To create a perfect Old-fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream Soda, it takes only three ingredients - ice cream, club soda, and chocolate syrup - and a little finesse!
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My brother, LA, is sixteen years older than me; and growing up, it was just the two of us: no siblings in between. LA left for college when I was two, and the only time I ever saw him when I was little was when he came home for holidays or spring break.
Because of our age difference, it would have been easy for LA and me to never have had any kind of real relationship, but my big brother didn't let that happen. From the time I can remember, he always made an effort to make a place for me in his life.
One way LA did that was to establish a few simple traditions between us; one of the most enduring and dear to me being our Soda Time.
Whenever he came home, LA always made us chocolate ice cream sodas. It was our thing. Soda Time was the one time I had my big brother all to myself. As I grew up, it became a tradition that – to this day – I still look forward to with great anticipation.
I’m pretty sure I drove my mom and dad nuts back when I was a kid, because whenever I caught wind that LA was on his way home, I’d make one of them go up to Freddy's to get the club soda, chocolate syrup, and ice cream so that we had everything we needed when he arrived.
LA always made a big, fun production of making our sodas, what with his special soda-mixing skills and spoon flourishes and all.
He also taught me that you can’t just dump everything into a tall glass and call it good: making a perfect old-fashioned ice cream soda requires just a little finesse.
How to Make a perfect Old-fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream Soda
(In addition to writing about food and eating a lifetime of ice cream sodas; long, long ago, I waitressed at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, which pretty much makes me a certified Ice Cream Professional.)
To reiterate: you can’t just dump everything into a tall glass and call it a soda. Making a perfect ice cream soda requires a little finesse.
First, you'll need a vessel for your soda. A tall soda-style glass (16 to 20 ounces) is perfect; but if you’re short on those, you can use any large, tall glass. (You can even do what my brother and I do when we’re feeling lazy and make a soda-in-a-bowl.) You'll also need a straw and a long-handled spoon.
Drop one scoop of vanilla ice cream into the bottom of the glass. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup on top. (We always use Hershey's. Always.)
Use a soda spoon to mash and mix the ice cream and chocolate syrup together, until they have become a sort of chocolate ice cream slurry.
Now comes the tricky part: Using the soda spoon, slowly stir the ice cream-chocolate mixture with one hand, while at the same time very slowly pouring the club soda into the glass with your other hand. Continue adding club soda until the glass is about three-fourths full. (Don't fill it all the way or it will overflow.)
At this point, taste the soda to make sure it’s chocolaty enough for you. (If not, just stir in a little additional chocolate syrup.)
Finish it all off by adding a scoop of ice cream to the soda glass, and then mount a second scoop to the rim, sidecar style.
Top it off with one last splash of club soda, pop in a straw and enjoy! (My brother and I usually serve ours with extra club soda on the side so that we can make our sodas last as long as possible.)
What's the difference between a Soda and a Float?
Is there a difference between a float and an ice cream soda? And if so, what is it?
In the US, the terms float and soda are often used interchangeably; however, in reality, they are very different concoctions.
A Float is traditionally made of two ingredients: ice cream and flavored soda water. The ice cream "floats" on top of flavored soda water, and no mixing is done prior to serving.
A Soda, on the other hand, requires three ingredients: ice cream, soda water, and flavoring syrup. A slurry of ice cream and syrup is created, then soda water (or club soda) is slowly mixed into the slurry. Additional ice cream is usually added after the mixing is done.
What about Sprinkles?
Personally, I prefer my ice cream sodas au naturale; however, you can zhuzh yours up with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and sprinkles to your heart's delight! Enjoy!
How to Make an Old-fashioned Chocolate Soda
- 2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 6-8 ounces club soda
- 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- Drop one scoop of vanilla ice cream into the bottom of a tall soda-style glass (16 to 20 ounces) glass. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup on top.
- Use a long-handled spoon to mash and mix the ice cream and chocolate syrup together, until they have become a sort of chocolate ice cream slurry.
- Now comes the tricky part: Using the soda spoon, slowly stir the ice cream-chocolate mixture with one hand, while at the same time very slowly pouring the club soda into the glass with your other hand. Continue adding club soda until the glass is about three-fourths full. (Don’t fill it all the way or it will overflow.) Taste the soda to make sure it’s chocolaty enough for you. (If not, just stir in a little additional chocolate syrup.)
- Finish it all off by adding a scoop of ice cream to the soda glass, and then mount a second scoop to the rim, sidecar style.Top it off with one last splash of club soda, pop in a straw and enjoy!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
For the record, LA has lived in Iowa for decades now and sometimes years pass without us getting together. However, whenever he visits Oregon, you can bet that I will have the chocolate syrup, ice cream, and club soda waiting for him.
For a soda of a totally different kind, check out our Blushin' Russian (cocktail and kid-friendly mocktail). It's a delicious, refreshing spin on an Italian soda.
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