As we’ve bid frosé season adieu, the art of the frozen drink has become (temporarily) obsolete in bars and restaurants everywhere as the Arctic tundra sets in for most. So our attention has officially turned to the heavier, heartier cousin of the slushy of the summer—the boozy float. Indulge your inner child while enabling your seasonal denial with these six drinks from some of our favorite bars around the country—blender not required.
This caffeinated wonder graces Dante’s menu thanks to cocktail genius and Sydney native Naren Young, who doubles as a food and drink writer when not behind the bar. Made with Fonseca LBV Port, Appleton Estate Reserve rum, Licor 43, agave nectar and cold-brew coffee, this drink offers colorful, complex layers and rich flavor profile. It’s safe to say that Young’s take on the classic Italian affogato will likely ruin the nonalcoholic dessert for adults everywhere.
Paul Johnsen serves up this aptly named creamy confection at The Woods, an Orlando cocktail bar located on the second floor of the historic Rose Building. Aviation American gin provides the perfect botanical base, combined with freshly squeezed orange juice, root beer, cream, egg white and Angostura bitters, for what can only be described as a half-Creamsicle, half-root-beer float—and all dreamy goodness.
No boozy float list would be complete without at least one tribute to the forefather of them all. Hail Mary’s version steps it up a notch while kicking it old school in true diner fashion, creating the float effect sans actual ice cream by combining Rittenhouse rye with Foro amaro, cream, root beer syrup, Angostura bitters and acid phosphate.
In the heart of Chicago’s Wicker Park, happiness comes in the form of coffee floats at Dove’s Luncheonette. Choice is the name of the game here—make it daytime-friendly with Chocolate City Nitro and cajeta ice cream, or keep things boozy by opting for Hopewell cold-brew American brown ale and a scoop of honeyed vanilla ice cream.
Pretty (and pink), indeed. Allison Kave brings this sweet, strawberry goodness, made with dry rosé, Aperol, strawberry ice cream and seltzer, to “the bar and bakery of your dreams,” Brooklyn hot spot Butter & Scotch.
Well, the name says it all. Vivian Howard describes the essence of this Southern perfection, made with bourbon, house peanut ice cream and Pepsi: “From the tobacco fields to a swanky dining room, our region’s work snack is now a tall glass of fabulous. This foaming spectacle of sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy and boozy is the gold standard of ice cream floats.”