How to Build the Ultimate Root Beer Float

How to Build the Ultimate Root Beer Float – the very best summer treat! There’s nothing more refreshing than this old fashioned soda-fountain classic made with creamy homemade ice cream and ice cold, bubbly root beer to bring back special childhood memories.

How to Build the Ultimate Root Beer Float Recipe 

Root Beer Floats - the ultimate summer treat! There's nothing better than this old fashioned soda-fountain classic made with homemade ice cream and ice cold, bubbly root beer to bring back special childhood memories.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here.  Let’s Get You Cookin’…..Shall We??? 🙂 

3 Tips for Making the Ultimate Root Beer Float

  1. Begin with homemade ice cream. I was excited to try Hildebrand Farms Dairy Homemade Ice Cream Mix and I was super excited at how dang easy it was to make.  I just poured their liquid ice cream mix into the freezer part of my ice cream maker, turned it on, and in about 10 minutes (no, I’m not even kidding!) we had one-and-a-half quarts of homemade ice cream!! I was tickled to death and the ice cream was smooth, creamy, and rich.

    2. Choose a rock star root beer. Because root beer floats are comprised of just two ingredients, both the ice cream and the root beer should be high quality. We enjoy Lone Star Root Beer made locally in Louisburg, Kansas, but if you can’t source that in your area, a good classic root beer available nearly everywhere is A & W Root Beer.

    3. Be sure your root beer is super chill, the ice cream is frozen solid, and the mugs are frosty.  Rinse your mugs or glasses in water, then immediately stick them into the freezer. In about 15 minutes, you’ll have the perfectly frosty vessels for root beer floats.

How to Build the Root Beer Float of Your Dreams 

The ice cream.  No matter which kind of ice cream you use to make a root beer float (homemade or store-purchased), we discovered that it’s super helpful when assembling the root beer floats if the ice cream has been portioned out into ice cream balls that you can then pile into your frosty mug before pouring the root beer in.  Once our Hildebrand Farms Dairy ice cream was frozen pretty dang solid (we put it into the freezer for a couple of hours after we made it in the ice cream maker), we took an ice cream scoop and scooped out 1/4 – 1/3 cup balls of ice cream and placed them into a muffin tin.  This was then placed into the freezer to let the ice cream balls freeze really hard and fast. 

The root beer. Let’s be clear on this: the colder the root beer, the slower your ice cream melts! Need I say more? 

The assembly. Place the frozen ice cream balls into the frosty mugs, piling them up as tall as you’d like to make the base of the float.  Next, slowly pour the cold root beer over the ice cream, tipping the glass a bit as you do so.  This will create the foam that is so characteristic of a good root beer float.

Go for fancy.  Making root beer floats just seems to make everybody feel good.  I think it’s the nostalgia of it all.  To be in the spirit of a true root beer float celebration, break out the whipped topping, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles and encourage your people go to town decorating to their heart’s content. It’s fun to see how creative everyone can get….because who doesn’t love whipped cream and sprinkles, right?

Make it adult-friendly. Enjoy a root beer float that’s boozy! Splash in a good shot of Rumchata or Vanilla Vodka with the vanilla ice cream, then pour in the root beer. Ooooh, la, la. 🙂 

Add a side dish. For whatever reason, we like having BROWNIES with our root beer floats.  I’ve even seen some of my peeps use crumbled brownies for garnishing their root beer floats. Below is a Root Beer Float Brownie recipe that we enjoy making, too.

Root Beer Floats - the ultimate summer treat! There's nothing better than this old fashioned soda-fountain classic made with homemade ice cream and ice cold, bubbly root beer to bring back special childhood memories.

June is National Dairy Month! Hope you can celebrate with your family by making root beer floats together.

Other Dessert Recipes Your Family Will Enjoy –

Printable Root Beer Float Brownie Recipe 

Two root beer floats in clear glass mugs with a 1/2 gallon of milk in the back ground, sitting on a wooden tray.

Root Beer Float Brownies

What's better than an ice cold root beer float? Root Beer Float Brownies! Use your favorite brownie mix, then frost them with a creamy root beer float frosting. Super easy, super good.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 292kcal
Author: Chef Alli


  • 1 Your favorite dark chocolate brownie mix, such as Duncan Hines, mixed and baked according to package directions, cooled


  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. root beer extract, optional
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips melted


  • To make the frosting, mix the butter and powdered sugar together in a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer. Slowly add the root beer and root beer extract, beating the frosting until smooth. Frost the brownies, then drizzle with the melted chocolate chips.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brownies, chocolate, root beer


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Sugar: 73g | Iron: 1mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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