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The Drink: Guinness float

The Location: Quarry House Tavern, 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, (301) 587-8350

The Price: $7

The Buzz: Summer officially ends on Sunday, which pretty much means the end of tomato season and the onset of seasonal-affective- disorder season. It’s enough to bum me out. Ice cream floats, of course, smack of hot weather and sticky kids—except when you substitute Guinness for root beer or, God forbid, Coke. Suddenly the fizzy treat takes a turn for the dark, wintry side. That sweet black cow becomes a bitter sodden bull in the china shop of your brain. The Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring serves up a Texas longhorn of a Guinness float. Its version comes in a 24-ounce beer glass with multiple scoops of vanilla ice cream doused in a healthy pour of the Irish stout. The first taste is, naturally enough, bitter, with the faintest whiff of vanilla underneath. But as the ice cream melts into the beer, a strange thing happens: The whole thing starts to taste like chocolate. The only problem with the drink—or is it more correctly categorized as a dessert?—is that an even stranger reaction occurs with the ice cream itself. It takes on this stringy, almost caramelized consistency; it’s not exactly unpleasant, but neither is it the smooth creamy texture you expect. Maybe it was just bad ice cream, the kind with freezer-burn crystals on it? Whatever the case, my advice is to let the ice cream completely melt and then drink the float as if it were a chocolate stout-shake.