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One of the most classic sweet treats of them all, this homemade root beer float is perfect on a hot summer day, backyard barbecues or whenever you’re looking for a nostalgic throwback to the good old days.
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A classic root beer float with a fun twist
Root beer is one of my favorite sodas because it’s so smooth and spicy. Each sip has a buttery note with accents of cloves, cinnamon, ginger and other sassafras brewer-specific combinations.
For National Root Beer Float Day I couldn’t just make a traditional ice cream float. For such a special summer day, I knew I wanted something with a little bit of a kick so I strolled the grocery aisles until I found something equally creamy and spicy to pour into my tall float glass—horchata!
Have you tried horchata? It’s a Latin cinnamon vanilla spiced sweet rice milk. Living in Vegas, I can find Horchata all over town, but recently I discovered rum-spiked horchata.
This is dangerous stuff because the spicy cinnamon and vanilla hide the rum, so be careful.
The combination of creamy vanilla ice cream, spicy root beer and horchata makes for a delicious adult version of an old-fashioned root beer float. What could be better than that?
Don’t worry though, you can make this float with non-alcoholic horchata or the good stuff. Just add a shot, fill your tall glasses with creamy ice cream and pour in some ice-cold root beer. Enjoy.
Root Beer Rum Horchata Float
- 1 shot rum horchata
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
- 1 glass root beer
- Pour: Pour a shot of rum horchata into a tall glass.
- Scoop: Fill the glass with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
- Serve: Pour root beer on top and serve with a straw.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Ingredients for this boozy root beer float
- Rum horchata. You can find this at your local liquor store and is delicious to have on hand for coffee, baking and more.
- Vanilla ice cream. I think a classic vanilla bean ice cream is best, but grab whatever you like from the ice cream aisle.
- Root beer. Your favorite brand of root beer is all you need.
Substitutions: Regular, non-alcoholic horchata can be found at your local grocery store or you can usually buy some at your local Mexican restaurants. You could even use hard root beer if you wanted to make an even boozier version.
See the full recipe card for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to make a perfect root beer float
- POUR: Add a shot of rum horchata into a tall glass.
- SCOOP: Fill the glass with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
- SERVE: Pour root beer on top and serve with a straw.
✔️ PRO TIP
Chill your glasses by sticking them in the freezer for a few minutes or filling them with ice before adding your ingredients. This is a bartending trick that will keep your drink cooler for longer.
How to serve an adult root beer float
What makes this one of my favorite recipes, is that it always looks impressive while being so easy to achieve. These are best served right away and take less than five minutes to compile.
Take yourself back to the soda shop days by adding a swirl of whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup or caramel sauce and a juicy maraschino cherry on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are so many fun variations of the root beer float. You can make a Creamsicle-inspired float with orange soda, vanilla ice cream and a splash of vanilla vodka. I think this would be great with a cherry cola or Dr. Pepper instead of root beer, vanilla ice cream and rum horchata too.
While vanilla ice cream is the classic choice, there are some other creative ways to make root beer floats too. Make a black cow mountain by swapping chocolate ice cream for vanilla. Trust me, it’s rich and delicious.