16 Ice Cream Cocktails to Satisfy All Your Sweet-Tooth and Nightcap Needs

It's possible to have your cake and eat it too with these tasty ice cream-cocktail hybrids.

No one needs a reason to devour ice cream, but July is National Ice Cream month, so if you were looking for one, consider this the excuse you’ve been waiting for. If there are two things refreshing enough to make any hot summer day bearable, it’s surely a scoop of ice cream or a cold cocktail. So we say: Why not both? If you’re looking to indulge in more ways than one this National Ice Cream month, here’s a list of cocktail–ice cream hybrids that are sure to keep you refreshed and relaxed through the dog days of summer.

SEE ALSO: Easy Cocktails You Can Pack for Any Summer Picnic

Glacé Café. Courtesy Grey Goose

Glacé Café

With chocolate liqueur and fresh espresso, this cocktail’s ingredient list speaks for itself. And though I don’t need to convince you of how delicious this combo is, I can assure you that adding a scoop of ice cream to it only makes it better, especially with a sprinkle of fleur de sel to balance all of the sweetness.

1 part chilled Grey Goose vodka
3/4 parts chilled crème de cacao
1 part fresh espresso, served as a shot
1 bowl vanilla ice cream (could substitute other flavors such as pistachio or chocolate)
Pinch fleur de sel

Combine Grey Goose and crème de cacao. Pour over ice cream, followed by espresso. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve immediately with deep spoon and straw.

Smoke in El Segundo. Amy Elisabeth Spasoff

Smoke in El Segundo

Mezcal and ice cream might not be the first flavor combination that comes to mind, but mixologist Jack Keane of Cincinnati bar Sundry and Vice is hoping this cocktail will be a refreshing surprise. Balancing spicy, smoky, creamy and sweet flavors, this drink is unlike anything else you’ll sip this summer.

1 dash habanero bitters
1/2 ounce mezcal
1/2 ounce Benedictine
1 ounce Ancho Reyes chilli liqueur in verde
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Strawberry Jarritos

Mix bitters, mezcal, Benedictine and Ancho Reyes verde in a float glass. Add two scoops, top with Jarritos and serve with a straw and spoon.

El Dorado Over Ice Cream. Courtesy El Dorado

El Dorado Over Ice Cream

Although a roundup of ice cream cocktails is arguably not the best place to look for a not-too-sweet drink to enjoy this summer, this beverage is just that. Made with bitter elements, this cocktail is light on the sweet, but still very easy to sip, as it contains a scoop of ice cream and a hint of caramel syrup.

1 1/4 ounce El Dorado 12-year-old rum
3/4 ounce Mr Black amaro
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1/2 ounce caramel syrup
1 dash The Bitter Truth orange bitters
Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker along with three cubes of ice. Shake aggressively and double strain into a Nick and Nora glass or similar. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.

Black Tap’s Fudgie the Beer Float. Courtesy Black Tap

Black Tap’s Fudgie the Beer Float

You might know Black Tap from their popular over-the-top milkshakes seen all over Instagram, but they’ve taken it up a notch with this beer float. This cocktail is simple in execution, but built with Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.’s Fudgie the Beer—a chocolate stout made in collaboration with ice cream powerhouse Carvel—that you’re sure to love.

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
4 ounces Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Fudgie the Beer
Whipped cream, for garnish
Cherry, for garnish

Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to a glass. Top with can of Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Fudgie the Beer. Garnish with whipped cream and cherry.

Frozen Mudslide. Courtesy Kahlúa

Frozen Mudslide

There’s really no introduction needed for the mudslide, but I’ll give it one anyway. One of the most well-known spiked milkshakes, this cocktail combines coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, vodka and ice cream for a delicious and creamy drink that requires immense self-control to limit to only one.

1 part Kahlúa
1 part Absolut vodka
1 part Irish cream liqueur
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Crushed ice
Chocolate syrup, for garnish
Toasted marshmallows, for garnish

Mix Kahlúa, Absolut vodka, Irish cream liqueur with vanilla ice cream and crushed ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and serve in a hurricane glass swirled with chocolate syrup. Garnish with toasted marshmallows.

