Diet Root Beer Floats: Not a Good Idea

On Friday, Mike decided to make himself a root beer float. At the time, I resisted since I was about to eat dinner soon (it was about 6pm at the time). Mike made his float with a half-full IBC that had apparently been in the back of the fridge for quite some time. And, even though it was a bit flat, Mike said that the float still turned out well.

I went to an autocross on Saturday and, after returning, I thought that a root beer float could be rather tasty. And, I recalled that I still had a can of Diet A&W in my mini-fridge. I wasn’t sure how the float would turn out with diet soda, but I figured that I could always pour it out if I needed to.

I ventured to the freezer and took out a frozen beer mug along with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream (the same ice cream that Mike used for his float the day before). I grabbed an ice cream scoop and added two scoops to the mug. I then added the root beer and, as root beer floats tend to do, it foamed up easily and so it took me several careful pours to get all the root beer in the mug.

It had been years since my last root beer float (perhaps ten years), and I was really looking forward to drinking it. After all, root beer and ice cream are two great tastes that taste great together. As I lifted my glass, I pondered for a moment whether the lack of sugar would have any effect on the float; but, I set that thought aside and took a big gulp. Man, it was awful.

Somehow — and perhaps due to the combination of the frozen mug along with the frozen ice cream — the root beer had frozen into chunks of rootbeersicles. It was as if I had a mug of ice cream with some caramel-colored ice tossed in. And, the full-fat/full-sugar nature of the Blue Bell only served to emphasize the watered-down quality of this pathetic root beer.

In the end, I really wanted to like it. I even tried grabbing a spoon so that I could just extract the ice cream bits. But, the root-ice had permeated the beverage and infected all of it. I had no choice but to pour it all down the drain. So, I not only didn’t end up with a tasty beverage, but I’m still itching for a good root beer float (or even a decent one). Perhaps I’ll have to buy a real root beer so that I'll be ready for next time.

13 thoughts on “Diet Root Beer Floats: Not a Good Idea

  1. just so you know, mini-fridges (like the one you pulled your diet A&W out of) are tremendously inefficient. they use as much or more energy as a full-sized fridge even though their volume is a fraction of a normal-sized refridgerator.

  2. The mistake might have been the chilled mug. I’ve made root beer floats with diet A&W before, and they seemed ok to me. Granted, the diet root beer did have that weaker taste than the regular full-o-sugar ones, but I didn’t have the “rootbeercicle” problem.

  3. It had been years since my last root beer float (perhaps ten years),

    B.S. – I distinctly remember you and I consuming such a beverage at the A&W stand in Squires. Yeah, it was a few years ago, but not 10. We’re not that old (yet).


  4. I definitely need to second this opinion. My wife likes to buy Diet Hansen’s soda, and we usually stock vanilla ice cream in our freezer. So the temptation is usually there, but it wasn’t until last week when my daughter requested a float I said let’s go for it. We used room temperature mugs and the Diet Hansen’s root beer and came up with some big time rootbeersicles after just a few minutes. Not pleasant at all.

  5. It’s got to be something with the diet soda. I’ve had floats with Coke Zero and frozen yogurt and had the frozen yogurt changes to ice. It doesn’t have anything to do with the frozen mug since mine was just in a plain plastic ice cream dish. I’ve also tried it with Diet A&W and Cherry Coke Zero with the same icing results. With regular soda it turns out just fine.

  6. Same thing happened to me, I did mine with some Diet A&W Root Beer and sugar free ice cream so I wasn’t sure until I looked up this post whether it was coming from the root beer or the ice cream but I got nothing but ice all through my ice cream float. I’m so upset about it because it would make a really good low calorie dessert otherwise. Love to all… XXOO

  7. YOU CANNOT NOT NOT make an ICE CREAM FLOAT with Diet Soda. The artificial sweeteners don’t mix well with the ice cream. It always turns the ice cream into frozen ice particles, YUCK!!!!

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