There’s nothing quite like a root-beer float made with a scoop of hand-cranked ice cream. I still use a White Mountain Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker (pictured, from $180; brm-icecream.com), which takes me back to summers filled with church socials and drive-in movies. For a less labor-intensive option, I recommend the sleek Whynter SNO IC-2L (from $225; amazon.com) or the kid-friendly Play & Freeze (from $20; icecreamrevolution.com). And while I make my root beer using the SodaStream Penguin (from $200; williams-sonoma.com), Stewart’s and Boylan make great old-fashioned, glass-bottled versions. Everything cold is new again!
Don’t have time to make it yourself? These store-bought ice creams, available for pickup or shipping, can taste homemade. Just remember that to get that floaty froth, the ice cream—a healthy sized scoop—goes in the glass before the root beer.
Blue Bell Natural Vanilla Bean: This is a new find for me, but it’s really the gold star of ice cream in the South. bluebell.com.
Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip: Black raspberry ice cream has a special place in my heart—my aunt and grandmother made the best version when I was a kid. graeters.com.
The Bent Spoon Mango: Mango sorbet makes for a light, perfectly modern summer flavor. Available for pickup only at 35 Palmer Sq. W., Princeton, New Jersey; thebentspoon.net.