Ever wish you could visit an old-fashioned soda fountain? Now you can at home with this delicious retro coffee float recipe. Ice cream in coffee is always a fun summer treat.
Soda fountains are one of my favorite things. They combine two of my loves, ice cream and the 1950s. The last one in my town closet many years ago but there is a cafe not far from us that has an old-fashioned soda fountain theme.
Growing up one of my favorite things to do was go to my grandma’s house and she would make me homemade chocolate malts using her vintage malt maker. Malts made in blenders are fine but nothing compares to having one made in a real malt maker.
While a good chocolate malt is my favorite soda fountain treat, I love all kinds of soda fountain treats. Some of my favorites have been chocolate sodas, coke floats, and chocolate cokes. All of those recipes are coming soon but today I want to share a new favorite, a coffee float!
How to Make Retro Coffee Float
I saw this recipe in a 1950s magazine. In true vintage recipe fashion, the instructions were limited but I’ve tested it and found the best way to enjoy this old-fashioned treat.
It’s basically ice cream in coffee but instead of something like an affogato which is espresso and ice cream, this one is made using instant coffee for a cold coffee treat.
You could also use cold brew but it’s quite good using simple instant coffee. I had some instant coffee on hand from making some peppermint mocha whipped coffee so this was the perfect way to use some of it.
All you have to do to make this retro coffee float is make some instant coffee with a bit of sugar, add some carbonated water, and a scoop of ice cream on top. It’s so easy but quite delicious. You will find the full recipe is at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Carbonated Water
The carbonated water is what really makes this a true soda fountain treat. It also makes it a lot more fun than just some ice cream in coffee.
I love to make carbonated drinks at home and one of the easiest and best ways I’ve found to do that is with a SodaStream. I’ve had mine for years and love it. They are totally worth it and come in a wide price range. A basic one will work just fine for this recipe and any others you want to make at home.
I have even more vintage recipes coming soon that require carbonated water so it’s a good time to pick up a SodaStream and start using it.
Helpful Supplies and Tips
Other than a way to make carbonated water you likely have everything you need already on hand but there are a few things I like to have to make these coffee floats even better and more retro.
- Chill your glasses while you make your coffee so the drink stays nice and cold.
- Let your ice cream soften just slightly so it’s easier to scoop into your glass.
- If you like more ice cream in your float simply reduce the sugar a bit to make the drink less overly sweet.
- To use cold brew in place of instant coffee simple use simple syrup or mix the sugar in a bit of hot water to make sure it dissolves in the drink.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- dash of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- carbonated water
- Combine sugar, water, and salt.
- Simmer on the stove for 5 minutes.
- Dissolve coffee in the hot liquid.
- Allow cool thoroughly.
- Pour into four tall glasses.
- Fill with the rest of the glasses with carbonated water, leaving just enough room for ice cream.
- Add a large scoop of ice cream to each glass and enjoy!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate
Get My FREE Vintage Desserts Cookbook
If you enjoy this vintage recipe and are looking for more be sure to download my vintage desserts cookbook. It includes some of my favorite vintage desserts.