Vanilla Ice Cream Soda

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

With very little effort you can make an awesome ice cream soda in your own kitchen. The ingredients are easy enough to come by: seltzer, milk, vanilla syrup, and vanilla ice cream, but as with any deceptively simple dish, it's worthwhile to splurge on the top of the line stuff; for me that means making a homemade quick vanilla bean simple syrup (the leftovers are great for cocktails or iced coffee!) and using either homemade ice cream or my favorite store bought vanilla. Creamy and sweet, this is makes for a nice cool down treat on a hot day, just make sure you have a straw or two on hand for optimal sipping enjoyment.

One of the joys of the ice cream soda is that as the ice cream melts it further sweetens the drink. With that in mind, I only include a tablespoon of syrup. If you have a sweet tooth feel free to add a bit more to taste.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Soda

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 1
Active time:5 minutes
Total time:5 minutes
Special equipment:large glass, long spoon
This recipe appears in: American Classics: Vanilla Ice Cream Soda


  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean syrup (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup homemade or best quality store bought vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup seltzer


  1. 1

    In a tall glass, add vanilla syrup and milk and use a long spoon to mix together thoroughly. Top with several scoops of ice cream and 1/2 to 1 cup of seltzer depending on the capacity of your glass. Serve immediately.


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