As a gesture of respect, I’d like to start with a brief moment of silence for Philadelphia pharmacist Charles Hires, the inventor of root beer. Without him, this recipe would not be possible.
[insert moment of silence]
You were a good man Charlie.
An American staple and charmingly nostalgic dessert, nothing comforts the soul like a good float. And these root beer float pops do not disappoint. They might be my favorite creation to come out of the popsicle project so far and are indisputably the easiest to make.
your favorite root beer
your favorite vanilla ice cream
a small spoon or ice cream scooper
For this batch of root beer float pops I used McConnell’s Vanilla Bean made with pure Bourbon-Madagascar and Indonesian vanillas. [Le sigh.] If you haven’t tried their fine ice creams, you should. McConnell’s is out of Santa Barbara and they have been making small batch, from scratch ice creams for over 70 years. Disclaimer: A pint will cost you around 10 bucks [GASP. I know.] – but you seriously get what you pay for. These guys use grass-grazed milk and cream that they pasteurize at their creamery and only the finest local, sustainable and organic, raw ingredients, sourced from partner farms and artisans in the area. Best of all, they use no preservatives, no stabilizers and no additives. [I swear this is not a paid advertisement for McConnell’s, I’m just a die-hard fan of their stuff. I mean just take a look at their Manifesto ….these people are awesome.]
Ok back to the pops- the most important thing to remember is that the less precise you layer, the better. Don’t try and freeze each layer separately- these taste way better when the two items naturally mix- it will create the classic root beer float flavor profile you are shooting for.
1) Soak popsicles sticks in boiling hot water for 30 minutes (this keeps the sticks from bobbing to the top when freezing)
2) Chill your favorite root beer – you will need a couple bottles
3) Pull out your pint of vanilla ice cream- and make sure you have a small spoon or scooper
4) Layer the molds with root beer and vanilla ice-cream until they are filled to the top
5) Remove any excess foam
6) Place on lid and insert sticks
7) Freeze overnight
8) Place popsicle mold under warm water for 15 seconds to remove popsicles
photography + words by R. Simms