicious too (BG Reynolds makes a great version that you can find online or in certain specialty stores).

When it comes to toppings, my personal preference is chocolate syrup — again, I love the dark and light contrast in this float — but salted caramel is another fantastic option. Just fill up a dessert decorating bottle and squeeze away.

Guinness Floats

This quick recipe can be a last-minute, lazy addition to your spread, but it also might be the tastiest — so tasty you might find yourself making it year-round.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks & Cocktails
Servings 1
Calories 573 kcal


  • .5 oz real maple syrup (or .75 oz cinnamon syrup)
  • 3 hearty scoops of Vanilla ice cream
  • Guinness to top


  • Pour the maple syrup in the bottom of a traditional soda fountain glass, add a splash of Guinness, and stir until combined.
  • Add three hearty scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream.
  • Top with remaining Guinness and chocolate sauce. Serve with a spoon and straw.


Serving: 1gCalories: 573kcalCarbohydrates: 67.4gProtein: 7.2gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13.5gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 160mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 50.4g
Keyword Beer, Drinks, St. patrick's day