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Entertaining
Drink Your Dessert with These Amazing Cocktail Floats

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Blending two sweet treats together, the ice cream float is a marvel of confectionary creation that is at once both creamy and fizzy. But ever since we came of drinking age, root beer and Coke floats have lost some of their luster, taking a back seat to more intoxicating drinkable desserts like Piña Coladas and White Russians. But happy hour and the ice cream parlour don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Nostalgic bartenders with a sweet tooth have taken the beloved float and boozed it up, creating the perfect blend of ice cream, spirtz and alcohol. So the next time you find yourself struggling to choose between your local dive and the ice cream shop, try one of these four soda-shop-meets-speakeasy dessert drinks. (Apologies in advance to your diet—you’re definitely going to want to drink them all.)

Matthew Kelly/Supercall
It’s hard to beat a classic root beer float. The blend of vanilla ice cream and sassafras-flecked soda is just the right amount of old-timey. Bartender Erin Sullivan of New York City bar The Third Man puts a simple twist on that classic delight by adding a shot of Jägermeister, which ups the old-fashioned candy quotient with its bittersweet black licorice flavor. A drop of orange blossom water brightens things up.

The Essentials

Jägermeister
root beer
vanilla ice cream
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Created by Pamela Wiznitzer of New York City bar Seamstress, this float starts with a Negroni, then adds the nostalgia one ingredient at a time—starting with ice cream and vanilla soda, and ending with a garnish of sprinkles. The Negroni, it turns out, is the perfect base for an ice cream drink, melding botanically-driven gin, bitter-but-sweet Campari and herbal vermouth with vanilla ice cream’s warming baking spice notes. Plus, we can all agree that sprinkles make everything better—including cocktail hour.

The Essentials

Campari
Gin
vanilla ice cream
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If the sarsaparilla spice of root beer is too much for you, Coke floats are the way to go. This spiked float from Marianna Reynolds of Chicago’s El Che Bar, combines the syrupy-sweet classic with another go-to Coke cocktail, Fernet and Coke. For an extra decadent touch, Reynolds tops the easy-drinking float with a dollop of fruit compote and candied almonds.

The Essentials

vanilla ice cream
Fernet
Mexican Coca-Cola
Matthew Kelly/Supercall
This booze-infused float sets itself apart by swapping out traditional vanilla ice cream for sweet-tart apple sorbet. Continuing with the autumnal fruit theme, Sarah Osborn of Sardella in St. Louis tops the sorbet with a shot of apple brandy and two shots of ultra-floral elderflower liqueur, which adds brightness, contrast and depth.

The Essentials

apple brandy
elderflower liqueur
apple sorbet

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