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.
Ice cream floats are not just for kids
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 their best recipe for an alcoholic drink with ice cream, I was giddy with anticipation at the thought of bringing back that summer feeling with an alcoholic ice cream float.
How to make this easy alcoholic drink with ice cream
The instructions for this float cocktail are fairly straightforward. You make it pretty much the same way you would make a traditional ice cream float, just with lots of alcohol.
In fact, this adult ice cream cocktail recipe calls for three kinds of liquor. Let’s take a closer look at all three:
- Campari – This bitter, Italian aperitif is made with a blend of herbs, spices and bitter orange. It is easily recognizable because of its crimson-red color.
- Gin – You probably already know this grain alcohol flavored with botanicals including juniper berry. The cocktail recipe doesn’t specify a brand, so choose your favorite.
- Cocchi Rosa – Probably the most unique spirit in the drink, Cocchi Rosa is a sweet aperitif wine similar to sweet vermouth. It can be purchased at most larger wine and spirits stores.
To complete this drink recipe, you’ll need a very specific vanilla soda, DRY Botanical Bubbly’s vanilla soda.
Unlike most sugary sodas, this premium soda has a subtle sweetness and a fine stream of bubbles. It’s really the secret to taking the concept of an ice cream float from something nostalgic to a truly sophisticated summer drink recipe.
Just keep in mind that the spirits should be blended in your drinking glass first, before the drink is topped with the ice cream and soda.
Lastly, you need a scoop of a great vanilla ice cream to top this ice cream float cocktail. (This is really the secret to all good ice cream cocktails.)
Some grocery store brands of vanilla ice cream with true vanilla bean flavor include Jeni’s, Tillamook and good, old Häagen-Dazs. But if you have a local brand you like, by all means, use the best you can find!
Making this vanilla ice cream float cocktail is truly as simple as that. No whipped cream, chocolate shavings or other adornments necessary. Great summer cocktail making couldn’t be easier. Just add a paper straw and you’re ready to go!
Not only that, but it’s the best ice cream alcoholic drink we’ve tried.
Why you need to try this alcoholic float drink on your next summer date night
Mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer created the recipe for this ultra-enticing ice cream cocktail. And 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 but she’s also considered a leader in the bartending industry.
This ice cream and alcohol float is a genius interpretation of the simple, childhood treat but with the right balance of sophistication from a blend of gin and Campari with vanilla soda.
Sure, summer drinks with ice cream already exist. But both the chocolate syrup-heavy Mudslide and the minty Grasshopper, although creamy and delicious alcoholic ice cream drinks, are traditionally blended drinks, not floats.
But that’s only part of what makes this drink stand out from other ice cream liquor drinks.
This cocktail’s flavors are balanced and not too sweet. And it offers a stunning contrast of textures from fizz and ice cream. Best of all, the combination of ingredients turns a brilliant, love-pink hue in the glass.
When to serve this alcoholic dessert drink
This blend of ice cream and alcohol 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 summer cocktail recipe? Check out all of our cocktail recipes!
Upward Float Ice Cream Float Cocktail
- 3/4 oz Campari
- 3/4 oz gin
- 1 oz Cocchi Rosa
- 3-4 oz DRY Botanical Bubbly Vanilla Soda
- 1 scoop premium vanilla bean ice cream
- Combine the Campari, gin, and Cocchi Rosa in your serving glass.
- Top with dry soda and a scoop of ice cream before serving.
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