Five Alternatives to the Root Beer Float

Variation on the Boston Cooler. Note: Only use Diet Ginger Beer if your supermarket strangely lacks Regular.
Variation on the Boston Cooler. Note: Only use Diet Ginger Beer if your supermarket strangely lacks Regular.
Joanna O'Leary

Liquid desserts are ideal for summer, and while I love a good milkshake, sometimes I like a little carbonation with my ice cream. A root beer float is the obvious choice; lately, however, I've been craving something a little snazzier. Behold my five alternatives to the classic float. (*Indicates my own invention, and apologies ahead of time for the cheesy names.) Feel free to add your own concoction suggestions in the comments section.

5. Texas Tumbler (Dublin Dr Pepper, Blue Bell buttered pecan ice cream).* This one is in honor of my adopted state. The color's a bit weird, but the ice cream's nutty caramelish flavors complement the soda's medicinal notes surprisingly well. One recommendation: Pecan chunks make using a straw somewhat difficult. Gulp by mouth and keep a spoon on hand.

4. The (Hyper)Activator (Coke, coffee ice cream, chocolate syrup).* Don't feed this to (your own) children. Slightly bitter upon first sip but with a pleasant mocha aftertaste, the (Hyper)Activator guarantees an extended high thanks to an outrageous combination of caffeine and sugar.

3. Boston Cooler (Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream). Wish I had invented this one, 'cause it's damn delicious. I also like to think the ginger helps off-set any GI discontent wrought by the ice cream. For an extra spicy treat, use ginger beer.

2. NBT (Nebulous Tropical Treat) (Goya pineapple soda, strawberry ice cream, orange sherbert).* So refreshing it might as well be a smoothie, the NBT has all the taste of real fruit without the pesky fiber. Layer scoops of sherbert and ice cream to create a lovely rainbow effect.

1. Egg Creamier (seltzer water, whole milk, chocolate syrup, Haagen-Dazs dark chocolate ice cream). The only thing that could possibly improve the oldie-but-goodie egg cream is more cream, specifically that contained in expensive, delicious Haagen-Dazs. The dark chocolate adds a bit of heft to the original lighter egg cream. Still not rich enough? Substitute hot fudge for chocolate syrup.

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