When we embarked on the homemade ice cream path, the next obvious step was consumption of all the delicious gelatos and ice creams that were filling the freezer. First we ate bowls of vanilla bean gelato with mint leaves for garnish, we smooshed it between cookies, made shakes with fresh strawberries, topped it with strawberry sauce and, of course, as root beer floats. Note: Good root beer floats always starts with a good root beer. Goose Island? Pure cane sugar? Check.
While dating Ole, I learned quickly that there was a proper way to construct a float. I remember clearly the day we spent at Five Points in Columbia, South Carolina. We had stopped by Adriana’s (back when they had gelato still) and ordered root beer floats, and he instantly started complaining about the soda-to-gelato ratio.
You see, he complains (ahem, readily) when there is not enough root beer. For a root beer float to really be a float, the ice cream or, in this case, gelato, should, well, float. A cup full of ice cream with root beer drizzled over the top is not a float. It is a root beer sundae. And a puddle of root beer topped with ice cream, also not a float. It will become a root beer shake as you try to get the root beer to cover the ice cream and just end up stirring it all in. Start by filling the vessel you’ll be using a third full with soda.
Next comes your ice cream of choice. I went with the vanilla bean gelato because, well, I was trying to make room for another flavor combination I wanted to try. What? You can never have too much ice cream in the summer. It is not possible.
At this point, your glass should be about two-thirds full. Scoops will depend on the size of your scoop and, of course, your glass.
Finally, pour root beer over the ice cream again. This will give you the nice foamy quality that you are so used to, where the foam gets nice and thick, taking on a consistency all its own.
And the root beer that is left? That is to be served with the float, of course. Those places that keep it behind the counter? Blah. And splitting one bottle into two floats? Definitely not allowed, unless, of course, they’re child-sized floats.
However you make yours, root beer floats make a great summertime treat with the cold, bubbly root beer mixing with smooth vanilla ice cream. The kids know the minute we buy soda what it is for. It is a family favorite at our home that will have the kids squealing and begging the minute they know the root beer is in the house and cold and the ice cream is ready.