Ice Cream Floats

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: January 10, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.

If there’s one thing the entire human race can agree on, it’s that the two best inventions on planet Earth are ice cream and soda. It’s that simple.

Let’s be real: There are few things better than the refreshing fizz of soda and the delightful sweetness of ice cream. So if you decide to combine them, you’re in for a heavenly treat.

Just think about it. When you come home after a long day in the scorching heat, what could be better than a delicious bubbly beverage on the kitchen countertop? It’s the perfect little pick-me-up.

And clearly, we’re not the only ones who think so. Today, millions of people consume and love ice cream floats worldwide. And honestly, it’s not hard to see why. This blog has got you covered if you want to know more about these incredible treats and make some of your own!

How Do Soda Floats Work?

When you pour a good ol’ glass of soda over a scoop of ice cream, it feels like magic, doesn’t it? In reality, here’s what’s happening. So, as you know, soda contains lots of carbon dioxide. And when the CO2 comes in contact with the bubbles in the ice cream, it is forced out of solution.

Growing up, we always wondered what was happening in those soda floats. As busy as we were consuming the frothy, foamy treat, we couldn’t help but wonder what was causing that reaction. And today, we finally have our answers.

To start, you probably already know that carbonated beverages are full of a little something called carbon dioxide (no surprise there). This gas right here is what reacts to the ice cream and creates the delicious float you feel like devouring right now (count us in!). 

fizzy soda

Want to know a fun fact about those gas molecules? They’re dying to escape—they’re just waiting for someone or something to give them that unparalleled taste of freedom. 

Just think about it. When you open a bottle of soda, what’s the first thing you notice? The fizz, right? It’s science at it again! As you equalize the pressure, the bubbles rise to the surface in an attempt to be free. Isn’t that cool?

Here’s when ice cream comes into the picture. This sweet snack is as fascinating as it is delicious.

vanilla ice cream

On the surface, ice cream appears to be the smoothest thing on the planet. But hey, you know what they say. Looks can be deceiving! If you looked at it with a microscope, you’d see something entirely different.

Believe it or not, your favorite frozen food has loads of ice crystals and air pockets! These little fellas serve as nucleation sites, which are places for the carbon dioxide bubbles to grow.

Also, we’re sure you’ve noticed that ice cream has an unmatched consistency. The foamy combination of liquid, air, and solid is essential to its flavor. But what exactly contributes to the unique structure?

The answer is thickening agents. Ice cream companies worldwide throw in some of these chemicals in their products to help the foam stay, well, foamy. 

Something unusual happens when you pour the soda over the ice cream. Of course, the soda makes the bubbles that it always does. But this time, the action doesn’t just stop there. 

Remember those thickening agents we discussed? They hold the bubbles in place, which means you get an incredible treat with thick foam.

If you think about it, this is similar to the viral Mentos and Coke experiment. The only difference is that there isn’t any massive eruption happening here! Plus, ice cream soda is much more delicious (and specifically created for consumption!).

To sum it up, this process forces the CO2 in the soda out of solution. Oh, and some ingredients in the ice cream lower the surface tension of the beverage and let the bubbles grow, while others trap them in place. It’s the best of both worlds!

Amazing, right? How’s that for a science lesson?

What Sodas Can You Use for Floats?

Any carbonated beverage should do the trick, so pick your favorite. From Coke to ginger ale to root beer, the possibilities are endless! Pour it over a nice scoop of ice cream, and get ready to enjoy the best snack ever! 

How Do You Drink a Soda Float?

There’s no right answer to this, but here’s what we recommend. First, grab a spoon to eat the ice cream at the top. Then, have fun sipping away the soda with your straw! But honestly, feel free to consume it however you want. What matters is that we’re all enjoying an amazing treat. 

Do Soda Floats Taste Good?

To say that soda floats taste good would be an understatement. Seriously. The creaminess of the ice cream blends with the fizz of the soda so well. What you get in the end is a sweet, frothy beverage that’s surprisingly light and subtle at the same time. In short, it’s heaven. 

What are Some Good Float Recipes?

One of the many things we love about floats is that there’s so much room for creativity here. There are endless possible combinations, and they’re all great in their own way! If you’re wondering how to make one of yourself, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got five excellent recipes for you. 

Chances are, you’re probably standing in the kitchen and wondering what exactly you should do next. Lucky for you, we’ve listed five of our favorite ice cream float recipes below! We guarantee there’s something for everyone.

Coke Float

Ah, yes. Did somebody say classic? Everyone loves a good ol’ can of Coke, and this ice cream float is easily one of the most popular kinds out there (and for a good reason). 

Here’s what you need to make this old-fashioned treat:

  • One scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • One 12-ounce can of Coke
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Cherries (optional)

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, put a scoop of ice cream in the glass and pour the fizzy Coke over it. We recommend topping the drink with whipped cream and cherries, but this is totally up to you. Whatever floats your boat (see what we did there?)! 

Root Beer Float

Did somebody say classic again? Like the Coke float we discussed, this root beer float is a universally loved option. And honestly, we’re so here for it. 

Here’s what you need to make this quintessential summer beverage:

  • One scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • One 12-ounce can of root beer
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Cherries (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

Place the scoop of vanilla ice cream in the glass, and add a tablespoon of chocolate syrup if you’re feeling fancy. We’re huge fans of the chocolatey flavor, but you can skip this step if it doesn’t appeal to you. Pour the root beer over the ice cream, and top it with cherries and whipped cream if you want. Enjoy!

Grape Soda Float

The nostalgia hits hard with this one. If you didn’t know already, the grape soda float was a very popular American staple a couple of decades ago. And after trying it ourselves, we understand the hype.

Here’s what you need:

  • One scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • One 12-ounce can of grape soda
  • Whipped cream (optional)

You know the drill by now. Put the ice cream in the glass, and pour the grape soda all over it! Feel free to top your float with whipped cream if you need that extra sugar kick. Serve with straws and spoons, and enjoy!

Orange Soda Float

If you’re an orange soda fan, you’re in luck. This delicious drink will remind you of those orange Creamsicles you had as a kid! Something about it always leaves us wanting more.

Here’s what you need:

  • One scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • One 12-ounce can of orange soda
  • Whipped cream (optional)

As you know, the first step is to place the vanilla ice cream in the glass. Next, pour the orange soda over it, and top it with whipped cream if you’re in the mood. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Ginger Ale Float

If you’re looking for a unique option, this is it. For all of you ginger ale enthusiasts, it doesn’t get any better than this! The flavor is so refreshing that it’ll leave you begging for seconds. Take our word for it. 

Here’s what you need:

  • One scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • One 12-ounce can of ginger ale
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Put the decadent ice cream in the glass, and pour the ginger ale over it! If whipped cream is your thing, feel free to top the drink with this deliciousness. Get ready to enjoy a bubbly, foamy drink like no other!

See what we mean when we say there are endless combinations? Feel free to try any of these or experiment on your own! We know you’re about to be as obsessed as we are. 


ice cream floats

If the world was ending tomorrow and we could have one last meal of our choice, we’d go with ice cream floats. It’s a no-brainer.

Ice cream and soda are both delicious as it is, so combining them just adds to the appeal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why countless people devour these floats worldwide; they speak for themselves. 

For those of you looking for the perfect little pick-me-up, this is just about the best idea ever! Ice cream floats remind us of carefree summer days and happy times, and honestly, we think that’s beautiful. 

Be honest. Are you craving a float now? If the answer is yes, you know what to do! Hop over to your kitchen, and mix some ice cream and soda to create the float of your dreams! Don’t forget to let us know how it turns out.