Pretty, pink cream soda floats made from a homemade blood orange syrup, natural vanilla ice cream, and club soda. The prefect drink for treating your sweetheart (and yourself!) on Valentine’s Day!
Can we talk about how gorgeous the colour of these floats is for a second?
Nature amazes me with the plethora of colours it provides for us. Why would you ever need artificial colouring when you can make a pretty drink like this from fruit?!
I have to admit something to you. Before I conceptualized this float, I had never bought, eaten, or even seen a blood orange in real life. I knew they had to be tasty, otherwise why would so many people covet them? Why else would there be so many blood orange recipes floating around on Pinterest. (Side note: THESE cupcakes from A Cookie Named Desire inspired me to use blood oranges for this drink. Look at how pink that frosting and curd is!)
I’m very susceptible to colour, so when I saw how naturally pretty this citrus was I knew I had to try it this year. I popped out to the grocery store and, low and behold, they were on sale. I may or may not have done a little happy dance in the produce section and bought almost all of their stock. All I can say now is WHY. Why have I spent my last 25 years of life without indulging in blood orange season?! I must have eaten a dozen oranges before I even began recipe testing.
The colour of the oranges inspired me to make my own version of cream soda.
I was addicted to that vibrant, neon pink cream soda as a kid. I loved its sugary sweet taste and bright hue. As an adult, I still crave that sweet soda from time to time, but I know that its full of artificial flavouring and colouring, not to mention about twenty thousand pounds of refined sugar (<– maybe an exaggeration?).
For this soda float, I was able to create a homemade syrup from the blood orange juice that a) tastes incredible, b) doesn’t have nearly as much sugar, and c) is still super pink. Take that synthetic colouring! One point for nature!
The recipe for this float is super easy; creating the syrup is the most difficult part. But when I say “difficult,” I really mean retaining enough patience to wait for the sugar to dissolve and then for the whole thing to cool. Once you have the syrup made, all you do is mix it with club soda or sparkling water, top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, add a fancy straw, and you have homemade cream soda floats!
Pretty, pink, and perfect for your Valentine.
- 1 cup raw cane sugar
- 4 blood oranges, juiced and the zest of 2
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 oz blood orange syrup (for a 500ml serving glass)
- Club soda or sparkling water
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream*
- Combine the sugar, orange juice and zest, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a low boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to steep for 1 hour.
- Strain the syrup through a fine sieve to remove the zest and pulp. Discard the pulp and keep the syrup sealed in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- This recipe will make enough syrup for 4 500ml floats, or up to 6 250ml floats.
- For a 500ml float, measure out 4 oz of blood orange syrup into a serving glass.
- Add 3 tablespoons of club soda or sparkling water to the syrup and beat until the syrup is dissolved. Top with more club soda until it reaches about 1½-inches from the top of the glass. Stir briefly to combine.
- Top the float with the ice cream and serve.