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Soda or Coke Float Recipe

Updated on February 4, 2013
The root beer float, a classic, is one of the most popular flavors of ice cream floats.
The root beer float, a classic, is one of the most popular flavors of ice cream floats. | Source

Ice Cream Float Recipes and History

Soda or coke floats (also known as ice cream floats) are as American as apple pie and are also a well-loved childhood classic. Of course, it's not only children who enjoy a creamy, fizzy soda float--adults still reach for them, too. With the wide range of specialty sodas now available in fancier grocery stores and the vast array of ice cream flavors that line every supermarket's shelves, there's almost no flavor of ice cream float you can't create!

Read on for several variations on soda or coke float recipes, as well as for fun ice cream float trivia.

Cast your vote for Ice Cream Floats

Ice Cream Float Prep Time

Prep time: 3 min
Ready in: 3 min
Yields: Single serving


  • 1 can or bottle cola or soda, (any flavor you like!)
  • 2 scoops ice cream, (again, any flavor you crave!)

Easy, No Fuss Steps for an Ice Cream Float

  1. Take a tall glass (16 oz) and drop in two medium-sized scoops of your desired ice cream flavor.
  2. Pour your soda or cola over the ice cream.
  3. Stir gently and enjoy! You'll need a straw AND a spoon for this one.
Another ice cream soda classic, the Coke float.
Another ice cream soda classic, the Coke float. | Source

Soda Float Trivia

Did you know....

  • That the first ice cream soda was invented by Robert MacKay Green in 1874?
  • That an ice cream soda is known as a coke float or a snowball in the UK, but as a spider in New Zealand and Australia?
  • That originally, some ministers preached that soda was an extravagance, and in response ice cream parlors served "ice cream sundaes" instead of ice cream sodas on the Sabbath?
  • That if you combine two Jelly Belly flavors--root beer and french vanilla--you'll get a root beer float flavor?
  • That August 6 is National Root Beer Float day?
  • That famed American journalist Mark Kurlansky called the root beer float one of "the high points of American gastronmic inventiveness"?
  • The first soda shop was opened in 1903, and at one time there was even a "soda fountain" magazine?
  • That June 20 is National Ice Cream Soda Day?

Soda Float Combinations

While you can customize your ice cream float to your own personal tastes, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

For the Purist

  • The root beer float (root beer and vanilla ice cream)
  • The coke float (Coca-Cola and vanilla ice cream)
  • The dreamsicle float (orange soda and vanilla ice cream)

For the World Traveler

  • The Boston Cooler (Vernon's Ginger Ale and vanilla ice cream)
  • The Snow White (Sprite and vanilla ice cream, popular in Asia)
  • Vaca Dourada (guarana soda and vanilla ice cream, popular in Brazil)

For the More Adventurous

  • Butterbeer Float (from the Harry Potter novels, recreate the taste with root beer and butterscotch ice cream)
  • The Purple Cow (grape soda and vanilla ice cream)
  • The Hoboken (soda water with chocolate ice cream and pineapple syrup)

And finally, for the adult who still has a kid inside, more and more bars are offering an alcoholic root beer float--a sweet dessert drink with root beer vodka and cream, among other ingredients.

A American Staple: The Ice Cream Float

Is your mouth watering yet? The ice cream float, also known as the soda float or the coke float, is an American invention that has spread to other corners of the world, where different countries put their own twists on the creamy, fizzy treat. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream float? Let me know in the comments below!


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