TGIF! To kick off a fun summer weekend, here is a Raspberry Cream Soda Float recipe… because it’s Friday, and YOLO. Unless you believe in reincarnation (I do!).
Floats, along with milkshakes and malts, were born during the 19th century when soda shops began popping up all over the United States. Soda shops were popular hangouts for people of all ages until the 1960s. One of the first creators of the soda water system was a New Yorker by the name of John Matthews. Matthews likened that first bubbly sip of soda to the feeling of falling in love. The stars of these American soda shops were soda jerks, who not only created soda-based beverages, but also entertained customers while they waited with special shorthand lingo they used to speed up orders. Their jobs were taken very seriously; many boosted their skills by attending “Sundae School” seminars held by the International Association of Ice Cream Makers. These seminars served as the perfect gathering for swapping recipes and ideas for new soda shop treats. Over the years, soda jerks have become beloved figures of American nostalgia.
Ice cream floats, known as brown or black cows, were usually made with a base of root beer or coca cola with a few inches left at the top of the glass to make room for the ice cream. Here, I’ve provided a twist on this already fabulous concept. I made a fruity Italian-style soda using Homemade Raspberry Soda, then topped it off with vanilla ice cream, freshly whipped cream and a berry garnish. This treat is summery, sweet and decadent enough to be a dessert. It brings back wonderful memories of the root beer floats of my childhood. To make the treat more “grown up,” try adding 1 ounce of rum to the soda water.
You can also make a strawberry float by replacing the raspberry syrup in this recipe with Homemade Strawberry Syrup – recipe here!
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- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups homemade raspberry syrup (see notes)
- 6 cups soda water or seltzer
- Vanilla ice cream
- Fresh raspberries for garnish
- Before you assemble your float, combine heavy whipping cream and sugar in a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- For each float, in a tall chilled glass, combine 1/4 cup raspberry syrup with 3/4 cup soda water or seltzer. Gently stir to combine. Add 1-2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with freshly whipped cream and fresh raspberries.