For the love of all that is good and holy, I saved the best for last, y’all – Root Beer Float Julep. Remember when I said most of these wouldn’t technically be classified as a julep? Well, this is one that wouldn’t, but I still think you’ll love this flavor combination. Many of you whiskey geeks have toured Buffalo Trace and had the tasting where you put a bit of Buffalo Trace bourbon cream and root beer together in a small glass. In the mouth it becomes a delicious root beer float – adult style.
I wanted to capture that, but with a little more excess. Last year I bought some sassafras syrup at Hoosier Sugar Daddy syrups and fell in love. It’s not something I use often, but when I want that sweet, earthy root beer taste, I pull it out. It’s perfect for this. In case you don’t have access to a sassafras syrup, you can also purchase root beer syrup online at Amazon, or other online groceries. It’s amazing over ice cream, which is why I topped this julep with a scoop of vanilla, just like you’d build a real root beer float. The first one I tested was gone within three minutes. It was that good. And it’s deceptively strong.
If you’ve just snuck around to the blog, I’m currently doing a week of Mint Julep riffs for this week’s Quarantine Series. Previously I’ve done the Breakfast Julep, the Pineapple Sage Rum Julep, Elvis Julep (peanut butter-banana) and the Persian Julep (rose-apricot). I saved the best for last with an indulgent crazy, tasty treat to get us through the first Saturday in May, the unDerby for those of you in Kentucky-land. A sad, sad, necessary thing, but it doesn’t mean I won’t go over the top with juleps while making far too much party food for two people to eat.
Back to the Root Beer Float Julep. One of the things that works best with this julep is the mint. When you look up root beer recipes online, they almost always include wintergreen or mint in the ingredients, so adding some mint leaves to the sassafras syrup to muddle before adding the remaining ingredients just picks up more of that idea of a root beer from your palate and tricks your mind into thinking this julep really is a root beer float.
I’ve included instructions for making these in a batch for a party or gathering so all you have to do is add ice, mint leaves, ice cream and garnish. Jump to the bottom for the batched recipe.
Now, of course, you could make this julep, pour it into the glass, plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the julep cup and add cold root beer and a sprig of mint, but I wanted to keep a little closer to the roots of the mint julep and add some cracked ice to it to mellow out the alcohol and make the taste a tad smoother. But, it’s your julep, be as decadent as you wish.
This is one julep you might want to serve with a straw and a spoon for getting that last bit of ice cream from the cup, but I’ll leave that decision up to you.
For those of you curious about the other recipes in the Quarantine Series, I’ll put them here before you skim past to get to the recipe. Quarantine Old Fashioneds (Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary), and Quarantine Smashes (Whiskey Smash, Blackberry Sage Smash, Pineapple Tiki Smash, Strawberry Basil Smash and the Coffee Cherry Smash.)
Root Beer Float Julep
- ¾ oz sassafras syrup or root beer syrup**
- 5 mint leaves
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon cream
- ½ c ice cream
- Garnish: mint sprig and dash of whipped cream
- Add the sassafras or root beer syrup to a mixing glass and tear the mint leaves and add them as well.
- Muddle lightly, add the bourbon and bourbon cream and stir until combined. Strain into the julep cup and fill about ¾ with ice.
- Add the scoop of ice cream and sprig of mint along with a straw and spoon (if needed). If you want to go crazy, add some whipped cream to the top as well.
Batched Root Beer Float Julep
- 1 cup (8 oz) sassafras syrup or root beer syrup**
- 2 cups (16 oz) bourbon
- 1 cup (8 oz) Buffalo Trace bourbon cream
- 4 cups vanilla ice cream
- leaves from 4 sprigs of mint
- Garnish: 1 mint sprig for each serving and dash of whipped cream straw and spoon.
- Combine the sassagfras syrup or root beer syrup** with the bourbon cream and bourbon. Stir well to combine and refrigerate in a glass container until very well-chilled.
- To serve, put 4 oz of the Root Beer Julep mix in a julep cup with 5 torn mint leaves.
- Fill halfway with cracked ice and give it a quick swirl.
- Top with 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream and garnish with mint spring and whipped cream. Be sure to have a straw and spoon on hand.