Boozy Root Beer Float with Root Beer-Mint Ice Cream

posted in: Cooking, Sweet | 45

*Exciting update! The folks at Art in the Age who make Root liquor were pretty thrilled about this root beer float, so they offered me the chance to give some goods away to you. Much as they would love to give a bottle of Root, The Man forbids it, so they put together a box of Root swag for one lucky (US-based) winner.

It includes an Art in the Age logo tee, Root mug, coaster set, soap, tote and shot glass. If you want it, leave a comment below. Bonus entries for tweeting this giveaway and following @saltyseattle and @artintheage on twitter- just comment that you follow/followed. Winner selected at random on Wednesday, October 5th.

It is going to be very difficult for me to contain my excitement about this subject matter, but I will do my best. I can only hope that my enthusiasm is infectious enough that you catch it too and we both get the pleasure of having such a joyous disease.

Let’s talk about the olden days. Now would be a good time to put on a pair of bloomers and borrow a cap gun from a little kid. Also, take a nip off your flask. You’re going to want to finish it by the end of this post so you can refill it with this stuff.

Back when I was a kid, I never lived far from the Nevada border, whether at home in California or Idaho. This proved very useful in acquiring Everclear, which many of us remember fondly by its other name, moonshine. In junior high we could always count on someone’s sympathetic older brother to buy it for us by the case, which we would then distribute amongst the approximately 10% of the school population who weren’t Mormon. If the older brother charged us double, we would make back our money and then some by repackaging it into pints from liters and tripling the markup. Sometimes we’d even add a little water since it was so strong no one could tell the difference.

Vice Principal Houston always suspected me of being up to no good, and I remember one time she smugly escorted me to my locker, had me open it for her, then she proceeded to confiscate a batch of brownies I had baked for friends that day. She overlooked the fifth of Everclear sitting just below the brownies, no doubt assuming it was water. Whoever had given her the tip about my locker failed to identify the specific contraband, because the brownies were as pure as Mormon undergarments, meant only to help us cleanse our palates of the firewater’s after burn.

Junior high was a lot like prohibition for many of us. We wanted to drink even though we weren’t supposed to, so it made sense to get the most bang for our buck. That translates to high alcohol swill that had about as much finesse as an elephant pimp. My personal trajectory totally changed once I drifted closer to legal age. Suddenly a brave new world of wine and bourbon embraced me into her oaky arms.

Prohibition was an equally-dark period for many a wayward socialite. Prior to that time, root beer tended to be alcoholic, made in the backyard stills of enterprising pioneers. Once the temperance movement hit, root beer conglomerates like Hires took the corner on the market and the true splendor of boozy root beer was lost to the world. Until now. Art in the Age, a community of free thinkers and artistic innovators based in Philadelphia, brought back the old recipe. Here’s the story of their Root Liquor:

A friend introduced me to Root last month and I considered a life of polyandry just so I could marry it. I ordered a bottle the instant I could steady my fingers enough to click “buy” and I’ve been making root beer floats and sweet memories ever since. Art in the Age also makes Snap, which tastes just like ginger snaps, and Rhuby, which is based on rhubarb. If there is someone on your holiday shopping list who is impossible to shop for, consider your task easy this year. I WISH this had been my gateway drug back in the day- I’m sure I would be president by now if that was the case.

Last week I cleaned my freezer out of every last drop of ice cream and I was forced to make more so that I could enjoy another precioussssss root beer float. The chocolate mint in the yard threatened to strangle my still-green heirloom tomatoes, so I whacked some back for culinary use. I coupled the mint with syrup made from reducing Root, and whipped the whole thing into an ice cream custard that could make a eunuch orgasm in five seconds flat.

I am going to share that recipe with you. You are going to be my best friend. And then, together, arm-in-arm, we are going to solve the problems of the world while skipping drunkenly along in the happiest stupor two souls have ever known.

Root Liquor and Mint Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

*note- When making ice cream, mise en place is especially important. Mint scrambled eggs are just gross, people. Be sure to have your egg yolks cracked and ready, ingredients measured, an ice bath waiting, and a strainer and whisk out for the several times you’ll need them.

  • ¼ c Root liquor + 2 tablespoons (divided)
  • 2 c packed mint leaves (use chocolate mint if you have it)
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1.5 c whole milk
  • 1.5 c heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  1. In a small saucepan, heat ¼ c of Root liquor over medium heat for 60 seconds. Add the mint leaves, sugar, salt, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the remaining milk and cream in a medium mixing bowl set over an ice bath.
  3. Strain the mint leaves and return the infused milk-cream mixture to the saucepan. Heat it to just before boiling, then whisk some of the hot milk into the egg yolks, working very quickly to avoid curdling. Pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan, whisking vigorously.
  4. Heat the custard over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens to the consistency of maple syrup and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour the custard through a strainer and into the milk bath set over ice. Stir until cool, then allow to chill completely in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. The following morning, add the remaining two tablespoons of Root liquor and churn in an ice cream maker according to its instructions.
  7. The coup de grace occurs when you make a root beer float out of this ice cream by scooping some into a glass and dousing it in Root. Enjoy!
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45 Responses

  1. Numbers of students become irritated about academic assignments creating. Nevertheless, clever people order courseworks and get clear advantages.

