Cold root beer and creamy coffee ice cream! It doesn't get much better than a Coffee Root Beer Float! This really is the best root beer float recipe I've ever had! It's tried and true and is laced with wonderful memories.
My grandfather made the best Root Beer Float ever.
It wasn't the delicious vanilla and coffee ice cream, or the A&W Root Beer, that made it the best. (The three key, and only ingredients.)
It was the best because of how he took making this treat so seriously.
Making a Root Beer Float was a tradition for my grandfather.
It was a ceremony.
And it was the highlight of sleeping over at my grandparents' house when I was a kid.
I'd stand beside him as he make them right next to the refrigerator on the kitchen counter. I didn't help. Nobody did, as this was his gig completely.
I absolutely loved watching him execute his masterpiece.
How to Make the Best Root Beer Float
The glasses were chilled in the freezer before they were filled. A tall silver spoon was used for intentional and quite frantic stirring/mashing of the coffee ice cream with the root beer.
This was not just mixing, this was truly intense -- his whole body shook as he did this. Though this was very exciting, to be honest, when this part was over, it was sort of a relief.
After the floats were completely assembled, my grandfather would put them on a pretty round tray, along with napkins, spoons, flex straws, and containers of any leftover ice cream for seconds.
I'd follow him as he'd walk through the living room and down the hall with the tray. It always shook shook slightly, and made noises that would make me nervous something might spill. Nothing ever did, though, as he'd always make it safely to the sitting area in my grandparents' bedroom.
There, on one of the great big chairs with a cute wooden foot stool, I'd have my float while we'd watch TV. My grandmother would always have one too, and sit in the chair beside me. (Here's one of her "famous" recipes.)
My grandfather's coffee root beer float was certainly incredibly delicious, but that wasn't all that made it the best root beer float recipe.
What really made his Coffee Root Beer Float the best?
- It was made with lots of love, of course.
- Sipping it with my grandmother.
- And getting to watch him make it.
What's the best ice cream for root beer floats?
- Hands down coffee, with vanilla coming in at a very close second.
- The coffee flavor compliments the root beer -- it's one of those perfect culinary marriages.
- The vanilla flavor is much more subtle and allows the root beer flavor to shine a bit more.
My grandfather made his floats for all of the grand kids, and whether it was me, my brother or any of my three cousins, I believe no step was ever left out.
It was a ritual, after all.
The Best Root Beer Float Recipe
- 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
- 1 scoop coffee ice cream
- ¼ cup root beer (my grandfather only used A&W)
- Place a tall glass in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the glass and add 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream, and pour about half of the root beer over it.
- With a tall spoon, mash and stir until the ice cream is blended with the root beer.
- Add the scoop of coffee ice cream, followed by the second scoop of vanilla, and then pour the remaining root beer over it.
- Serve immediately with a straw and tall spoon.