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Sparkling Cranberry and Cola Ice Cream Float Recipe

Sparkling Cranberry & Cola Ice Cream Float Recipe

Servings 8 floats


For the sparkling cranberries:

  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

For the floats:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Zest of 1 clementine (or 1/2 orange)
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Coca-Cola®, chilled
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish


  1. Start by making the sparkling cranberries. Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Take the pan off the heat, and let cool for 5 minutes. Place cranberries in a medium bowl, then pour sugar syrup over the cranberries. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (better overnight!).
  2. Sprinkle and even layer of sugar on a plate or shallow bowl. Drain the cranberries, place 5 to 6 in the sugar, and using a fork, roll the cranberries around in the sugar until evenly coated. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining cranberries. You don’t want to put too many in the sugar at 1 time, because this will cause the sugar to clump. Let dry for 2 hours before serving. Store sparkling cranberries in a sealed container at room temperature.
  3. Next, prepare the cranberry citrus syrup for the floats. Place cranberries, water, sugar and citrus zest in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the cranberries are falling apart (about 15 minutes). Pour syrup through a fine mesh basket strainer into a clean bowl (preferably with a pour spout). Don’t press on the solids, but let them drain over the bowl for a few moments. Let cool completely before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.
  4. To make an ice cream float, place 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl or glass. Drizzle with cranberry citrus syrup, then pour chilled coke over top (I like to let some of the ice cream peek out over the coke bubbles). Garnish with a rosemary sprig and 3 sparkling cranberries skewered with a toothpick.