There’s nothing like a classic Root Beer Float on a hot summer day! They are so simple to make and the perfect best summer dessert. Grab creamy vanilla ice cream, your favorite root beer, whipped cream and the cherry for on top. That’s it. You have the perfect sweet treat to cool off with.
We’re keeping it simple with some homemade root beer floats! This is one of our favorite summer treats – adults and kids alike can’t resist frosty root beer floats!
When was the last time you treated yourself to this summer classic? It’s so simple, so easy to make, and so good to eat! If it’s been a while than I highly recommend picking up the ingredients this week. Everyone will love it!
You Will Love This Root Beer Float Summer Treat!
- All you need is four ingredients!
- This is a seriously easy dessert recipe – scoop, pour, garnish, and serve!
- I’m sharing all of the tips for making the best icy cold root beer float – you are going to love it.
We keep the ingredients on hand all summer long. This is the best dessert for for lake days, pool parties, BBQs, or just for enjoying on a warm summer night!
What is a Root Beer Float?
It’s the perfect summertime treat that’s a classic! A chilled beverage that is made of ice cream and root beer soda. This treat can be served as a drink, dessert, or snack to cool off with.
This icy beverage is a nostalgic throwback to simpler times and classic soda shoppe days. An easy recipe that’s loved by all.
What does a root beer float taste like?
When the root beer and ice cream are mixed it creates a cold, creamy treat that we think is best sipped out of a straw. As the ice cream melts into the root beer the flavors pair perfectly!
Root Beer Float Recipe Ingredients
- Root beer – The kind you use is really up to personal preference! There are several brands to choose from or try a craft root beer made locally in your community.
- Vanilla ice cream – So, I think it’s best to use a rich premium ice cream and I really love the Vanilla Bean version. It’s a treat, after all! Using a creamy, thick ice cream will hold up better when you add the soda, so keep that in mind.
- Whipped cream – Use thawed whipped topping to make it easy or make your own whipped cream.
- Maraschino cherries – Totally optional but totally fun, so I always add them!
How to Make a Root Beer Float
- Chill Glasses
Pop your glasses into the freezer prior to making this treat for an extra frosty version of this treat. It keeps your ice cream and root beer cold, so it doesn’t melt as fast.
- Scoop Ice Cream
The key to making a float is to add the ice cream first so it doesn’t foam as much. Scoop 1-2 scoops of high-quality vanilla ice cream into your glass.
- Pour Root Beer
After the ice cream is added to the glass pour in your root beer. Make sure to hold the glass at an angle and pour against the glass and avoid the ice cream. This helps prevent a large amount of foam and the chance of it overflowing.
- Garnish & Serve
We like to add whipped cream and a cherry on top of our floats. Grab a long straw and spoon, then serve it to your guests or dig in yourself.
Tips for Making Root Beer Floats
Even though they’re simple, there are definitely some dos and don’ts for making the best floats!
Do use chilled glasses: I love a frosty glass, so I keep mine in the freezer. When it’s time to make a float, the glass will be icy cold with that frosted look.
Do scoop the ice cream first: Start by scooping ice cream into the glasses. I like one scoop per glass, but feel free to add more.
Don’t pour the root beer too fast: The best way to add the soda is slowly. Even better? Tilt the glass and pour so it runs down the inside of the glass. This prevents too much foam from building up.
Do add a long spoon and straw: Okay, this is optional, but a long-handled serving spoon makes it easy to scoop the ice cream. A paper straw just makes it easy to drink!
Root Beer Float FAQ
The ice cream is added to the glass first and the root beer is poured over the top.
It’s up to you! After you’ve made it, you can stir it or leave it and let the ice cream melt into the soda.
Traditionally, a root beer float does not have alcohol. It is a caffeine-free, sweet treat enjoyed by all ages.
If you’d like to make an adult version with alcohol you can simply add vodka, we recommend the vanilla vodka, to your float or rum would pair with it nicely too.
Did you know there’s also “hard root beer”? That would be the perfect way to make this adult version of our favorite classic treat!
Since this is a classic treat, I always go for the A&W Root Beer at the store! It’s a favorite for its smooth, sweet taste and makes the perfect amount of foam.
Mix it up and grab some different brands to see which is your favorite. Stewart’s Root Beer is served in a glass bottle which really brings back some nostalgia when you are serving your floats!
We enjoy classic vanilla in our floats. I always grab the vanilla with vanilla bean in it to give it even more flavor! Make sure your ice cream is a high-quality vanilla, that’s the main thing. It will hold up better when you add the root beer to the glass.
The trick to avoid foam in your root beer float is to make sure you pour the root beer slowly and at an angle against the glass. This reduces the fizz and chance of an overflow.
The foam comes from little bubbles of carbonation sticking to the sides of the ice cream and attracting other bubbles, by pouring against the glass you avoid this.
No summer is complete without some frosty cold root beer floats! It’s also one of the easiest summer desserts to make, too, so don’t miss out and make a batch soon. Everyone will love them!
What goes with root beer floats?
You can get creative with the toppings and try some shaved chocolate, mini chocolate chips, or even crushed cookies! Also, vanilla ice cream is classic but feel free to switch up the flavor if you want to get creative.
More Easy Ice Cream Desserts
- Make Homemade Milkshakes to cool off- choose from strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla!
- Everyone loves Rainbow Ice Cream, and it’s a simple frozen treat to make for the summer!
- Dessert Nachos are a fun dessert with ice cream, fruit, and sauces. Scoop it all up with sugar tortilla chips!
Try it and love it? Rate it, please!!!? Seriously though, a five-star rating below will make my day! If you snap a photo, please be sure to tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!!!
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream about 1 c.
- 8 ounces root beer
- Whipped Cream
- Maraschino cherry
- Freeze your glasses prior to use for an extra frosty treat. We recommend using a tall glass, like a float glass or beer stein.
- Remove glasses from the freezer. Add the ice cream to the glass and then slowly pour root beer into the glass. Try to pour the root beer at an angle up against the glass to reduce fizz and risk of overflow. If there is a lot of fizz let it recede and then add more root beer to the glass.
- Top with whipped cream and cherry! Serve with straws and spoons.