Coffee Ice Cream Sodas

June  2, 2011
Author Notes

I suppose you could call this drink a “Spiked Affogato Float,” but actually it’s nothing more than a traditional creamery-style ice cream soda, with a few modest improvements. My first job as a teenager was at an ice cream shop owned by two of the nicest, hardest working people that I’d ever met, other than my parents. On those sweltering summer nights in Virginia, people would line up out the door for cones, sundaes, shakes, malts and sodas. That’s all we sold, other than some very simple ice cream cakes. I developed within a few days a callus on my index finger like nothing seen before or since, making cold, sweet treats that invariably started with a scoop or two of ice cream. Every night I’d go home, sticky all over and dead tired, but you know something? I loved that job. I learned that chocolate was far and away the favorite flavor for shakes, and that nearly all the banana splits were ordered by young men, to share with the young ladies who were with them. I made a vanilla malt every day for a gracious gentlemen who tipped handsomely and, without fail, thanked me with a kind word about how I made his malts just the way he liked them. And then there were the ice cream sodas. I made dozens of them every week. The most popular flavor was, hands down, coffee. I didn’t care much for coffee, but oh! How I adored those coffee sodas. The secret to a great ice cream soda lies in the stirring of a big glob of hard ice cream into the syrup before adding the seltzer. When you use a great ice cream in the base, you don’t need a thick syrup to make a good soda. In fact, just some sweetened, ultra-strong espresso, with a touch of liqueur or rum, tastes better. You can top the soda with whipped cream, or a drizzle of chocolate syrup, or both, but I actually prefer it without. Either way . . . . . enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames

  • Makes 2
  • ¼ cup strong, very hot espresso
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee (ground for a drip filter - but see my note, below)
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or rum (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 - 4 cups seltzer water (depending on the size of your glass)
  • 1 – 2 cups premium coffee ice cream
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup or finely grated chocolate (also optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Put the brown sugar in a cup or coffee pot in which you can make coffee using a drip cone. Put a filter in the cone, then the ground coffee in the filter.
  2. Run the hot espresso over the ground coffee in the drip filter. Once it’s all dripped into the cup, stir the coffee and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool a bit. (If you don't have a pour-over system, just steep the coffee grounds in the espresso for about 5 minutes, and then strain through a fine-mesh strainer, and then through a piece of moistened cheesecloth.)
  3. Put a heaping tablespoon of coffee ice cream in each of two large glasses.
  4. Divide the hot sugared coffee between the two glasses and stir each well to combine. Then add the liqueur or rum, if using.
  5. Add the seltzer water until each glass is about 2/3 full. Stir it well.
  6. Drop in one or two scoops of ice cream, to taste. Press them down to submerge in the seltzer water, then stir the liquid a bit and add another quick blast or two of seltzer to fill the glass.
  7. If you like, top with whipped cream and/or chocolate syrup or finely grated chocolate.
  8. This recipe was contributed by Food52 user AntoniaJames.

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Recipe by: AntoniaJames

When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)