In honor of National Root Beer Float Day, let's celebrate with an old school favorite with a grown-up twist.
Do you have fond memories of ice cream floats? I do. When I was a kid, my Dad and I used to sneak off to the Frosty Mug Root Beer shop for a icy root beer float. These would be put down in front of me in a frozen mug with big shards of ice falling off of it and I'd have to tippy-toe to reach the straw. Ohhh, those were so good on a screaming hot summer day. I've never forgotten that- or my love of floats.
I recently had a root beer float martini at Chef Richard Blais' Flip Burger restaurant in Birmingham and it was excellent- although a bit pricey for just a couple of ounces. I guess you pay for all of the pyrotechnics and technology you get with it--- it arrives at the table smoking like a house on fire. Well, I can't make mine smoke.... but my home version of this is simple and sweet. Try it and go back to the ice cream counter of your youth- but this time, with a kick!
Now, there are lots of ways to make an adult version of the root beer float. Some require expensive liqueurs like Galliano and you can also get root beer liqueur or root beer vodka (I like the Three Olives brand Root Beer Vodka) but unless you want to make a bunch of these, I'd just use vanilla vodka. While not technically a martini, I wanted to call it one so there was no confusion about it; this isn't for the kids or for anyone counting calories but it is sooooo creamy, frosty delicious!
ROOT BEER FLOAT MARTINI
1 ounce vanilla vodka
1 ounce Kahlua
4 ounces root beer, chilled
1/2 ounce heavy cream
1-2 scoops ice cream- depending on your glass
Make sure the root beer is very cold. Submerge in ice bath if not. Dip your glass in water and put it in the freezer for a few minutes to chill. Take out the ice cream to soften a bit. Dip your ice cream scoop in warm water to get the perfect scoop.
Put a scoop of ice cream in the glass. The size of the scoop is up to you. Put the vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well until very cold. Pour over ice cream. Top up with root beer. Serve with a bendy straw.
MARTIE'S PARTY TIP: For a party, I will pre-scoop all of the ice cream I need and put the scoops in the freezer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. That way I can serve all of my guests at the same time. I do the same thing when I'm serving ice cream for a kid's party. There's nothing worse than being the last kid to get ice cream....