The Boston cooler is like a root beer float with a kick. James Vernor created this ice cream drink in the late 1800s using his signature ginger soda, which has a slightly spicy finish. Make your own ginger syrup to give your float a fresh twist. Customize the syrup with a little lemon zest for a hint of citrus or a vanilla bean to play up the creaminess of vanilla ice cream.
Things You'll Need
- Granulated sugar
- Fresh ginger
- Microplane or a sharp knife
- Dried ginger (optional)
- Fine mesh strainer or sieve
- Lidded container
- Vanilla ice cream
- Ice cream scoop
- Seltzer or club soda
- Tall glass
Combine granulated sugar and water in a saucepan set over medium heat. Vary the ratio of sugar to water according to how sweet you want the syrup to be. For a fairly sweet syrup, use equal parts sugar and water or 1 part sugar to 1 1/4 parts water. For a less sweet syrup, combine 1 part sugar with 2 parts water.
Wash a piece of fresh, unpeeled ginger under hot water before grating it with a microplane or slicing it into pieces. Reserve the juice and the pulp.
Add the ginger to the saucepan once the water and sugar mixture begins to boil. Or whisk in a small amount of dried ground ginger for even more intense ginger flavor.
Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer over medium or medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it is finished, the liquid should be reduced by about half and slightly thickened to a syrupy consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a lidded container. Chill the mixture before using it. The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for five to 14 days.
Remove vanilla ice cream from the freezer. Let it sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes to allow it to soften slightly.
Add 1 part of the homemade ginger syrup for every 5 parts of seltzer or club soda to a tall glass. Use more or less syrup, according to taste. Only add enough seltzer to fill the glass two-thirds full. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
Place two to three scoops of vanilla ice cream in the glass. Top it with more seltzer. Insert a straw and spoon into the glass and serve the drink immediately.