How to Make the Perfect Root Beer Float

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing Root Beer Float on a hot summer day. The sweet and creamy vanilla ice cream swirled around in a frosty glass of root beer is the perfect antidote to the sweltering heat. But not all Root Beer Floats are created equal. You could settle for any old recipe, but why would you do that when you can make the best Root Beer Float ever?

I’m here to share with you my personal favorite recipe for this classic American treat. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

The key to making the perfect Root Beer Float is all in the ingredients and the method. This recipe calls for top-quality vanilla ice cream, premium root beer, and a secret ingredient that takes it to the next level – sweetened condensed milk.

So let’s get started on making something truly special – the best Root Beer Float you’ll ever taste.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Root Beer Float
Root Beer Float

My friends, if you’re looking for the perfect beverage to quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than a delicious Root Beer Float. This classic drink is made with just a few simple ingredients, but it packs a punch in flavor that can’t be beaten.

There are so many reasons to love this Root Beer Float recipe – let me tell you why. First and foremost, it’s incredibly easy to make. All you need is some root beer, ice cream, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed milk. It’s as simple as pouring the root beer over scoops of vanilla ice cream and adding a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Secondly, this float recipe is perfect for any occasion, from lazy summer afternoons to winter family gatherings. It’s a staple of American cuisine and has stood the test of time because everyone loves it! You can also easily customize it by adding your favorite toppings or flavors like chocolate, rumchata or Kahlua French Vanilla if you want to take things up a notch.

But the thing I love most about this drink is how delicious it tastes. The combination of cold and creamy vanilla ice cream with the fizzy sweetness of root beer is unbeatable. And when you add in some whipped cream garnish and maraschino cherry on top? Oh boy! You’ll feel like you’re drinking a dessert in a glass.

So whether you’re sipping on one in the backyard to beat the heat or serving them up at your next dinner party as an impressive after-dinner treat, these Root Beer Floats are guaranteed crowd-pleasers that will leave everyone smiling and asking for more! Trust me – once you taste the perfect balance of sweet vanilla ice cream mixed with frothy root beer goodness, you’ll be hooked forever.

Ingredient List

Before making the best root beer float, let’s gather all the ingredients you need.

For The Root Beer Float Recipe:

  • 4 cups root beer
  • 8 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish (optional)

That’s it! Just four easy-to-find ingredients that make the perfect root beer float.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you know the ingredients, let’s dive into the recipe how-to!

Step 1: Gather ingredients and supplies

First things first, make sure you have all the necessary items for this delicious root beer float recipe. You’ll need:
– Vanilla ice cream (scoops or carton)
– Root beer
– Whipped cream
– Maraschino cherries
– Tall glasses
– Spoon
– Straw (optional)

Step 2: Preparing the glasses

Before pouring in the root beer, it’s important to prepare the glasses to achieve a beautiful look. For every glass of root beer floats, take a spoonful of whipped cream and dollop it on top of each serving. Then, add your favorite cherry or chocolate toppings as garnish.

Step 3: Add ice cream to the tall glass

Next up is adding ice cream scoops to your tall glass. I recommend getting either 2 or 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream; if you want a richer flavor and texture, go for three! Then, carefully pour in one-third of a bottle of cold root beer over the vanilla ice cream.

Step 4: Repeat pouring process

After adding a layer of root beer, it’s time to add another scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and then pour another layer of root beer on top. Keep doing this until you fill the glass about an inch from the top.

Pro Tip: If you want to elevate your root beer float game even further, try using different flavors of ice cream such as chocolate or old-fashioned. You can also add liquor like Kahlúa French vanilla or rumchata for a boozy twist!

Step 5: Add whipped cream & garnishing

Once your glass is filled with the perfect amount of root beer and ice cream proportions, add one more dollop of whipped cream on top as a final cream garnish. Finish it off with a cherry garnish.

Viola! There you have it – enjoy your homemade root beer float!

Substitutions and Variations

Now, let’s talk about some exciting substitutions and variations you can make to this classic beer float recipe. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and experiment with different flavors.

Firstly, instead of vanilla ice cream, you can use chocolate ice cream or even rumchata ice cream for a unique twist. You can also replace the root beer with other sodas such as cola or Dr. Pepper, which will give your float a new flavor altogether.

