The classic root beer float gets a make-over as a Root Beer Float Granita, topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with root beer syrup. Still a super easy and delicious summertime treat!
I made another batch of Root Beer Float Popsicles last week. And they lasted, oh, about a day. Popsicles and watermelon – we go through them like wildfire in the summertime.
Sometimes I’ll actually take a popsicle, mash it up with a fork and eat it like granita. And then I thought how fun it would be to make a Root Beer Float Granita. (Because somehow allowing my kids to eat frozen pieces of soda seems healthier than drinking it. Lol.)
What is granita?
Granita is a frozen Italian dessert made from sugar, water, and various flavoring. Their texture is more crystallized than Italian ice and sorbet, but finer than snow cones.
Possibly the best thing about granitas, other than their versatility and deliciousness, is that they’re so easy and anyone can make them! You don’t need any special equipment – just a baking dish and a fork.
Granitas are most commonly flavored with fruit, coffee, or wine, but soda works too. And bonus with the root beer – you don’t even need to make a separate simple syrup because it’s built right in.
Tips for making this Root Beer Float Granita
1. Use a shallow pan – pour the root beer into a flat-bottomed, shallow 9×13 pan for freezing. It tends to freeze faster in a metal pan, but glass is fine, too. Use what you have. Freeze the soda for about 45 minutes, until it just starts to harden on the top and sides of the pan.
2. Scrape with a fork – scrape the partially frozen soda with a fork (including the sides), breaking up any large pieces. Repeat this process every 30-45 minutes over the course of 3 hours. Granita can be coarse or fine, so keep raking until the desired texture is reached.
3. Freeze one last time before serving – return the granita pan to the freezer for 1 more hour, then briefly run the fork through it again before serving.
4. Low and slow for the root beer syrup – bring your soda to a boil over high, but then take it down to a very low gentle simmer until it’s reduced by half and syrupy, about 30 minutes. If you boil it too high or too fast, it will be like rock hard candy. Transfer it to a spouted measuring cup (for easy pouring) and let it cool completely before drizzling, otherwise it will melt your granita.
Can I skip the root beer syrup?
Well, sure. But I highly recommend you don’t! The root beer syrup is the perfect glaze that coats the ice cream and melds with the granita. And a little goes a long way, so you only need a little drizzle. It’s what takes this simple dessert from 10 to 15.
This Root Beer Float Granita is a great dessert for a casual dinner party or barbecue, but also super simple and kid-friendly, too. It’s a wonderful way to end a meal on a hot sweltering summer day!
other summertime desserts we love
Root Beer Float Granita
- 8 cups root beer soda ,divided
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- Pour 4 cups root beer into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; freeze the soda for about 45 minutes, until it just starts to harden on the top and sides of the pan.
- Scrape the partially frozen soda with the tines of a fork (including the sides), breaking up any large pieces. Repeat this process every 30-45 minutes over the course of a 3 hours.
- Return the granita pan to the freezer for 1 more hour, then briefly run the fork through it again before serving.
- In the meantime, bring the remaining 4 cups of root beer to a boil over high, then take it down to a very low gentle simmer until it’s reduced by half and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Transfer it to a spouted measuring cup (for easy pouring) and let it cool completely.
- Spoon 3/4 cup root beer granita into each of 6 clear tumbler glasses or dessert cups. Top granita with scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle each with 4 teaspoons root beer syrup.
- Serve and enjoy!