Coffee Ice Cream Sodas

June  2, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 2
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

What You'll Need
  • 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)
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • janthonyc
  • EmilyC
  • gingerroot
  • hardlikearmour

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

10 Reviews

purabi June 20, 2011
mmm...the aromatic coffee, the liquor and the icecream are such a heavenly combination! I think I'll soon get addicted to this. I know the coffee liquor Marsala, but do you suggest a finer one? I used Marsala in Tiramisu and it really made a lot of difference!
AntoniaJames June 15, 2011
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. ;o)
janthonyc June 15, 2011
Sounds great! What about clean up steps? Could I find that on Foodpickle? I can never decide whether to compost the used coffee grounds or feed the lemon tree with them -- suggestions? Thanks.
AntoniaJames June 15, 2011
Lemon trees, blueberry bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, they all love coffee grounds. We use a relatively small amount of coffee, so I get grounds by the 20 -30 pound bag full (best obtained late in the afternoon) from a local coffee shop,. three or four times a year, and feed my bushes and lemon tree generously. ;o)
EmilyC June 3, 2011
This sounds heavenly!
gingerroot June 3, 2011
This sounds delicious, and I love the story behind it. Thanks, AJ!
hardlikearmour June 2, 2011
Oh, yum! I ? this.
lorigoldsby June 2, 2011
You're right--good ice cream is the key!
inpatskitchen June 2, 2011
Now this is my idea of a great cup of coffee!! Thanks for sharing...
wssmom June 2, 2011
OMG, the way-back machine strikes again! This bring back wonderful memories and I must do this soon....