Game Day Ritual: Root Beer Floats
For my husband, root beer floats and Super Bowl Sunday go together. When he was growing up, there there wasn’t much television-watching in his household, except for broadcasts of big sporting events. And on Super Bowl Sunday, he got an extraspecial treat: a root beer float to go with the game.
His grandfather started this tradition, and it’s one we’ve continued, whether we’re watching the game at home or going to a friend’s house. When we bring out the vanilla ice cream and root beer (the only two ingredients you need), it seems to strike a cord with the entire group. I mean, who would argue with creamy ice cream topped with frothy root beer? It’s too delicious to pass up. (If you really want to keep the float homemade, make your own ice cream. See my vanilla ice cream post.)
My association with root beer floats is also tied to my grandparents. They always had A&W root beer on hand, and I remember making floats and drinking them out of big striped plastic cups. Or we’d walk a few blocks from their house to the neighborhood ice cream shop, and enjoy the treat there as well.
So even though I prefer mine with an 80/20 ice cream to root beer ratio (I like the root beer to act as a sauce so I can eat the ice cream like a sundae), and my husband is more of a 50/50 guy (because he likes to drink the float, as one is actually supposed to do), it just makes sense that this dessert would make both of us feel right at home.
You don’t really need a recipe to mix root beer and ice cream. But how about these delicious variations on the classic root-beer theme: