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4th of July Soda Floats

Do-ahead ingredients make assembling these fruity, sparkling soda floats quick and easy.

cindy_ensley_80
Betty Blogger
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Every holiday calls for a festive dessert, and the 4th of July is no exception. While nothing is more appropriate or more American than a pie, I just can’t be bothered with baking in a hot oven in the midst of the sweltering summer heat. Plus, in the summertime, let’s be real: Treats with ice cream are always the answer. 

An easy to assemble treat is always a winner, and these berry-filled soda floats are just that. The ice cream and syrups can, and should, be prepped ahead of time, perfect for hostesses who like to actually enjoy their parties. When your crew is ready to indulge in something sweet, layer creamy lemon ice cream into glasses with bright blueberry and strawberry syrups, then top with sparkling soda water! Whipped cream, striped straws and star sprinkles are optional, but totally encouraged garnishes. Here’s how it’s done! 

Plan to start this recipe at least one day ahead, so your ice cream is ready to party when you are. Begin by gathering your ice cream ingredients: lemon, honey, sugar, cornstarch, milk and cream.

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First, combine the lemon juice and zest, sugar,and honey to make a tart syrup to flavor the ice cream. 4th-of-July-Floats_02_final
Then whisk the cornstarch into the milk until it’s dissolved and there are no longer any lumps. Then whisk in the cream, followed by the lemon syrup. Then, cook the mixture on the stovetop, stirring constantly. Once it begins to bubble and thicken, boil for a minute before removing from heat. Next, pour the ice cream base into a heatproof bowl dunking quickly into an ice bath. 4th-of-July-Floats_04
To prepare an ice bath, start in the basin of a clean sink placing the bowl containing the ice cream base into a sink-full of ice water, making sure the water level is about halfway down the sides of the bowl. Stir the mixture while it sits in the ice bath ‘til the mixture cools down. Then, it’s time to process the ice cream according to the directions including in your ice cream maker. 4th-of-July-Floats_05
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For the syrups, the respective berries are combined with sugar and cooked just until they release their juices. Then, press the berries through a sieve to remove solids and seeds, and add some lemon juice to brighten the party. 4th-of-July-Floats_07
Finally, it’s time to scoop and serve! 4th-of-July-Floats_08_final

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