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An ice float is a foolproof, delicious antidote to heat

An ice float is a foolproof, delicious antidote to heat

It’s hot and I hate it. I have the skin color of an anemic vampire. My hair soaks up moisture like a loaf of stale bread and can swell to six or eight times its natural size. The sidewalks stink. I stink. The soundtrack of this summer and every other is my incessant whining in time with a whirring fan. I don’t understand why anyone would be upset about this.

One of the few things that makes summer a little more bearable is the reminder that ice cream floats exist. Incredibly, I rarely (if ever) think about them in the fall, winter, or spring. As soon as the temperature drops below 24 degrees, I seem to erase any memory of being uncomfortably humid. Since I rarely drink ice cream floats in pleasant, air-conditioned environments, they feel like a new discovery every year. This pleasant surprise doesn’t make up for the feeling of being fried by the elements, but it’s still something to enjoy during extremely unpleasant times.

Get the recipe: Ice Cream Float

An ice float is not the same as an ice cream soda. The latter is made by putting ice cream in a glass and then pouring soda over it; while the former is made by filling a glass with soda and carefully floating a scoop of ice cream on top. Why am I mentioning this? Because this stupid weather leaves me no choice but to be the absolute worst, and I hate that for all of us.

At bearable temperatures, my brain doesn’t care in the slightest about the order of operations, but it’s my body that controls the fingers that type, and that body is actively humid. Humid, miserable, and bent on making my problems everyone else’s problems. Drinking an ice cream float would probably fix that, but since I started writing this text, the temperature has risen another ten degrees, and my brain would rather start a war over ice cream semantics than help itself.

Thinking has never been my strong suit when it’s humid. It’s hard to remember how to behave, or do anything at all, when all I can think about is why I haven’t fled to the Yukon yet. (Another oft-deleted summer fantasy.) Luckily, floats are foolproof. The name is the instructions. You don’t need any kitchen tools other than an ice cream scoop and a glass, and even if you’re missing those, you can still whip up a float in a pinch. Sure, a bowl and your bare hands might not be fancy in cooler weather, but once the heat index hits 100, I pretty much don’t care about anything, including decency.

The only part where making floats can potentially get tricky is choosing the soda and ice cream flavors. I don’t know how many possible flavor combinations there are in the world—because I’m too hot to do the math—but I know there are a lot. That’s probably why the most common ice cream flavor for floats is vanilla—it goes with everything and helps keep decision-making to a minimum.

But if you’re more versed in this climate than I am, venture beyond vanilla and try all sorts of flavors and frozen things. The rule book for summer drinks changes when you consider that flavorless ice cubes can be replaced not only with ice cream, but with sorbet, sherbet, or pretty much anything else that’s frozen, delicious, and liquid.

You don’t have to limit yourself to lemonade either! How about a nice tall glass of iced tea with a scoop of lemon sorbet to cool you down, or a pint of non-alcoholic stout with a bowl of ice cream? Both sound good enough to possibly motivate me to get up off the couch and head to the kitchen, which is ten feet away. Or better yet, I’ll force my kids to make me some ice cream since I’m totally exhausted from all the whining. They’ll like me a lot more once I cool down.

Get the recipe: Ice Cream Float