Something magic happens when you mix root beer with vanilla ice cream. A root beer float occurs, a rich and creamy transcendent flavor package that is more than the sum of its parts.
Well, it seems like that to me, but I really like root beer floats.
So when my daughter and I came in from playing this afternoon, I agreed when she said it was time for root beer floats.
But then disaster struck. While we had plenty of ice cream (Dryers Vanilla Bean), there was no root beer to be had.
We had other sodas around the house, but the failed experiments of youth flooded back to me.
Sure, when you’re young, you think that if root beer tastes great with vanilla ice cream, then other beverages must as well.
So you try Coke, and it is okay, but the carbonation is too sharp and the flavors don’t meld quite right. Then there is lemon-lime in the form of 7-Up or Sprite, but the faux citrus flavoring doesn’t mix as well as you would wish with the vanilla. And the less said about diet sodas or ginger ale mixed with ice cream, the better.
So it was with some trepidation that I inventoried the soda reserves in our refrigerator. The usual suspects were there, Coke, Diet Coke, ginger ale, Sprite… but then I spotted something a little different, a soda that did not exist in my youth.
Could this cherry flavored soda succeed where others had failed?
It certainly had potential. Like root beer, the carbonation in Code Red is more subdued than colas. And the flavoring was something different.
And so we set out to create the Code Red Float.
Two tall glasses
Two scoops of ice cream in each
Half a can of Mountain Dew Code Red in each glass
The results looked promising.
The mixture foamed up like any good root beer float ought to, with a thick and creamy foam. When stirred with a straw, the harsh red of the drink mellowed into a happy summer shade of pink.
That left only the taste test.
I shouted, “ARE YOU READY?” which got something of an eye roll from my daughter, but she said she was. I let her choose her glass and we gave it a try.
The cherry flavor of the Code Red mixed well with the vanilla bean ice cream, forming a different flavor, a light cherry cream akin to something in the middle of a chocolate candy.
We drank up.
My daughter was less enthusiastic about the remaining ice cream. But she isn’t big on the left over ice cream in a root beer float either. I, on the other hand, did what I have done since I was a child, which was slurp every last bit of ice cream loudly through the straw until the glass was empty.
The remaining foam in the glass even had the same tenacious nature that a root beer float leaves, a concoction that is just short of caulk if left to dry in the glass.
And so our experiment was declared a success.
But I’m still putting root beer on the shopping list.