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The Best Root Beer Float Recipe? Definitely A Freak Float!

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This post could contain affiliate links or be sponsored which means I earn from advertising. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More details here.

Brown cow, black cow or whatever you like to call it, a classic root beer float has long been a popular soda fountain drink to cool off with on a hot day. Reminiscent of simpler times, making an ice cream float with a twist is a fun take on a classic favorite. A Freak Float is definitely that type of float.

freak float root beer float

The Best Root Beer Float Recipe? Definitely A Freak Float!

You know the popular Freak Shakes that you often see all over the place? This is my take on a Freak Float. And it’s the perfect homemade root beer float for summer fun! While this isn’t the classic recipe when it comes to summer refreshment, it’s a delicious dessert addition to your summer parties or backyard barbecue.

I made this deliciousness on a recent trip to Lake of the Ozarks and it was a real crowd pleaser. Everything I needed to make this Freak Float was at my local Schnucks grocery store. Even the straw and paper umbrella! The bakery section also had the perfect combinations of cookie trays to choose from. So I didn’t have to make the cookies myself! This nostalgic throwback with a twist has quickly become one of our favorite summer treats.

Where to get the best Freak Shake in St. Louis? That would be at the Soda Fountain at Union Station!

Don’t miss out on any of the other dessert recipes on the Seeing Dandy Blog!

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When was the first root beer float made?

The first soda fountain was opened in 1819 and the first root beer soda drink was marketed in 1876, but surprisingly the first root beer float concoction wasn’t created for another 17 years. For whatever reason combing ice cream and root beer wasn’t in the forefront of anyone’s minds, however, from that first sip the frosty treat with lots of foam became an instant hit.

Why do root beer floats foam?

It’s a common phenomenon and we are huge fans. Like most soda and carbonated drinks, root beer just naturally has foam. Adding scoops of ice cream interacts with the carbon dioxide bubbles to create even more foam.

Freak Float Root Beer Float Recipe

What you’ll need to make a freak float:

  • Creamy vanilla ice cream (or homemade vanilla ice cream if you prefer)
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Sprinkles
  • Tall glass or mug
  • Paper straw (optional)
  • Drink umbrella (optional)

freak float ingredients

What you’ll do to make a freak float:

Step 1: Place scoops of vanilla ice cream into the bottom of the glass.

schnucks vanilla ice cream

Step 2: Pour root beer into mug over the ice cream.

root beer float mug

Step 3: Add a few more scoops of ice cream on top.

Step 4: Place half a cookie into a scoop of ice cream.

root beer cookie ice cream

Step 5: Top with whipped cream, sprinkles and a maraschino cherry.

freak float

Add a paper straw and umbrella to decorate it up for summer!

How To Make The Best Root Beer Float: Ice cream or soda first?

There’s always a debate on this one. Some people say ice cream. Others swear by the root beer first. Well, if you don’t want the root beer to overflow everywhere… then you do the ice cream first! I’m seriously about this one. You definitely have to put the ice cream info the mug first. Otherwise you will run the risk of overflowing the foam everywhere. I have experience in this. Trust me. I’ve tried it the other way and it was a mess.

When is National Root Beer Float Day?

National Root Beer Float Day is on August 6th. Make sure to mark your calendar so you can enjoy this treat on the hot summer day!

Other Tips for Making the Perfect Ice Cream Float

Get creative! Try different combinations and ice cream flavors to make a truly unique to you ice cream float!

  • Using orange soda (in place of the root beer) will create a dreamsicle or creamsicle flavor.
  • A purple cow can be made with grape soda and regular ice cream.
  • Tall glasses and mugs are definitely the way to go when making an ice cream soda. Got to hold all the extra foam!
  • Use a chilled glass if you want an extra frosty float.
  • Adding a long spoon is an added way to enjoy this creamy ice cream treat.
  • Even chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup and chocolate shavings atop whipped cream creates a unique flavor!

best root beer float recipe

Like this Freak Float recipe?

Get more dessert recipes on the blog HERE.

Other ideas for summer fun? Pool floats are always in and the best pool floats for this year can be found HERE.


blog owner at Seeing Dandy Blog
A mom blogger for over 15 years, Tara Smith lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her audiologist husband and four kids. Her blog has been featured on local media television shows like News 4 Great Day and Show Me St. Louis, as well as in the Farmhouse Style Magazine for Country Sampler. She loves to travel, explore the Midwest, make crafts and read.

This post could contain affiliate links or be sponsored which means I earn from advertising. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More details here.

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