By Tessa Woolf
July is National Ice Cream Month (gracias, President Reagan), and we couldn't let it come to an end without giving a shout to summer's coolest dessert. We all scream for ice cream, right? The frozen treat is a crowd-pleaser any time of year, but when the heat is on it makes a winning finish at rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. (Tying the knot next July? 'Tis the season for strawberry ice cream.)
Whether hand-scooped and plopped on top of dressed-up cones, sandwiched between fresh-baked cookies (or brownies or waffles), teamed with
soda beer for refreshing floats, or dished up in pretty bowls with dainty spoons, we've got 10 fun and tasty ways to get your fix.
1. DRESS IT UP
Fancify sugar and waffle cones by dipping them in chocolate, adding sprinkles, or spraying them with edible shimmer. Top soft serve with edible glitter or gold flakes for an elegant finishing touch.
2. OPEN BAR
Set up an ice cream bar at your reception and offer hand-scooped cones to guests. Portable ice cream carts are also charming and work great for small spaces. Chat with your caterer or local ice cream shops about options, flavors, and pricing. Check out Salt & Straw, Scoop PDX, and Ruby Jewel.
3. DIY SUNDAES
Have guests help themselves to customized sundaes. Set out different flavors of ice cream, scoops, bowls and spoons, a variety of toppings like nuts, candies, shredded coconut and fresh fruit, plus hot fudge and caramel sauce, and let guests go to town.
4. THE TRUCK STOPS HERE
Remember that feeling you'd get as a kid when you'd hear the music of the ice cream truck coming down your street? Your guests will be giddy when they see this childhood favorite roll up to your reception or late-night party. Hire a local food truck to park at your event and hand out ice cream bars and other frozen treats. Scoop PDX has an ice cream truck, plus an ice cream tricycle and umbrella cart.
5. SWEET SANDWICHES
It's hard to go wrong with the classic cookie and ice cream combo, but for your special day consider swapping cookies for frozen cookie dough, mini waffles, brownies (dipped in chocolate and placed on a stick), or graham cracker crust with raspberry cheesecake centers. Wrap them with parchment and bakers twine and serve with mini bottles or cartons of milk.
ROOT BEER FLOATS
Root beer floats are fine and dandy, but we're loving this boozy twist on the old-fashion favorite. Pour Oregon State brews in chilled mugs or pint glasses (check out our guide to Portland beers for weddings from the current issue of the mag) and add a scoop of vanilla. Chat with your caterer or favorite local pub about beer pairings.
7. MAKE IT MINI
Bite-sized servings allow guests to taste a variety of flavors. Plus, they're downright adorable.
8. GOT MILK?
Get your shake on—mix up mini milkshakes and milkshake shooters. Easy to serve, easy to drink.
9. FROZEN FAVORS
Send guests home with jars of fresh-made ice cream or pints of your favorite local scoop. We love the small batch offerings from What's the Scoop.
10. TAKES THE CAKE
Not a fan of buttercream or fondant? Cut into an ice cream cake instead of traditional tiers. We're not talking the stuff of Baskin-Robbins here—be inspired by these elegant berry confections.