Mint Chocolate Kik. Courtesy Kikori

Mint Chocolate Kik

There are those who love mint chocolate ice cream and those who are wrong. If you’re part of the former group, you’re sure to love this cocktail. Made with Japanese whiskey and both chocolate and mint liqueur, this is a super-sweet cocktail that tastes like an adult version of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

2 ounces Kikori
1 ounce crème de cacao
1 ounce crème de menthe
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Blend and shake all ingredients together. Serve in a parfait glass with a garnish of chocolate shavings.

Ketel One Poptails. Courtesy Ketel One

Ketel One Poptails

If you are one of those people that has found yourself double-fisting a cold cocktail and icy popsicle on a hot day (I can’t be the only one..right?) there is finally a combination of the two.  This big batch of simple popsicle cocktails—or poptails—is perfect for keeping in the freezer and sharing with friends on a hot day.

10 ounces Ketel One vodka
24 ounces lime club soda
Lemon juice
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup orange slices
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup cucumber
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries

Pour lime club soda, lemon juice and Ketel One vodka into pitcher and stir well. Prepare 10 popsicle molds by placing fruit into each mold (one mold with strawberry only, one orange mold with oranges only, etc). Then equally pour soda and vodka mix across popsicle molds. Place in freezer for 4 to 6 hours.


Crazy for Coconut Milkshake. Courtesy Sugar Island

Crazy for Coconut Milkshake

If you like pina coladas (don’t worry I’m not going to say anything about the weather), you’ll love this take that uses vanilla ice cream and coconut rum. It’s sweet and creamy with all the tropical flavors that scream summer.

2 ounces Sugar Island coconut rum
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or canned)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Pineapple chunk or maraschino cherry, for garnish

In a blender, add the ice, rum, pineapple and ice cream. Blend until smooth and pour into a Collins glass. Serve with pineapple or maraschino cherry garnish.

Dark ‘n Stormy Ice Cream Float Cocktail. Courtesy Goslings

Dark ‘n Stormy Ice Cream Float Cocktail

If you love a dark ‘n stormy cocktail and you’re feeling particularly ambitious this National Ice Cream Month, this is definitely the cocktail for you. Made with all the elements of the classic cocktail like rum, ginger beer, and lime, this drink is taken to the next level by using homemade dark ‘n stormy ice cream as well. So get out your ice cream machines out and start churning!

1 1/2 ounces Goslings Black Seal rum
6 ounces Goslings ginger beer
Dark ‘n Stormy Ice Cream* or vanilla ice cream
Candied lime, for garnish

Add one generous scoop of the Dark ‘n Stormy ice cream to a large glass. Pour rum over ice cream and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with candied lime.

*Dark ‘n Stormy Ice Cream
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups full cream
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup Gosling’s Black Seal rum
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped fine

In a saucepan combine sugar, milk and cream and scald the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly. In a large bowl beat egg yolks until they are light and thick and pour into the milk mixture through a fine sieve. Transfer the custard to a saucepan and cook it over moderate heat, stirring until it coats the spoon. Transfer the custard to a metal bowl set in a bowl of ice and stir until it is cool. In a small stainless steel or enameled saucepan, reduce the Black Seal rum over moderately high heat by half, taking care it does not ignite. Allow it to cool. Stir the Black Seal rum and the crystalized ginger into the custard and chill the mixture covered for two hours. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Mad Mac. Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey

The Mad Mac

From the brain of Piss & Vinegar bartender Gavin McMonigle, this straightforward ice cream cocktail combines smooth Irish Whiskey with Mexican coffee liqueur and mint ice cream for a fresh and tasty cocktail unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.

2 ounces Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey
1 ounce Mexican coffee liqueur
2 scoops mint chocolate ice cream

Hard shake all ingredients in a tin with crushed ice. Strain into six ounce Irish coffee glass and serve.

