Peanut, Pepsi & Bourbon Float Recipe: The Gold Standard of Ice Cream Floats? (You Decide) by Ann Marie Patitucci
I recently came across a boozy float recipe that grabbed my attention. PBS Food posted a recipe for a peanut, Pepsi and bourbon float, calling it a “foaming spectacle of sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy and boozy.”
If Summer had an official drink, it would be this one. This foaming spectacle of sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy, and boozy is the gold standard of ice cream floats. (From @PBSFood) https://t.co/gpIY6Xxdw1
— PBS (@PBS) July 22, 2022
I had never heard of such a recipe and was intrigued by the PBS description, so I did some digging. I learned that this is Chef Vivian Howard’s recipe, one that she included in her book Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes From My Corner of the South and shared on the Rachael Ray Show a few years back. While on the show she explained that the float is her “take on a farm snack from Eastern North Carolina” and that Pepsi originated in New Bern, N.C.
I find the entire story interesting, but I especially appreciate that even today PBS refers to this dessert as “the gold standard of ice cream floats.” Such high praise encouraged me to share the recipe with you here.
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 24 hours to chill and freeze ice cream
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes plus 24 hours to chill and freeze ice cream
- 2 cups peanut ice cream (recipe below)
- 16 ounces Pepsi
- 4 ounces bourbon (optional)
Peanut Ice Cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 cups salt-roasted peanuts (divided)
- 8 egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Here's how to make it:
- To make the ice cream, in a 1-quart container with a lid, stir together the milk, heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups peanuts. Keep in the refrigerator overnight. Roughly chop the remaining peanuts and set aside.
- The next day, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, sugar and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the heavy cream and peanut mixture to just under a boil. Slowly whisk half of this mixture into the yolks, taking care not to scramble them. Transfer the tempered yolks to the saucepan, and, stirring the whole time, cook until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain it all through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the tired peanuts. Chill the ice cream base thoroughly, ideally overnight. Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of freezing, pour in the chopped peanuts. Let this ice cream spend at least 3 hours in your freezer before serving.
- To serve, chill four glasses. Drop a nice scoop of peanut ice cream in the bottom of the glass, top with roughly 1/2 cup Pepsi and finish with bourbon, if desired. (If you'd like to make this a virgin drink for the kids, just skip the bourbon!)
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