For those who prefer an alcoholic root beer float, you can replace the root beer with alcoholic root beer or add a shot of bourbon or Kahlúa French Vanilla to it. And speaking of alcohol, have you ever heard of bacon root beer floats? Add a few strips of crispy bacon to your float for an exciting breakfast-inspired treat.

For a tropical twist on the classic float recipe, try substituting the vanilla extract in the sweetened condensed milk with coconut extract for a pina colada-inspired variation. Or replace the whipped cream garnish with a scoop of pineapple sorbet and some grilled pineapple for a unique garnish.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for an old-fashioned ice cream parlor vibe, serve your float in tall glasses with straws and spoons. Top it off with a cherry garnish or some rainbow sprinkles for added fun.

Remember that the possibilities are endless when it comes to making creative beer floats, so don’t be scared to try out new ingredients and let your imagination run wild.

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving root beer floats, presentation is everything. It’s best to prepare your glasses ahead of time, as the foam from the root beer can overflow quickly. A tall glass works best for this recipe, but any glass will do as long as it can hold at least 8 ounces.

Once you have your glass ready, start with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom of the glass. Next, pour in your root beer slowly until the glass is about 2/3 full. The carbonation will cause a foamy head, so it’s important not to fill the glass up completely. Add another scoop or two of vanilla ice cream on top of the root beer.

To finish off the look, add some whipped cream garnish on top and top it off with a maraschino cherry. Not only does this make for an attractive and appealing look, but it also adds a sweet touch to the overall flavour profile.

Root beer floats are perfect for those warm summer days or nights when you need something sweet and refreshing to wash down your meal. They are easy to make and pair well with classic American foods such as burgers and hot dogs. But don’t be afraid to get creative with your pairings! Chocolate desserts and old-fashioned cocktails like bourbon bacon or rumchata would also make excellent matches for this nostalgic treat.

One last note – if you’re serving these alcoholic root beer floats at a party, be sure to mark them clearly so that everyone knows they contain alcohol. This will ensure that everyone can enjoy them responsibly and safely.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Now that you’ve satisfied your craving for a delicious root beer float, you might be wondering what to do with leftovers or how to make them ahead of time. Fortunately, this dessert is easy to store and can be made in advance.

To make ahead: If you want to make a large batch of root beer floats for a party or special occasion, you can prepare the ice cream scoops and freeze them in an airtight container for up to a week. When the time comes, all you have to do is pour the cold root beer over the scoops and add a dollop of whipped cream right before serving.

To store leftovers: If you somehow have any leftovers (which sounds unlikely), you can simply place the glass with the remaining root beer float in the fridge. The ice cream may melt a bit, but it will still taste great!

To reheat: While there’s no real need to reheat your root beer float, if you would like to enjoy it warm instead of cold, here’s what you can do: Take out the ice cream from the glass and heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Once heated up, place it back in the tall glass, pour over some steaming hot root beer and add some whipped cream on top.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite root beer floats anytime, whether fresh or leftover – hot or cold!

Tips for Perfect Results

As someone who loves a good root beer float, I know that the perfect balance of ingredients is crucial in achieving the ultimate tasty treat. Here are some tips to ensure your root beer float comes out perfectly every time:

1. Use quality ingredients

The success of any recipe begins with high-quality, fresh ingredients. Whether you’re making your own ice cream or using store-bought, make sure it’s a high-quality brand. The same goes for your root beer.

2. Chill your glasses and root beer beforehand

To keep your float from immediately melting before you get to enjoy it, chill your glasses and root beer in the freezer before use. This will also prevent the foam from spilling over.

3. Add vanilla extract to homemade ice cream

If you’re making homemade ice cream, add a bit of vanilla extract to it for added flavor. This small step will take your ice cream from good to great.

4.Scoop your ice cream into the glass slowly

When adding ice cream to your glass, do so slowly by scooping only one scoop at a time with a spoon, using a circular motion as you add each scoop. This will ensure the ice cream stays compact instead of becoming loose and melted.

5. Pour root beer over a spoon

To keep the foam from overflowing, pour the root beer directly over a spoon into your glass. This will create a slower pour and reduce the amount of foam created.

