Harvest and Honey

An open-ended love letter, culinarily inspired.

the liquid generation


Chocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice Cream IMG_7498Chocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice CreamChocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice Cream

The hum of hungry, progressively caffeinated patrons. Chairs scooting around on floors. Partially used butter and jelly tubs strewn across tables. Syrupy smudged fingerprints from small, eager hands. The crack of an egg. The flip of a flapjack. The waiter or waitress paused, pad and pen at the ready, about to take the next order. 

“What’ll it be ma’am?”

“I’ll have the ginger-carrot-apple juice, with a boost of ginseng please. And also a coffee. Actually, I’ll do a decaf latte … I already had two cups before we got here.”

“Mmm hmm. And for you, sir?”

“I’ll just have a cup of black tea if you’ve got it. I think I’d also like to try your wheatgrass tonic and a large orange juice. And a coffee to go – black – but extra, extra hot. Can you do that? Like   s c r e a m i n g   hot?

“You got it. I’ll put those drink orders in for y’all and be back with your waters.”


Name your restaurant. Name your town. Name your decade, even. The weekend breakfast rush probably looks and feels and smells and sounds almost exactly the same, no matter where your map dot may be and no matter what year it might say on the calendar. That is, of course, with one glaring exception …

Chocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice CreamIMG_7441IMG_7455IMG_7490

My father-in-law calls us “The Liquid Generation.” A generation that has, somehow, come to operate almost completely based on the need for (or anticipated future need for) beverage consumption. Always thinking about the next drink we’re going to down, coffee we’re going to sip, smoothie we’re going to slurp, and water we’re going to tote along, our darling beverages have become somewhat akin to having pets.

“Nice Nalgene bottle, dude!”

“Oh thanks, bro! I mix my protein shake in it every morning and then I just use it for my coconut water after the gym. Gotta stay hydrated, right? Say, wanna grab a coffee tomorrow or maybe do drinks one night this weekend?”

“Right on, man. Right on.”   – actual, overheard conversation

Did you know that the sleeve you place on your to-go coffee cups (you know, the cardboard one) is actually called a zarf? I kid you not. Zarf. Apparently when coffee was first popularized in the 13th century, it was served in small cups without handles that were placed in decorative zarfs to keep the drinker’s fingers from getting burned. Some ancient zarfs were even carved very beautifully, very intricately, and they were often made out of precious metals, rare woods or even ivory. This is a far cry from the oft misspelled, Sharpie-scribbled names that are penned on our pumpkin spice latte cups and/or zarfs these days … right on the line where it says, “This drink was specially crafted for … ”


“When I was your age, coffee was black and water was wet,” said my father-in-law with a smile and a shake of his head. “That was it. Things were … easier, simpler.”

Chocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice CreamChocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice Cream IMG_7459IMG_7470 IMG_7508 Chocolate Stout Flout with No-Churn Hazelnut Coffee Crunch Ice Cream

As I write this post, I have no less than five beverage cups within reach, which is often the case when I’m writing or working, I have to admit. It sort of mirrors what our tables look like when we dine out, me and my fellow Liquid Gen’ers. I’m unsure as to whether it’s a good or bad, happy or sad thing that you can almost pinpoint the decade in which a table of restaurant patrons were born based solely off the number of glasses and/or accessories that are on the table. What’s more, you know you’ve earned your nickname when you can barely find a place on the entire table in which to squeeze your plate of food (i.e. the real reason you are there) because it is so littered with vessels for the myriad beverages you ordered. Happens every time, truth be told. This time though, two of the glasses in front of me belong to my children so you have to cut me a break right? Regardless, I am a loud and proud, card-carrying member of The Liquid Generation, whether I like it or not I suppose. Comes with the territory these days. Comes with the generation. We might not be “The Greatest Generation,” but we’re The Liquid Generation, and that counts for something.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I seemed to have misplaced my zarf.


Chocolate Stout Float with Hazelnut Coffee Crunch (no-churn) Ice Cream RECIPE 

I love that my father-in-law (Robert is his name) has so cleverly coined the term, Liquid Generation. It’s brilliant and very accurate. I’d like to think that with this single recipe, though, you can eliminate several of the glasses and/or drinking vessels from your dining table entirely. You get your coffee, your beer, your milkshake, your float, and your after-dinner-drink all in one glass. Efficiency looks (and tastes) good sometimes, dare I say it … with no offense intended to my fellow Liquid Generation’ers …





Bottles of chocolate stout beer, one per float (recommended, Samuel Smith’s)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
12 oz. sweetened condensed milk
The seeds of one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons of coffee extract (or to taste)
3/4 cup finely chopped and toasted hazelnuts





Place the heavy whipping cream in a mixer and mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about three minutes. Switch to a rubber spatula and add the vanilla bean seeds, coffee extract and the condensed milk, gently folding until everything is well combined. Lastly, fold in the chopped hazelnuts. Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container. Place the ice cream into the freezer until firm and frozen, usually a few hours.


To make the floats, pour the chocolate stout into pint glasses (or your glasses of choice) and add a couple of scoops of the hazelnut coffee crunch ice cream to each class. Enjoy right away.

Author: Harvest & Honey

Lauren McDuffie is a freelance food and travel writer, photographer, stylist, cookbook author, and award-winning food blogger. She lives in Indianapolis, IN with her husband, Lucas, and two children.

4 thoughts on “the liquid generation

  1. Holy moly. This looks amazing. Making.

  2. That is totally me too – juice followed by a screaming hot drink. Amen.

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