While I've always been a milkshake kinda person, soda floats were not something I was ever a big fan of. The ice cream to soda ratio always seemed to be in favor of the soda portion, and that soda, typically, happened to be root beer. There's no easy way to say this, so I'm going to be perfectly blunt and just say it. I HATE root beer. There's not many foods or flavors that I can honestly say I dislike, or even hate, but root beer is one of them. I really just can't stand the stuff, and I don't understand how it's as popular a drink as it is. Just thinking about root beer brings back a funny taste to my mouth. I remember the very first time I tried root beer. I was on a class field trip in elementary school to some kind of old-fashioned farm from wayyy back in the day. On the field trip, we were offered what I thought was homemade Coke. I took a big sip, and immediately realized that what I was drinking was most definitely not Coke. It was a major disappointment, to say the least, given that my family hardly ever drinks soda and any opportunity to drink soda was a special treat. I tried to give root beer a chance a couple of times after that, but I always ended up regretting my decision. I really just don't like it.
Given my disdain for root beer, I never gravitated towards root beer floats, even if they did come with vanilla ice cream. Last weekend, however, I got a sudden and random craving for an ice cream soda float, and I went with my best friend from college in search of a soda float. We actually ended up getting Moo Thunder floats, which are actually made with stout beer and vanilla ice cream. As delicious as they were, I still found myself craving a light and refreshing ice cream soda float, so I decided that the best way to get one would be to just make it myself.
I wanted to try my hand at making another homemade soda, given how much I loved my Fizzy Blackberry Limeade, and how simple it was to make. I decided to make a simple strawberry soda, because I love the combination of creamy vanilla ice cream and homemade strawberry sauce. Making the strawberry syrup was really easy, and I'm sure you could substitute the strawberries for your favorite fruit. I think it would be really fun to make homemade sodas in non-traditional flavors, like blueberry (I actually always get a blueberry soda when I go to Bareburger, one of my favorite burger restaurants), pineapple, or peach. Once the strawberry syrup was made, it was just a matter of letting it chill completely before assembling the soda floats. All you have to do to make the floats is pour a little syrup into a glass, fill it with some seltzer, and then drop a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is the easiest dessert you could possibly make, so be sure to take advantage of all the fresh fruit that is available in the last few weeks of summer and make yourself a nice fruity soda. These strawberry soda floats were refreshing, delicious, and totally satisfied my soda float craving. Enjoy these soda floats while summer is still around!
Strawberry Soda Floats
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and quartered
vanilla ice cream
Begin by preparing the strawberry syrup for the strawberry soda. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the water and sugar, and stir. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the strawberries to the saucepan. Simmer the strawberries and sugar mixture on low heat until the strawberries become very soft and the syrup has thickened, about ten minutes.
Strain the syrup into a glass measuring cup, and discard the strawberries. Allow the syrup to cool at room temperature for a few minutes, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill completely.
To assemble the soda floats, pour about 2 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup into a tall glass. Fill the glass with club soda, but remember to leave room at the top for the ice cream!
Drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the soda, add a straw, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Makes enough syrup for about 4 soda floats