6. Add whipped cream and toppings after pouring in the root beer

Once you’ve poured in the root beer, add whipped cream and any additional toppings like chocolate syrup or maraschino cherries on top to create added sweetness.

By following these tips, you’ll make an even better root beer float than before!


Now, let’s take a look at some frequent questions that come up when making a Root Beer Float. You may have some questions on your own that we might tackle along the way. Don’t worry; we are here to help you in preparing an excellent Root Beer Float recipe that your friends and family will surely love.

What goes first in a rootbeer float?

When it comes to making a root beer float, there are varying opinions on what ingredient should go in the mug first. To avoid any spillage and achieve the ideal smooth consistency, a helpful tip is to first add the ice cream and then pour the bubbly root beer on top.

What is a root beer float made of?

A classic dessert drink that goes by the name “black cow” or “brown cow” is the root beer float. The traditional mixture consists of root beer and vanilla ice cream, but nothing’s stopping you from experimenting with different flavors! Imagine hosting a party and setting up a DIY Root Beer Float bar with an array of ice cream flavors, such as chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, or Cookies and Cream. It’s going to be so much fun! This is all set to take place as of January 1, 2022.

What soda is best for root beer float?

When the availability of sarsaparilla is scarce due to external factors, like the influence of cartels on the fields, one may not be able to enjoy a classic root beer. However, Classic Coke can be a worthy substitute as it emulates the traditional flavor with its frothy texture and smooth creaminess. This is a long-standing favorite that does not fail to deliver its great taste. As of September 15, 2014.

What ice cream is best for root beer floats?

When it comes to creating a delicious ice cream float, vanilla ice cream is the classic choice. However, you can also opt for soft-serve ice cream to achieve a smoother blend in your float. Its delicate consistency seamlessly combines with the fizzy beverage, providing a delightful texture in every sip. So, whether you prefer a traditional or a creamier twist to your float, vanilla ice cream is a fantastic option to enjoy this refreshing treat.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Root Beer Float Recipe is a timeless classic that has remained popular for generations. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious and refreshing beverage that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you are hosting a summer barbecue, enjoying a family picnic or just want to indulge in a sweet treat, this recipe will not disappoint.

With the option to substitute ingredients such as rumchata, chocolate, or old fashioned bourbon bacon root beer, there are endless possibilities to make this recipe uniquely yours. The Root Beer Float Recipe is versatile and can be enjoyed by all ages. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot day, satisfy your sweet tooth or simply relax with friends and family.

So grab a tall glass, pour in some root beer and add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. Finish it off with some whipped cream and a maraschino cherry garnish for an extra touch of sweetness. Trust me; it will be the best root beer float you’ve ever had.

Overall, this recipe is easy to follow, requires minimal prep time, and can be customized to suit your taste buds. Don’t hesitate to give it a try and indulge in one of the world’s most iconic beverages.

Root Beer Float

Root Beer Float Recipe

Made in an ice cream maker! Make with bottled diet root beer -- tastes like a root beer float! ****NOTE: Zaar's data base would not calculate FAT-FREE sweetened condensed milk! So, if made with FAT-FREE, the actual calorie count and fat content will be LOWER than calculated!!!!**** Actual time to make is approximate and does not include pre-chilling of ingredients and canister -- Actual freeze time depends upon ice cream maker and conditions --
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Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Dessert, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Frozen, Kid-Friendly, Small Appliance, Sweet
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 213.4kcal


  • 1 (2 liter) bottle diet root beer (chilled)
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk (FAT-FREE, chilled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Pre-chill root beer, condensed milk, and ice cream maker canister.
  • Combine root beer, condensed milk, and vanilla.
  • Fill ice cream maker canister with root beer mixture.
  • Freeze per ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions.
  • Enjoy!
  • ****NOTE: Zaar's data base would not calculate FAT-FREE sweetened condensed milk! So, if made with FAT-FREE, the actual calorie count and fat content will be LOWER than calculated!****.

Your own notes


Serving: 66g | Calories: 213.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 5.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.6g | Cholesterol: 22.5mg | Sodium: 84mg | Sugar: 36g

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