ice cream cocktail

An Ice Cream Cocktail for Summer (the adult ice cream float)

Ice cream floats are not just for kids

If you’re like me, you adored a good ice cream float as a kid. This summer treat was one of the things I most looked forward to on our annual beach vacation. As an adult, I miss that flavor and the carefree feelings that come with sticking a fat, paper straw into that thick, creamy drink. Why should the summertime ice cream floats be reserved for the kids? We all deserve that freeing feeling of sticky, melting ice cream in the warm, summer sun. So when Campari sent me this recipe for their Upward Float Cocktail, I was giddy with anticipation at the thought of bringing back that summer feeling with an ice cream cocktail.  

How summer grows up

The recipe for this ultra-enticing ice cream cocktail was created by Pamela Wiznitzer. (who was the face New York bar Seamstress.) And I love her for it. (If you love cocktail culture, Wiznitzer is a mixologist to get to know. She is not only considered one of the country’s best bartenders, she’s also considered a leader in the bartending industry.)

This drink is a genius interpretation of the simple, childhood treat but with the complexity of flavors our jaded, adult palates crave. I love that it uses DRY Soda Company’s vanilla soda to keep the flavors sophisticated, not too sweet. (And don’t forget that vanilla is an aphrodisiac.) If this soda sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve featured it on our site before. Get the story here.

This drink is decadent enough that you can serve it in place of dessert. Or just skip the meal entirely and get to the good stuff. This ice cream cocktail recipe is summertime genius!

Do you love a good cocktail? Check out all of our cocktail recipes!

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ice cream cocktail
Upward Float Cocktail
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

This ice cream float is pure, adult fun! 

Course: aperitif, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cocktail
Dish Type: Cocktail
Seasonal: summer
Ingredient: gin
Servings: 1
  • 3/4 oz Campari
  • 3/4 oz gin
  • 1 oz Cocchi Rosa
  • 3-4 oz Dry Vanilla Soda
  • 1 scoop premium vanilla bean ice cream
  1. Combine the Campari, gin, and Cocchi Rosa in your serving glass.
  2. Top with dry soda and a scoop of ice cream before serving.



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