Home » Root Beer Float Recipe

Root Beer Float Recipe

Root Beer Float Recipe

Root beer float – a classic and everyone’s favorite summertime drink made with chilled, bubbly root beer, creamy vanilla ice cream and then topped with a few maraschino cherries.  This root beer float recipe is quick to make and ready in just a few minutes! 

I remember drinking root beer floats every summer when I was a kid. Now, as an adult, I still crave a perfect root beer float. The bubbly, creamy root beer and the thick, rich ice cream is the perfect combination. It’s like a dessert in a glass! Aren’t you craving one right now?

root beer floats recipe

If you’re looking to get a piece of your summer childhood back, then you’re in the right place! That’s because today, I’m going to show you how to make a root beer float. Guys, this recipe for root beer float is super easy to make and tastes amazing!

Read all my tips and tricks to help you make this perfect, yummy drink that’s perfect for cooling off on these hot summer days! I have made quite a few of these root beer floats this summer and I still can’t get enough! I might go make one right now to sip while I write! 😉 

What is a Root Beer Float?

root beer floats

The root beer float was first created in 1893 by a Colorado gold mine owner named Frank J. Wisner. On a cold winter’s night, Wisner added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to his root beer to make a delicious dessert. He loved it so much that he tried serving it in his soda shop the next day. It was a huge hit! He named the drink “Black Cow Mountain” after the nearby Cow Mountain but local children started calling the drink “black cow”.

Root beer floats have been popular now for over a century. It is such a classic, simple drink that everyone should know how to make one. I can definitely help with that! 

Ingredients You Need

root beer floats recipe

Root beer float only requires two simple ingredients: Root beer and vanilla ice cream.

root beer floats recipe

Since the ingredients are so simple, you want to be sure to use the highest quality ingredients possible. Splurge on the best root beer and grab the best brands. My favorite root beer brands are:

  • A&W
  • Barq’s
  • Stewart’s
  • IBC
  • Bulldog
  • Red Arrow

Definitely go for the richest ice cream. I like to use vanilla bean ice cream that has extra specks of vanilla. Not only does it look pretty – it has more flavor too! 

How to Make a Root Beer Float

There is nothing easier than making a root beer float. It takes only a few minutes to put together and then you can sip and savor it for as long as you’d like!

root beer float recipe

1. Add the vanilla ice cream to a tall, chilled glass. 

2. Slowly pour the root beer over the ice cream until the glass if full.

root beer floats recipe

3. Add whipped cream, a cherry, or a fun straw then enjoy! 

These yummy, fun floats are so easy, anyone can make them! Even my son is hooked on making them. He has one every night for dessert! Such a lucky kid…

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Root Beer Float

I have been drinking root beer floats my whole life so I’ve gathered a few of my best tips and tricks to help you make the perfect root beer floats every time.

root beer float recipe

  • Be sure to use a tall glass or a large beer stein. These will fit more ice cream and more root beer. Trust me, you want MORE.
  • Put your glass in the freezer for about 30 minutes to make it frosty and cold. 
  • High quality ingredients are key! You will taste the difference.
  • When adding the root beer to the glass, be sure to pour on an angle. Tip the glass toward the root beer as you pour. This will reduce fizz and prevent the drink from overflowing. 
  • Serve the floats with spoons instead of straws. This makes it feel even more like a dessert.
  • Make the floats and then pop them back in the freezer for about 20 minutes. The floats will come out super creamy and thick float and you will definitely need to eat with a spoon.

Root Beer Floats Recipe Variations

There are a few ways to switch up my recipe for root bear float and make this classic drink a little more unique. Give these variations a try and let me know what you think!

  1. Add a shot of bourbon or Rum Chata to the glass to make an alcoholic, adult root beer float.
  2.  Drizzle some chocolate syrup around the glass before adding the ice cream and root beer to make a chocolate version. Chocolate root beer floats are now actually called “black cows” which I never knew!
  3. Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla to the glass to make a very vanilla root beer float. 
  4. Place all the ingredients in a blender along with 1 cup of ice. Puree until the ice is smooth and then serve. This makes a slushy float that is quite refreshing.

You can’t go wrong with these classic summer floats but adding a little twist is even more exciting!

I think that you need a root beer float. It is a summer time classic and it will bring childhood nostalgia in every sip. Make my root beer float recipe now and act like a kid again. We all deserve an easy summer treat like this. Enjoy!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy for more details. 

Try these other easy summertime dessert and drink recipes! 

