I haven’t had a float since…well forever ago. I think the last time was when I was a little kid sitting in a Sonic drive-in parking lot, my short legs dangling from our car’s backseat that was too tall to allow them to reach the floor. I probably had straight-across bangs and pigtails too if you want the whole picture.
I’ve had this recipe on my list for months now and I’ve been dying to share it before summer is over. I love that you can switch out the fruit with other kinds like berries, peaches, pineapple, oranges….. Endless possibilities here.
I could have chosen one of those fruits but it was too late. I had already got it stuck in my mind that I had to have a big old, brilliantly red, wonderfully fizzy, and just a little bit (okay a lot a bit) messy, cherry vanilla float! I confess, this was purely stubbornness on my part, but really, look at this beauty! Can you blame me? I’ve always wanted to make my own pop and ice cream floats. I feel like together they just scream vintage Americana in the summertime.
Oh, and did you guys know that making soda pop at home is one of the easiest things ever? Really, pretty much all you do is make a syrup, add some seltzer water, and stick a straw in it! Then to take the next step and upgrade to a float, (which obviously needs to happen every time, duh!), you just drop in some generous scoops of vanilla ice cream and kick back to enjoy your work of artful and delicious genius!
Cherry Vanilla Bean Soda Ice Cream Floats
Nothing says Summer like a refreshing frozen treat like a float and these cherry ones are just the thing to enjoy this season!
Cherry Vanilla Bean Soda:
- 2 cups pitted pureed cherries
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean split in half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 - 8 cups seltzer carbonated water
- 1 pint of your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream
In a medium saucepan, pour in the cherries, sugar, lemon, salt, and add vanilla bean. Simmer over medium heat until it starts to thicken, it should be about 15 to 20 minutes. If desired you can strain out any cherry bits for a perfectly smooth syrup (I leave it as is). Let it cool completely for at least 20 minutes.
Once it's cooled, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the syrup to 1 cup ice cold seltzer water (you can adjust with more or less to taste) and fill desired number of glasses using this ratio. Also, you can add some ice to each glass to get them extra cold.
Immediately after adding seltzer, drop in desired amount of vanilla ice cream scoops, add straws and/or spoons and enjoy!