Have you ever tried your hand at molecular mixology? You know, that delightful take on science and cocktails that is showing up everywhere? It's responsible for crazy concoctions such as gelatinous cocktails and freeze dried powdery libations. It is the reinvention of the cocktail as we know it and is simultaneously fascinating and intimidating. Or so I thought.
I was tinkering in our test kitchen with an isi whipper I've used for making whipped cream. I had seen some videos on how to make foams or "espumas" as they are sometimes called and I decided to go about trying to make one. Guess what? It's not hard. Here's what I did:
1 12 oz. bottle of root beer
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 tsp. gelatin OR xanthan gum
1 oz. bourbon or jagermeister (optional)
whipped cream charger
Pour all of root beer along with the scoop of ice cream into a pot. We used Boylan's but any good quality root beer will work. Turn heat on to low and heat just until ice cream is melted. Don't boil or the ice cream will separate. Take off heat immediately after ice cream has melted. Add gelatin or xanthan gum. These work as a stabilizer as well as an emulsifier. Place lid on whipper and chill in fridge for at least two hours.
After chilling, remove whipper from fridge and shake. Charge twice with NO2 cartridge. My hunch is that a CO2 cartridge would work also, but I have not tried it. Shake well. Pour into cup or bowl.
The BEST part of a root beer float is the foam and this is ALL foam. It is delicious, refreshing and fun! If you don't have a whipper, try blending with an emersion blender or even a regular blender after chilling. It may incorporate enough air to create a foam.
As an adult treat, we pour over a shot of bourbon or jagermeister.