How-To & Diy

How to Make Any Ice Cream Float in 2 Steps

August 19, 2013

Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: The laziest -- and most delightful -- summer dessert is a lot more versatile than we realized.

Ice Cream Float

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I know you know you don't need a recipe to make an ice cream float. The gospel I would like to spread is that you don't even need ice cream. Or root beer, for that matter -- although the root beer float is one of nature's perfect foods.

All you need is something frozen and scoopable (sorbet, sherbet, gelato, semifreddo) + something liquid and fizzy (soda, seltzer, beer, prosecco). Put them in a glass and you have a lazy summer dessert that will make people smile and earn you lots of points. Here are a few combinations I'd recommend:

How to Make Any Ice Cream Float in 2 Steps

1. Get a glass (preferably tall) and a spoon (preferably long-handled). Straws are optional but will make this whole thing look cuter and more intentional.

Empty Glass
Like that straw holder? It's a Weck Asparagus Jar and you can get it in Provisions!


2. Scoop your frozen treat into the glass (2 scoops? 3 scoops? This is your not-recipe -- you decide!). Slowly pour in your fizzy drink. Let the froth settle down a bit, then top it off with more fizzy drink. Replenish as needed.

Ice Cream Float from Food52

Still looking for a recipe? Here's some inspiration:

We're looking for contributors! Email [email protected] and tell us the dish you could make in your sleep, without a recipe.

Photos by James Ransom


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • EAGsm
  • barry strydom
    barry strydom
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


EAGsm July 1, 2016
My childhood fave - ginger ale with lemon sherbet. We were a "no soda" house growing up, but ginger ale was okay. Ice cream was a special treat & didn't last very long, but there was often a container of lemon sherbet in the fridge. Lemon & ginger are so great together.
barry S. September 8, 2013
This is great. Reminds me of childhood days. Special treat was a "float", Coca Cola, we used to get bright green cream soda (think it was Canada Dry) and a reddest of red raspberry (Sparletta)... Have "floats" on my kid's menu. But this, this adult version, may I steal it?
Oh, you may know "Dom Pedro's"... A delightful adult take on a double thick milkshake. 3 scoops good vanilla icecream, double measure of your favourite tipple, cognac, whisky, kahlua, you name it... a splash of milk. Blitz andenjoy.
Marian B. August 20, 2013
That ginger ice cream float sounds like it's right up my alley.