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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: This Homemade Orange Soda Ice Cream Floats recipe gives you nostalgic orange-flavored soda topped with vanilla ice cream for a fizzy orange creamsicle treat, prepped in about 10 minutes!
Here’s a fantastic drink that will take you back to happy, carefree summer days! This orange soda ice cream tastes just like those orange creamsicle ice pops you had back in the day, with a little “homemade” twist.
This creamy, flavor-packed float isn’t made with orange soda from the can — you’re making it at home with some fresh-squeezed orange juice and plain seltzer water! Some sugar is added to the drink to give you that sweet orange soda taste, but the great thing about this recipe is you ultimately get to decide how much sugar to add. Taste your way through, and you have a customized drink just for you.
And it isn’t a float if you don’t pour that homemade orange soda over some vanilla ice cream. If you want to make this recipe all from scratch, try my Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!
What Are Ice Cream Floats?
Soda? And ice cream? Together??? If you’ve never had an ice cream float, the idea may seem a bit bizarre — but there’s a reason why these treats took over soda fountains back in the day! It’s been said that ice cream floats were invented in 1874 when a celebration ran out of ice, and a quick thinker decided to add ice cream to soda to cool it down. However, according to its inventor, Robert Green, he invented the drink to appeal to customers instead of another vendor with a fancier soda fountain.
There are a few variations of ice cream floats, but probably the most popular ones are made with cola or root beer. I love the freshness of the oranges in this recipe, though, and it’s unbelievable how much it tastes just like a creamsicle.
What Type Of Oranges Should I Use For Homemade Orange Soda?
To make the orange-flavored syrup for this recipe, we used navel oranges. However, if you don’t have access to navel oranges, use any variation you can find!
Tools You Need To Make Homemade Orange Soda Ice Cream Float
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Orange Soda Ice Cream Floats
- This recipe makes a lot of syrup, but it will also last a long time. (One taste, and it may not last as long as you think, though!)
- For adults, this syrup can be used in place of simple syrup in a citrusy cocktail.
- Don’t leave out the citric acid! Without it, you won’t get the classic tang that sodas have, and the flavors won’t quite hold up.
- Be sure to use chilled syrup and seltzer when making this drink since it does not use any ice.
- For a nice variation, you can try adding a cinnamon stick or a few pieces of ginger into the syrup.
- We made this with navel oranges, but if you have access to different varieties of oranges, you can use what you find.
- Instead of Vanilla Ice Cream, try this with a scoop of Homemade Raspberry Sorbet or Mango and Passionfruit Sorbet!
Make More Drinks!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill for 4 hrs
Creamy orange creamsicle goodness in a refreshing and classic drink — make my Homemade Orange Soda Ice Cream Floats recipe now!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 4 cups
- 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) fresh squeezed navel orange juice
- 2 cups (16 oz/450 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon citric acid
- Plain seltzer water , chilled, for serving
- Vanilla ice cream , for serving
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, sugar, water, lemon juice, orange zest, and citric acid and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and let the zest infuse in the syrup for an hour.
Strain the syrup with a fine mesh strainer into a lidded jar and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours and up to 1 month.
When ready to serve, fill glasses with 1 part syrup to 2 or 3 parts seltzer (depending on your taste), then top each serving with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.