Sadly, root beer wasn’t a part of my childhood. But a new-found love for the creamy, sweet flavor started at July 4th and has had me trying just about any “local” version I can find ever since. Even though a root beer float isn’t nostalgic for me, it seemed fitting for summer to make a batch of vanilla bean infused vodka and craft a grown-up drink treat. Enjoy!
Spiked Root Beer Float
Good-quality vodka (I like Death’s Door, locally made in Wisconsin)
1 whole, fresh vanilla bean
High-quality root beer*, chilled (look for cane sugar versions instead of high-fructose corn syrup)
Vanilla bean ice cream
1 small mason jar with lid
1 glass, frosted in the freezer
To make the vanilla-infused vodka, slice a vanilla bean in half. Split each half the long way, leaving the seeds inside. Place the quarters in a small jar, fill with 2 cups of vodka and seal with a lid. Let sit in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks, shaking occasionally. It will turn brown, and that it should. In a frosted glass, start with about 2 ounces of the infused vodka. Place two scoops of ice cream into the glass. Top with root beer and drink with a straw. Have a spoon handy too!