A great deal of Americans love a good Root Beer Float – a classic and fun drink recipe made with bubbly root beer, creamy vanilla ice cream, and a few other ingredients that takes it over the top! Here’s how to make the absolute BEST one!
A nostalgic throwback to simpler times and soda shoppe days, these icy beverages are a classic summertime (and anytime) staple that’s loved by people of all ages.
When I thought of posting a summer recipe reminiscent of my husband Stan, many favorites came to mind. However, this Classic Root Beer Float really made me think of him. It took me back to the summers during our early years of dating and marriage. He introduced me to Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor, Cerritos, CA. We anticipated its offerings of burgers, huge thick puffy fries, shakes, tuna melts, sundaes, and yes, root beer floats. The ice cream parlor was decked out in a classic-themed retro 50’s diner vibe. He sipped and stirred his root beer float and I spooned through my strawberry shortcake! No matter how many times we ordered these treats when brought to the table, our mouths agape and eyes widened. The whole scene encouraged hours of conversation.
Those moments in time had long been forgotten. However, a warm smile AND a chuckle made it all so present again. It was the chuckle that garnered this post.
Although the Root Beer Float is totally personal and customizable and you know just the right amounts of ice cream and root beer, it’s a good idea to have a jump-off point. I’ve searched several reliable sites for a basic root beer to ice cream ratio and here are my findings:
I was shocked to find the complexity and in-depth posts, even from my go-to bloggers about this American Classic Root Beer Float. I don’t understand why many fiddle with simplicity – Complicating a two-Ingredients classic! I endured the flogging to provide you with ratios and a few details perhaps worth noting – which I did not complicate!
Here are some pondering thoughts about root beer floats and their chemistry:
Where does the foam come from? Little bubbles of carbonation stick to the sides of the ice cream and attract other bubbles until the bubbles get really big and float to the surface.
Why does the ice cream float? Because it’s ice cream, churned with air and composed of a lot of fat, both of which are lighter than water.
Ok, last thought. If you’d like to get all America’s Test Kitchen and Martha Stewart on me, you can make everything from scratch:
Homemade sassafras root beer, if you have access to sassafras.
Do you remember the first time you had a root beer float?
Do you have a favorite childhood memory about root beer floats?
Tell us about it in the comments.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Tag @reginadmitchell on Instagram and hashtag it #reginadmitchell
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings are so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations, and ideas for variations. Ratings help people discover my recipes online. Your support means a great deal to me.
THE SPICE BOX
Follow Along on Instagram @reginadmitchell
©2022 Regina Mitchell | based in las vegas + teaching virtually worldwide