Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Framboise Lambic Float

I had heard about beer floats and chocolate stout milkshakes and such for a couple of years, and while I was vaguely intrigued, dairy and alcohol seems like a pretty gross combination to me, so vegan ice creams and beers should totally lend themselves to this phenomenon, right?

Lambics are Belgian beers brewed with wild yeasts instead of cultivated brewer's yeast. Some lambics are fermented a second time, with fruit. Lambic tends to have a more sour flavor than most beer. JD is a big fan of Lindeman's Framboise Lambic (which may not be a true lambic?), and we've experimented with mixing different lambics together and to other beers like stouts, to varying success. I have always slightly lamented the fact that no one offered vegan beer floats or milkshakes, but I'd never tried making one myself.

But then a few weeks ago we went to a pub with a friend, and they had a whole list of mixed dessert drinks, and immediatly I was inspired. I knew I had to make a vanilla coconut milk ice cream, and drown it in large amounts of framboise or kriek lambic--raspberry or cherry beer, respectively .

I used a simplified version of my Creme Anglaise recipe as the ice cream base, after running it through the ice cream maker, I froze it overnight so it would be nice and solid. You could use any vegan ice cream, and vanilla would probably be good, but the light coconut vanilla flavor worked really well with the fruit flavor, and coconut milk is creamier and richer, which contrasts the alcohol well.

For the float, I used about 1 part lambic to 1 part coconut milk ice cream. It was so pretty and delicious! The sourness and acidity of the lambic was clear, but played off the creamy sweetness of the coconut milk well.

I also mixed some of the softened ice cream with the lambic, trying to approximate a milkshake. It wasn't quite as pretty, but I liked it a lot more. As a shake, the flavor was almost reminiscent of SweeTTarts, but more grown up.

As I said, JD loves the framboise lambic, and could drink copious amounts of it, but he wasn't a big fan of it as a float...but he doesn't like floats in general, so I think he's got a bias. I say you should definitely try this if you like things that are awesome, delicious, sweet, or boozy.

Edited to add pictures and to say that I think other styles of beer would be good like this. Sam Adams has a Blackberry Witbier that's got a nice, full blackberry flavor, and something like Breckenridge Brewery's Vanilla Porter or Samual Smith's Oatmeal Stout might be nice, too. Something as creamy as an oatmeal stout might even be better with a fruit sorbet.
Have you ever tried an adult float? What was it made with? Did you enjoy it, or think the frozen dessert and alcohol were better on their own?

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