Week 16 - Ice Cream Sodas
Chris and I have a fondness for ice cream sodas. He and his mom made chocolate sodas which consisted of chocolate syrup mixed with seltzer and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. When I was young my family and I would occassionally visit with an old couple, the Carsons, who would serve us ice cream sodas they called "Brown Cows". Chris and I have a difference in opinion here. He consideres Brown Cows to be root beer floats and the Brown Cows I grew up with were floats made with ginger-ale and coffee ice-cream. I know this may sound weird, but they are actually delicious.
Fill a glass with ginger ale and add one scoop of coffee ice cream.
Mrs. Carson always served these with light, crispy sugar cookes, which I think is an excellent addition.
In a glass mix about 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup with about a 1/4 cup of seltzer. Once mixed fill the rest of the glass with more seltzer, leaving room for ice cream. Finally add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Serve with a straw and spoon.
NOTE: Traditionally we use plain seltzer, but this is also fabulous made with flavored seltzer as well. Orange seltzer is our favorite but cherry is very good as well.
Quite a few years ago, Chris's Mom gave me a cookbook called "Howard Johnson's Presents Old Time Ice Cream Soda Fountain Recipes or How to Make a Soda Fountain Pay", published in 1971. So, for Week 16's recipe, I decided to make a variety of ice-cream sodas from this book. This book is a reproduction of the 1903 edition of "How to Make a Soda Fountain Pay". The book was first published in 1863 and was meant as a guide to setting up a profitable soda fountain. Over the years, recipes were added by soda fountain experts and the 1903 version contains a goldmine of recipes for ice cream, sherbet, soda syrups and sodas. It was not easy choosing a recipe that I could make. Some of the recipes called for impossible or difficult-to-find ingredients, like celery extract. Others called for raw eggs, which I can't bring myself to drink or syrups that you have to make yourself, which I didn't want to bother with. So, I limited myself to finding recipes that included ingredients I could readily find.
The first recipe I tried was called "Charlotte Russe, a Ladies' Drink", which is basically a vanilla soda. The instructions consisted of mixing vanilla syrup and a bit of vanilla ice cream with soda water and then topping it with vanilla flavored whipped cream. The resulting drink was a very sweet, vanilla-y drink. It was tasty, but I thought the vanilla syrup was too strong and sweet, so next time would make it with slightly less.
The next soda we tried was called "Cream City" which is a chocolate/strawberry soda. For this drink I shook crushed ice together with chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, cream and very small amount of vanilla ice cream, then filled the glass with soda water. Although it allowed me to use one of my vintage ice crushers, the crushed ice made it difficult to drink and watered it down too much. So we made it again, this time with no ice, more ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream. This soda was fantastic and tasted just like Neapolitan ice cream.
The final soda recipe we tried was called "Banana Flip". It calls for banana syrup, which I didn't have. Instead, as suggested in the recipe, I mixed vanilla syrup with crushed bananas. I then mixed my banana syrup substitute, cream and a few pieces of banana in a glass and filled the glass with soda water. Although not part of the recipe, I added a bit of strawberry syrup as well and topped it off with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. This one was fruity and fabulous and my favorite of the three. I may try this again and add chocolate syrup instead of strawberry, just for something different.
Since we are such ice cream soda fans, it goes without saying that we will be making these again. If I can find some of the stranger ingredients from the cookbook, I would like to try some other recipes as well.
Cookbook: "Howard Johnson's Presents Old Time Ice Cream Soda Fountain Recipes", published in 1971
Recipes: Charlotte Russe, A Ladies Drink (vanilla soda), Cream City (chocolate and strawberry soda) and Banana Flip (strawberry and banana soda)
Difficulty: Very easy
Alterations: I added more ice cream and eliminated the crushed ice the recipe called for. I also added strawberry syrup to the Banana Flip
Make Again: Already have.