Modernizing the Ice Cream Social
The ice cream social certainly isn't a new idea, but that doesn't mean it needs to be an old fashioned gathering. Think about it: parties are great, ice cream is great, so wouldn't both be better together? The answer is of course "yes!" So let's bring the ice cream social into the new millennium by giving it a good update. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Jazz Up Your Flavors: Sure, sure, there's absolutely nothing wrong with chocolate and vanilla (or a little strawberry if you're feeling frisky). But why not stretch your creative muscles a bit with your flavors? Whether you're making ice cream yourself or going store bought (more on that later), now's the perfect chance to try out something new. Try to get a few flavors you know your younger guests will like, then pick a more adventurous selection for the grownups.
Get Creative With Toppings: Again, we're not trying to bash hot fudge and sprinkles here. But you can bring your ice cream social to the next level by giving your guests a variety of toppings. Try fresh fruits, toasted nuts, cookies, candy, and flavored whipped cream. Add a few different sauces and your guests will be set to create the sundae of their dreams.
Set Up Your Bar: There's one golden rule of an ice cream bar: keep it COLD. Really cold. Keep your ice cream in the freezer until the last possible second, then set your pints out in a big bowl filled with ice. As long as your ice cream is well cared for, everything else is relatively easy. Bowls, spoons, and napkins at one end, ice cream next, then all of those gorgeous, gorgeous toppings.
Make Boozy Floats: Ice cream is great for all ages, but that doesn't mean the grownups can't enjoy something a little special. For a super simple approach, set out bottles of hard soda next to unbreakable cups and let your guests do the rest (just make sure everyone knows which bottles are adults-only). If you like playing bartender, check out some of these recipes.
Make Your Own...: With home ice cream makers more accessible than ever, it's completely possible to create personalized ice cream for your event. This gives you tons of control over the flavors your guests experience, plus it can be a lot of fun to experiment with new combinations. There are tons of great resources out there to give you inspiration: this list is a great starting point. And the creativity doesn't need to end at ice cream. Waffle cones and sauces are both accessible for even home cooking beginners.
...or Not: On the other hand, there's something to be said for the simplicity of putting out a few tubs of ice cream and a can of whipped cream and watching your guests go to town. The best ice cream socials are the ones that allow everyone to have a good time, and "everyone" includes you. Enjoy!