No Bake Mocha Icebox Cake 

How to Make a Milkshake + 8 Milkshake Flavor Ideas

Easy Homemade Frozen Yogurt

Birthday Cake Cookies

Strawberry Slushie

I hope you love this recipe for root beer float – be sure to give it a review below!

Also don’t forget to follow Hip Mama’s Place on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Root Beer Float

  • Author: Jocelyn Brown
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x



vanilla ice cream

Root Beer


Maraschino cherries 


  1. To make the float frosty, place glasses or mugs in the freezer about 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Add several scoops of ice cream to glass.
  3. Pour root beer over ice cream.
  4. Add maraschino cherries on top, or any topping you like.
  5. Serve immediately!
Jocelyn Brown

A former school teacher, Jocelyn Brown created Hip Mama’s Place in 2007. Her motto for this blog is: get inspired, create and share! Jocelyn loves sharing about food and recipes, crafts, DIY projects and her random travels with her family. She also loves all things social media, but her latest obsession is Instagram.

Find me on: Web



  1. 08/04/2022 / 3:52 pm

    Wow, you really brought back some memories with this one. I have not had a root beer float since Kurt Cobain was alive!

  2. Melissa Cushing
    08/04/2022 / 2:24 pm

    I am align these for my husband and kids tonight! They will absolutely love this… especially my husband as he loves root beer anything 😉 Refreshing and yummy!

  3. 08/04/2022 / 12:05 am

    I haven’t had a root beer float in so long. This sounds so tasty! What a great summertime dessert.

  4. 08/03/2022 / 9:07 pm

    Wow! I have never thought about making rootbeer float but this looks absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe and will make one tomorrow. Just need to buy vanilla ice cream.

  5. 08/03/2022 / 1:37 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve had root beer. This would be great to have on a hot summer day.

  6. Catalina
    08/03/2022 / 12:21 pm

    This is the kind of cocktail I would like! I must make it for sure!

  7. Ruth I
    08/02/2022 / 11:42 pm

    I like root beer and ice cream. I think this will taste really good. I can’t wait to try it.

  8. 08/02/2022 / 4:56 pm

    I would love to try this out. I love root beer and with ice-cream, it is just amazing.

  9. 08/02/2022 / 3:41 pm

    My family loves root beer floats, I’ll definitely make this for them soon. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Nicz Escat
    08/02/2022 / 9:03 am

    Wow! That looks absolutely delicious and tasty! This is a really great recipe to try!

  11. 08/02/2022 / 5:42 am

    Yum. We love to make root beer floats. We had some a few days ago and they were so good.

  12. 08/02/2022 / 12:45 am

    I like anything root beer right now so this is a treat for me. Great presentation! It looks really inviting and would be a perfect drink/dessert to any after meal courses.

  13. 08/01/2022 / 9:38 pm

    That looks so yummy and just perfect for the summer.

  14. 08/01/2022 / 9:37 pm

    My boys love root beer floats. What a perfect drink to celebrate back to school.

  15. 08/01/2022 / 9:19 pm

    Root beer is my favorite drink when I was a little girl, my parents would take me to an ice cream store to have one.

  16. 08/01/2022 / 8:52 pm

    I’ve never had root beer floats before! It looks so delicious. I can’t wait to give this simple drink recipe a try 😍.

  17. 08/01/2022 / 7:38 pm

    Hhhhmmmm…this is interesting! The title alone made me picture beer that is floating, in so many ways. Thanks for the clarification and the recipe.

  18. Melanie E
    08/01/2022 / 1:42 pm

    This is something I’ve been wanting to try for ages. We don’t get them in most restaurants so making them at home is a good option.

  19. 08/01/2022 / 10:31 am

    This look so yummy and first time to know about it. I will save this recipe to try it. Thank you for sharing!

  20. 08/01/2022 / 7:06 am

    I remember drinking root beer float with my friends when I was still in high school. This is such a perfect way to cool off in the summer.

  21. Irena
    08/01/2022 / 3:55 am

    Yummy! What a great recipe using just two ingredients!

  22. Jennifer Prince
    08/01/2022 / 1:41 am

    Oh my goodness! I haven’t had one of these in so long, and now I’m craving one. Ha! They’re such a fun treat.

  23. Olga
    08/01/2022 / 1:31 am

    I love root beer and ice cream. I don’t think I’ll have this drink often, but definitely, I wanna try it with chocolate. Thank you for idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Share to...