How to Make an Ice Cream Float

Making Soda Fountain Worthy Floats at Home

 Old Fashioned soda jerk_2

The Soda Fountainis a book that I was thrilled to get lost within. I love food with a history and brother/sister duo Peter and Gia have not only lovingly refurbished and renovated the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, but they have written a fun and heartfelt account of the history of the soda fountain. Read our interview and here is their approach to making the perfect ice cream float. Reprinted with permission from The Soda Fountain: Floats, Sundaes, Egg Creams & More–Stories and Flavors of an American Originalby Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, Inc. copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. 

GENERAL METHOD: Making a float that tastes good isn’t rocket science. Ice cream and soda, shucks, they kinda just go together. However, creating a float with a perfectly round scoop of ice cream perched just so on the side of the glass, well, we have to admit, takes a bit of practice. The technique for each of the Farmacy Floats is the same. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be chomping at the bit to host an ice cream float party to impress your guests. We can attest that some of the most picturesque celebrations at Brooklyn Farmacy have included a round of brilliantly colored ice cream floats.

The following technique can be used for the Betty BoopTo make an ice cream float, pour ¼ cup (2 ounces) of soda syrup into a fountain glass and add seltzer until the glass is two-thirds full. Stir gently with a fountain spoon to combine. Then, scoop a very firm 4-ounce ball of ice cream (about the size of a tennis ball) and “hang” the scoop on the inside rim of the glass. To hang the scoop of ice cream, stabilize the glass with one hand and utilize the scoop with your other hand to push the ball of ice cream down and out onto the rim of the glass so that the rim extends about two thirds of the way into the scoop. You don’t want your scoop to feel like it could topple, but you also don’t want to push down so hard that it splits. If you started with a firm scoop, you shouldn’t need to make any adjustments to your ball of ice cream once it’s hanging on the rim. Add the remaining seltzer to fill the glass. Drizzle a little bit of soda syrup onto the scoop of ice cream for decoration. Place the glass on a small plate and serve with a soda spoon and a soda straw.


4-ounce ice cream scoop

12-ounce fountain glass

Soda spoon

Soda straw

Dessert plate

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