Customizing Your Soda Is The First Step For The Best Ice Cream Floats

Nothing hits that right mix of nostalgia, pleasure, and comfort like an ice cream float. But while root beer is the undisputed champion of the category, there are plenty of other sweet, frothy treats out there. When making ice cream floats at home, consider customizing your soda to something unexpected to up your float game. In addition to trying out other popular sodas like Coke, Fanta, or Sprite with grenadine, you can try making your own soda by flavoring plain seltzer.

SodaStream makes its own collection of seltzer flavors, including brand names like Pepsi and Sierra Mist, and a collection of off-brand tonic, lemon-lime, and diet orange flavors. Torani, though marketed for use in cocktails, makes non-alcoholic flavored syrups in every flavor, from black cherry to pumpkin spice. The upside of using syrups is that you can decide just how sweet you want your drink to be and you can mix and match flavors. If you really want to make your float special, however, think about making your own infused syrup or reduced fruit juice to amp up the flavor.

Make an infused syrup or reduced fruit juice

For a juice syrup, simply boil the juice (making sure it doesn't burn) until it reduces by half and thickens to a syrupy consistency. Add the syrup to the seltzer and pour over your ice cream. A tart cherry juice with vanilla or chocolate ice cream would make for a decadent option here, as would apple syrup with salted caramel ice cream.

To make an infused simple syrup ice cream float, you'll use equal parts water and granulated sugar along with herbs or spices. First, bring the water to a boil and then add the sugar, letting it dissolve. Add your herbs, let the ingredients boil together for about a minute, and allow the mixture to steep after being removed from the heat. Then, strain out the solids and add your fresh syrup to your seltzer and pour over your ice cream. 

Have you ever had a mint chocolate chip sundae made with fresh mint? It can be a total game-changer. Make a mint simple syrup seltzer and add it to vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks. If you've got some coffee ice cream you don't know what to do with, make a simple syrup with fresh cardamom and anise pods. Bright herbs and aromatics go a long way to spicing up your new favorite dessert drink.