New Amsterdam Vanilla Root Beer Float. Courtesy New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam Vanilla Root Beer Float

Something about a hot summer day makes me crave root beer floats like nothing else. If they float your boat as well, you’ll love this take on the classic American drink that uses dark crème de cacao and stout beer to elevate and refine the standard flavor profile.

1 1/2 ounces New Amsterdam vodka 80-Proof
1/2 ounce dark crème de cacao
3 ounces cold root beer
3 ounces cold stout beer
Large scoop vanilla ice cream
Caramel covered popcorn, for garnish

Add all ingredients except popcorn into a blender with some ice, and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall pilsner glass and garnish with caramel covered popcorn.

Pink Flamingo. Courtesy JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Pink Flamingo

If you’re a strawberry ice cream lover that has an affinity for over-the-top drinks, this ice cream cocktail is perfect for you. If you can’t get it at the JW Marriott Desert Springs, where it’s being served, you can still recreate this colorful drink (inspired by the resort’s iconic pink flamingos) to share with friends at home.

6 scoops strawberry ice cream
3 ounces strawberry vodka
4 ounces half and half

For garnish:
Rainbow sprinkles
Whipped cream
Strawberry cotton candy
Strawberry lollipops
French macarons
Pink glazed donuts
Pink chocolate dipped strawberries
Edible glitter

Combine strawberry vodka, half and half and strawberry ice cream in blender until well blended. Roll rim of oversized martini glass with sprinkles, and pour into glass. Top with whipped cream and other garnishes.

Grapefruit Scroppino. Courtesy Finlandia

Grapefruit Scroppino

This cocktail is proof that a drink can be sweet and decadent without the creamy goodness that is ice cream. With bright citrus flavors, thanks to grapefruit vodka and a scoop of lemon sorbet, this is not only delicious but a perfect treat if you’re dairy-free.

3/4 ounce Finlandia grapefruit vodka
Korbel California champagne, to top
3 ounces lemon sorbet
Lemon peel, for garnish

Build in flute glass and stir. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Murder in the Dark. Amy Elisabeth Spasoff

Murder in the Dark

We’ve all had a bourbon and coke before, but this cocktail by mixologist Jack Keane elevates the classic combination to something completely new, adding sweet chocolate liqueur, rich sherry and cold and creamy vanilla ice cream.

1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce creme de cacao
1/2 ounce East India cream sherry
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Caramelized goat cheese, for garnish

Mix bourbon, creme de cacao sherry in a float glass. Add ice cream, top with cola and garnish with caramelized goat cheese.

Root 66. Courtesy Angel's Envy

Root 66

If you have a sweet tooth but you’re looking to avoid anything too decadent, this take on the root beer float uses bitter elements like amaro and Angostura bitters to cut back on the sweetness of the root beer and ice cream.

1 1/2 ounces Angel’s Envy bourbon or rye
1/2 ounce Averna amaro
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Root beer
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Cocoa powder, to garnish

Combine bourbon or rye, Averna and bitters in a julep cup. Top with root beer and stir to integrate ingredients. Add vanilla ice cream and garnish with cocoa powder.

Kahlúa Strawberry Shake. Courtesy Kahlúa

Kahlúa Strawberry Shake

Nothing tastes like summer quite like sweet strawberry ice cream, and this cocktail is no exception. Balanced with a hint of Kahlúa, this boozy take on a strawberry shake will go perfectly with any summer activities you have planned.

2 parts Kahlúa
1/2 part milk
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Strawberry syrup, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish
Fresh strawberry, for garnish

Add Kahlúa, milk, frozen strawberries and vanilla ice cream to a blender and blend until smooth. Swirl hurricane glass with strawberry syrup and quickly pour in the milkshake. Top with whipped cream and garnish with fresh strawberry.

16 Ice Cream Cocktails to Satisfy All Your Sweet-Tooth and Nightcap Needs