Guilty Pleasures

Not Your Father's Root Beer Ice Cream Float is a Tipsy Summer Treat

The Guilty Pleasure: Not Your Father's Root Beer Float
Where to Get It: Luci's at The Orchard
Price: $10
What it Really Costs: A fast and furious sugar rush, followed quickly by the feeling of sweet, booze-induced fatigue. You might want to block out some nap time in your schedule after eating this. 

This month, Luci's at The Orchard PHX, the marketplace and cafe that's part of the bucolic new two-acre food and drink venue in north central Phoenix, introduced a new item on their bar menu: Not Your Father's Root Beer Floats. 

If you have even a passing interest in the world of craft beer, you've probably already tried Not Your Father's Root Beer. The beer, which was first brewed by Tim Kovac of Small Town Brewery, in tiny Wauconda, Illinois, was a near-instant sensation shortly after it started popping up in Chicago bars last year. 

Not Your Father's Root Beer has become popular for the way it evokes the distinct flavors of an old-fashioned root beer, bringing together a proprietary blend of vanilla, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, and anise that is closely guarded by its brewers. And it's also become popular for its impressive alcohol content, which stands at about 5.9 percent alcohol by volume. Larger bottles contain 10.7 percent, and there's even a version that has an ABV of upwards of 19.5 percent. The high-alcohol content has stirred some controversy within the craft-brewing community, with some questioning whether Not Your Father's Root Beer is not actually a beer, but a malt beverage. 

But whatever it is, rest assured that Not Your Father's Root Beer tastes, well, like a delicious root beer soda. It's the thing to drink when you want a beer, and a high-octane beer at that, with none of the bitterness. It should go saying that, if you grew up loving root beer, this is the ideal adult analog to that beverage. 

Brittany Moore, a manager at Luci's at The Orchard, decided recently to take the boozy root beer to its natural, fullest expression by turning it into a full-blown ice cream float. Her float is made using two scoops of the house vanilla gelato and a bottle of the boozy root beer, the treat topped with lavish puffs of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. The cherry on top is optional, but why wouldn't you want a little extra bit of sugar on top of your sugar?  

It's as delicious as you might expect, the fizziness of the adult root beer mingling with the creaminess of the ice cream, and the whole thing melting together for one unrelentingly sweet and boozy treat. It's summer time, so why not? 

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.