Fourth of July is just around the corner and along with all the fun of the day, we can also expect to experience a great deal of HOT! For special occasions and celebrations, I love having some cool, refreshing drink options for my family — something outside the beverages they are used to every other day. I even have some fun, new Ball Drinking Jars to serve them in. One Busy-at-Home reader is going to score a set of four for their own kitchen, along with a Ball Mason Jar Infuser and a set of Ball Mason Jar Sip & Straws lids! Be sure to enter the giveaway, just below the recipe, at the bottom of this post.
One of my favorite childhood memories is of the summer afternoons we would get to spend with an elderly neighbor, Bette. Her home was filled with books, (She literally had a library room with floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall bookcases. It was my personal tween heaven! 🙂 ), antiques and love. We helped her weed flower beds, played Yahtzee and she always made us a magical drink called a “float”. We were allowed to choose 7-Up or Coke, poured over vanilla ice cream, and it was a dream in a glass to the five of us. I’m not sure if I had ever had a float, before Bette’s, but if I did, I have no recollection of it. Those simple treats are the definition of “float” in my mind. I love the idea of creating those same kinds of fun memories for my grandkids. I wanted to put a twist on a float, using the classic summer flavor of peach, to surprise them for the Fourth. I remembered hearing about a dish called Peach Melba, that I thought was also served with ice cream, so that’s where I started my research.
It turns out that Peach Melba is a dish of fresh peaches with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. It also seemed to be heavy on the vanilla in many of the recipes, I looked at. I was sure it was going to translate easily to a refreshingly fizzy, ice cream drink.
These Peach Melba Lemonade Floats are not as colorful as some of the other drinks I could have shared with you, making it difficult to get a really interesting and beautiful photograph, but the flavor is out-of-this-world! You’re going to LOVE them and your family will, too! They’re simple to make, but you DO need to make the wonderful Vanilla Peach Syrup, ahead of time, so you’ll want to plan ahead.
- 2½ cups fresh peach puree (6 or 7 peaches)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean
- ½ cup Vanilla Peach Syrup
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1½ - 2 cups lemon lime soda
- 1½ cups vanilla ice cream
- 10 raspberries
- To keep the top of your float from being all foam, I discovered that I needed to assemble these in the opposite order that I normally would. The first time I made one, I added the soda, last, after all the other ingredients were in the glass. I ended up with a giant head of foam, and though it tasted really amazing, the float didn't look like much.
- The second time, I reversed the order and had a lot better luck controlling the foam and getting some "color" in the glass. It's strictly a matter of visual preference. The taste is fabulous, either way.
- Peel and discard the pits from all the peaches.
- Cut the peaches into chunks and add to a high-speed blender or food processor. Puree the peaches until they are reduced to a thick liquid. You'll need 2½ cups of puree for this recipe.
- Pour the peach puree into a medium saucepan.
- Add the sugar and salt.
- Slice the vanilla bean and scrape all the seeds inside it, into the sauce pan.
- Stir mixture together and begin heating over medium low heat.
- The goal is to bring the syrup to a boil, slowly, so it doesn't scorch. This will completely dissolve the sugar, meld flavors and thicken the syrup.
- Once syrup begins to boil, make sure you have enough head space in your pan, so it isn't going to boil over, and set a timer for 20 minutes to let it cook down.
- Remove syrup from heat. Cool in pan and then transfer to container with lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will work best if it's cold.
- You should have enough syrup to make 6 or 7 floats. (3 - 3½ cups)
- In a 24 oz. Wide Mouth Ball Drink Jar, pour 1½ cups lemon lime soda.
- Add Vanilla Peach Syrup and lemon juice.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Add 1 cup of vanilla ice cream to the glass, in small scoops.
- Drop 5 or 6 fresh raspberries over the ice cream.
- (You could just add all the ice cream and berries, at once, but I discovered that the drink is prettier and more colorful if you do it in layers like this.)
- Add the last ½ cup of ice cream and then the rest of the raspberries.
- Add just enough lemon lime soda to finish filling the glass and raise a bit of foam above the rim of the glass.
- Garnish with a mint leaf.
- Add a straw and serve.
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