Today, I am here to tell you about one of the most perfect Items known to man. Well, to me. I’m talking about an old fashioned root beer float, friends.
I have fond childhood memories of getting root beer floats with my family after my dad’s softball games, and I’m going to share with you the best way I’ve found to make your float rich and creamy from the first sip!
And if you like your ice cream with a side of ice cream, try pairing this retro soda fountain classic with a slice or two of birthday ice cream cake or maybe some Neapolitan ice cream cake.
What Is a Root Beer Float?
At its simplest, a root beer float is just two ingredients: root beer, and ice cream.
But something about the dairy in the ice cream makes the fizz of the root beer Stay.
And that is the magic of this kind of float. That fizzy-creamy combination. So good.
Ingredients for Creamy Perfection from Sip One
Here’s what you’ll need:
- vanilla ice cream: You’ll use a couple of scoops of frozen vanilla ice cream and a little bit of melted vanilla ice cream. If you swap out for chocolate ice cream, you’ll have made a “brown cow.”
- root beer: your favorite brand, but for me, a less-sweet, spicy one is nice here. Dad’s is a good option as is the Boylan’s I used
- whipped cream: Totally necessary? No. But it makes this drink extra special!
- maraschino cherries: Also not totally necessary, but it makes it fancy!
Is a Root Beer Float Considered a Dirty Soda?
This section contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.
Root beer floats predate the dirty soda craze that began in Utah by decades and decades.
In that a root beer float is a soda with an addition–ice cream and some melted ice cream–in this case, yes, it does fit the definition of a dirty soda.
Making Them Creamy from the First Sip
I did have one issue with root beer floats as a kid, though.
I had to wait for the ice cream to melt so the float would be nice and creamy.
How to remedy that?
- Put some melted ice cream in the bottom of the glass first.
- Pour in a bit of your soda.
- Add more, non-melty, ice cream
- Top off with more soda, some whipped cream, and of course a cherry on top.
Creamy, fizzy, sweet, perfect.
An old fashioned float to be proud of. One you can drink right away and not worry if it won’t be creamy enough.
PRO TIP: For a slightly less sweet float, pour in a couple of tablespoons of cream rather than melted ice cream.
More Root Beer Goodness
Here are some other recipes that use root beer in some creative ways. Enjoy!
- Chocolate Root Beer Cake–with root beer in the cake and the glaze, and chocolate to boot, you pretty much cannot go wrong.
- Root Beer Ribs–cooking it down turns the brew into a sweet and sticky glaze. You don’t necessarily know it’s root beer, but you know it’s delicious!
- Root Beer Barbecue Sauce–an unexpected addition to your favorite barbecue sauce. Keep this idea in your back pocket, for sure.
If you have questions about this post or recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.
If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.
If you make this recipe and/or have enjoyed or learned from reading this post, I’d appreciate it if you could share this!
I have Convenient share buttons that float to the left on desk top and on mobile which invite you to share on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Yummly.
If you make the recipe, please consider rating it a rating and a review. You can do this via the recipe card in the post.
Reviews really help sell the recipe, and negative reviews help me tune into what people really want to have explained better, so any ratings and reviews are helpful!
Also feel free to tag me on Instagram at @onlinepastrychef with #pcorecipe so I can find your creation. Thank you!
- 1/2 cup vanilla bean ice cream, melted but still cold
- 8 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
- 4 12 oz bottles your favorite root beer
- 1 cup whipped heavy cream, unsweetened (my preference)
- 4 maraschino cherries
- Pour 2 Tablespoons of melted vanilla ice cream in the bottom of your glasses.
- Top off with about 1/4 of the bottle of root beer.
- Add one scoop of ice cream to each glass and then slowly fill with root beer until the foam reaches the top rim of the glass.
- Plop in another scoop of ice cream. Spoon or pipe on a generous swirl of whipped cream, and then perch a drained maraschino cherry on top.
- Enjoy, and keep your bottle of root beer right next to you, because as you sip, you'll want to keep adding root beer. It's like a bottomless float!
You can change up the flavor of your soda and make any kind of float you want. Orange soda makes a great creamsicle float, and a Coke float is another family favorite. Enjoy!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 568Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 96mgSodium 119mgCarbohydrates 62gFiber 1gSugar 60gProtein 4g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
Want me to shoot new recipes and an occasional email into your inbox?
You can do that by signing up here for my newsletter, The Inbox Pastry Chef.
I’ll be seeing you!
Next time you’re thirsty and feeling nostalgic, do make a creamy root beer float.
Not much different than a regular one, to be honest, but no waiting for the ice cream to melt.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.