  2. You are my HERO.

  3. Wow. This post makes me wish I was drinkin’! What a great story (Have you been watching Prohibition on PBS?) and even more compelling ingredient. I’m with you on the obsession. This seems like an obsession-worthy ingredient, for sure!

  4. I was lucky enough to taste one of these root beer floats, and they were indeed perfection. I have since picked myself up a bottle and my husband and I are guzzling. Thanks for the hot tip Linda…

  5. Wow. Just wow.

    Great idea about the gifting! Have to go order now…

  6. Alison Dinerstein

    Love ROOT in our house. Introduced to many Peeps to our ROOT beer cocktails.

  7. I definitely want to find this up by me to give it a try. So far no luck but the search goes on.

    Winning a bottle would be nice, but seeing the man forbids it swag would be a good substitute.

  8. Woo Hoo! Bring on the swag! Trying to locate Root at local stores. May have to break down and check out the chain liquor stores.

    Rob Reply:

    @Rob, Oh, and following/tweeted

  9. Linda, I’m making these for the holidays. Need some boozy love to make the in-laws happy during Thanksgiving :-)

    Hope you’re doing well, carissima!

  10. Oh my word, that sounds like the best float ever. :)

  11. This is definitely a winner. I plan to use this same idea to create a dessert for a large dinner I have coming up.

  12. fantastic post. Ne’er knew this, thankyou for letting me know.

  13. Katherine

    Please enter me in the drawing. I am a disciple for life.

  14. KICK ASS! Anything with liquor, beer(rootbeer), and ice cream(especially mint) tickles my fancy. And ps. YOU ARE A B.A! I wish more women stood up in the kitchen, threw down and have a pair of balls hanging off her pearl necklace. You are fierce. Love the duck “BALLS” and watermelon articles. I think we may have similar interest in anything with a round like shape, aint nothing wrong with a good set. Keep it up lady. Throughly enjoy your blog…best wishes

  15. Mmmm, I have a bottle of Root sitting on my bar right now.

    Up until this year, I actually hated the taste of root beer. Perhaps because I only tried the cheap stuff. After one swig of Root Liqueur, my opinion changed completely. It’s really unbelievable stuff. I’ve been dying to try RHUBY. Have you tried it yet Linda?

    I will be making this. Thanks.

  16. I love rootbeer floats! Summer isn’t summer without them!

  17. bob dobbs

    Root + un-filtered apple cider + real cherry juice = perfection

  18. OK, I love you! As a child A&W Rootbeer floats were my reward for being good while my Mom drove around doing her errands. I love this recipe, but my favorite AITA drink is Snap in Ice Tea with Sweet Cream, sort of an American Thai Ice Tea with kick.

  19. Long time follower, first time commenter, and I think I’m in love with whomever created this beautiful root beer. My finger is hovering over the “Buy” button — DO I OR DON’T I?

  20. I’m totally digging that crazy half sideways glass! Very cool!

  21. MMM give it up!

  22. Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

  23. Know what pisses me off? I made a drink with rootbeer and rum years ago. I called it “Rum Roo”…I could have been rich.

  24. I adore your post and your recipe. The video’s breaking up though. But thatnks for sharing anyways!

  25. Wow! This sounds so incredibly delicious! Love this adult take on a root beer float, and never would have thought to pair mint with root beer, but it would be so refreshing!

  26. Oh, how you tickle me.

  27. Holy frekkin moly!! These are like super dangerous. They look awesome. I love that you used mint-ice cream. That is fabulous!

  28. Root has been on my wish list for ages now…now I feel that the purchase is totally justified – I have a recipe that requires it! WAHOO!

  29. Holy Moly! Now THIS is a root beer float! Ah-mazing!

  30. I was in a kitchen store the other day, I held and ice cream maker in my hands, and said this is mine, but I never got it.. I am now going to get the maker! love to you. Thanks for you inspiration.

    Linda Reply:

    @erin, But beware- this ice cream is seriously addictive. In a gateway drug kind of way.

  31. I want this. Or… a Snap Ice Cream Sandwich – Snap Ice Cream with flecks of candied ginger (or something better) stuffed between homemade soft gingersnaps.

    Linda Reply:

    @Nicole, A brill idea- on the must-make list!

  32. Do I read 80 proof on the bottle? Holy Jeebus. The poor eunuch wouldn’t know what hit him.
    I’ll take two, please. With a straw. And a special delivery to NY.

    Linda Reply:

    @zenchef, He sure wouldn’t- this is serious stuff!

  33. I think I just screamed to some higher deity and slid right out of my chair…

    Bless Everclear and the Mormons for their tea-tottling ways. More for us!

  34. Very nice. I’ll take two!

  35. Officially my favorite thing you have ever posted. Even better than the corn-duck-dogs.

  36. I like the slanted glass, it’ll appear straight after a couple of the floats!

  37. Holy freakin crap that sounds delicious. And I want some.

    Linda Reply:

    @The GastroGnome, My dessert of the summer. Drink, too.

  38. This sounds like a winner. :-)

    Linda Reply:

    @Christine, So dreamy.

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