Coney Island Brewery has been killing it on the hard-soda front for almost a year. It was ahead of last fall’s hard root beer trend, and released a hard orange cream ale and hard ginger ale earlier this summer. (And a Coney rep says to look out for another new flavor soon!) With ice cream having its moment, they wondered, how can we improve on the root beer float?
The answer took a little collaborative effort, with the brewery enlisting the dessert mavens at Sugar and Plumm (377 Amsterdam Ave.) to combine their hard sodas with summer’s essential treat. First, that better root beer float: Bourbon and bacon make for worthy additions to hard root beer and Tahitian vanilla ice cream in the Bacon Me Crazy float. The Mango Tango Milkshake is the grown-up Orange Julius your life was missing since you stopped hanging out at malls.
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But the winner is the Fireworks Float, blending hard ginger ale with raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, topped with red and blue ribbons of fruit syrup over whipped cream and garnished with red, white and blue star-shaped gummies. Not too sweet yet still completely indulgent, it’s enough to make you stand up and salute (but not alcoholic enough to fall over).
Coney’s hard sodas can also be found in cocktails and floats at Crown Heights’ boozy bakery Butter & Scotch, and the sailors of Brooklyn Barge just off the coast in Greenpoint have created some proper alternatives to grog and mead. The treats will be available through Labor Day.