That's right, root beer ice cream in vanilla cream soda. Eat the ice cream by itself and it tastes just like a traditional root beer float in creamy frozen form. Add a couple scoops to a glass and pour some cream soda over it, and you've got your favorite childhood treat—only this one plays mind games on you. The flavor flip never ceases to confuse your taste buds, up until the very last slurp.
Spice Terminal in Reading Terminal Market. (Side note: Why are there no spice shops in DC?!) This particular extract comes from Shank's Extracts in Lancaster, PA. You can buy it online through their website for $2.29 (which is about a third of the price I paid for it). If you've seen it at grocery stores, let me know where in the comments.
Yield: 1 quart
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons root beer extract
OPTIONAL: Cream soda for reverse root beer floats
Root Beer Ice Cream
In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk, heavy cream, and sugar over medium heat and stir frequently. In a separate bowl, whip the egg yolks. Just before it comes to a simmer, gradually add about half of the cream mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, stirring continuously. Gradually pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Continue to stir until the liquid forms a thick custard that coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Cool the custard in the refrigerator or using an ice bath. Stir in vanilla. Stir in root beer extract. Whip the custard with a whisk to incorporate some air—this will improve the ice cream texture. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
Reverse Root Beer Float
Add one to three scoops of ice cream into a glass. Pour cream soda over it. Add a straw. Enjoy!