Easy Cold Brew Float



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Sweet, cold and refreshing, this easy cold brew float is a great way to enjoy your coffee when it’s warm outside and you’re in need a little pick me up.

A mash up of a traditional Italian affogato and ice cream float, my coffee float recipe is quick and easy to make at home with just a handful of ingredients.

So if you love cold brew and ice cream, you’re going to love this cold brew coffee ice cream float recipe!

glass of cold brew with ice cream.

What Is A Cold Brew Float?

Made by combining cold coffee with ice cream and flavored syrup, a cold brew float is the perfect adult version of your favourite childhood drink.

An ice cream float, also known in parts of the world as an ice cream soda or a spider, is traditionally made by combining soft drink or soda with ice cream and flavored syrup.

Originating in the US in the late 19th Century, many countries around the world now have their own versions of this sweet and creamy drink, popular with kids and adults alike.

Then in the 20th century after the invention of the espresso machine, the Italians created the affogato, a simple coffee dessert made with a scoop of ice cream and a shot of hot espresso.

So somewhere after the invention of the ice cream float and the affogato was the ingenious creation of the coffee float.

Several large chains have an ice coffee float on the menu – including the Starbucks cold brew float – cementing its popularity amongst coffee drinkers.

2 glasses of iced coffee ice cream float alongside green napkin.

Why You’ll Love This Cold Brew Coffee Float Recipe

I’m of the personal opinion that anything with ice cream added will be good! But, apart from this big reason why you’re bound to love this float recipe, it’s also fabulous because:

  • It’s quick and easy to make.
  • There are so many ways to customize this recipe with different ice cream flavors and coffee syrups.
  • Not only is it a refreshing coffee drink, you can serve it as an easy coffee dessert too!

If you love cold brew, you may also like to try this salted caramel cold brew, or one of these cold brew recipes.

Cold Brew Coffee Float Ingredients

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make this coffee float. The specific quantities and steps are listed in the recipe card below, so here I just want to touch on each of the ingredients that make this recipe so delicious!

To make a cold brew float you will need the following ingredients:

  • Cold brew coffee
  • Ice cream
  • Flavored syrup
  • Ice cubes.

Cold Brew Coffee

I like to use homemade cold brew coffee for cold coffee drinks recipes as it has a smooth taste I enjoy.

The easiest way to make a batch of cold brew coffee at home is in a cold brew coffee maker or french press coffee maker – see my guide to making it here.

Note if you’re are a first time cold brew coffee brewer, it will take 12-16 hours to brew a batch of cold brew, so you’ll need to plan ahead to make cold brew coffee based drinks.

Alternatively, there are plenty of ready to go cold brew concentrates, canned and bottled cold brew coffee options available in the supermarket and online.

Ice Cream

The classic choice for a float is vanilla ice cream. It pairs beautifully with coffee and any syrup too.

But you can experiment with different ice cream flavors as there are so many other good options! I use caramel ice cream in this recipe, as I was in the mood for a caramel coffee float.

Note: If you’re adding syrup too, I recommend you match or pair the flavor of the ice cream with the syrup.

Flavored Syrup

Traditional ice cream sodas and floats use flavored syrup, and many coffee float recipes use syrups too. I use salted caramel syrup in this recipe – the syrup adds extra sweetness and flavor to the float.

The syrup is, however, optional and if you want to reduce the calorie total or you don’t want the extra sweetness you can easily cut the syrup from the recipe.

top view of cold brew coffee float.

Recipe Substitutions

I talk about different ice cream and flavor combinations below, but in terms of ingredient substitutions, the main one to consider is the type of coffee you use.

  • Coffee – I use cold brew for this recipe, but if you’re not a fan, then don’t worry as you can use any type of coffee to make an iced coffee float. French press, espresso, pour over, or drip filter coffee will all work equally well – just be sure to chill your brew in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

Considering a new coffee maker? Find all my coffee machine reviews here.

Different Coffee Ice Cream Float Combinations

The beauty of a cold brew coffee float (like any cold brew coffee drink really) is there a million different ways you can customize it with ice cream flavors and flavored syrups, even different coffee beans.

So while I have a specific recipe to share with you below, don’t limit yourself – as there are loads of coffee ice cream float combinations you can try to make it your own. Some good alternative combinations include:

  1. Vanilla coffee float – vanilla syrup and ice cream added to ice coffee.
  2. Chocolate coffee float – chocolate sauce and chocolate (or vanilla) ice cream with coffee.
  3. Nitro cold brew float – use canned nitro coffee and vanilla ice cream for a more traditional carbonated ice coffee float experience.
  4. Toffee coffee float – toffee ice cream and butter toffee syrup with your cold brew.
  5. Coffee coffee float – coffee ice cream with coffee syrup for the ultimate caffeinated beverage!
  6. Coconut coffee float – coconut ice cream with cold brew, similar in flavor to this coconut cold brew recipe.

How To Make A Coffee Float At Home

Okay let’s take a look at the steps to make your delicious cold brew ice cream float at home. For the full recipe and ingredient list, scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Step 1: Prepare Your Glass. If you’re using syrup, drizzle the inside of your glass with your flavored syrup of choice. Use as little or as much as you like!

Then drop 3 or 4 ice cubes into your glass. The ice cubes chill your glass and help slow the rate of ice cream melting later.

process shot of how to make a coffee ice cream float.

Step 2: Add the coffee. Pour the cold coffee into your glass, leaving a little room in the top for your ice cream.

You may be asking why not do ice cream first? Well, you can! If you have always made your ice cream sodas by adding the ice cream first, swap this step around with the next one.

Note you won’t get the volcanic type eruption you usually do when you add soft drink (soda) to ice cream, as the coffee is not carbonated (unless you use Nitro coffee!).

process shot 2 for how to make coffee float.

Step 3: Top with ice cream. Finally, top your coffee with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy your cup of sweet, creamy coffee deliciousness.

Recipe Tips For Success

Some quick tips for the best tasting coffee float:

  • Ensure your coffee is chilled otherwise it will rapidly melt your ice cream.
  • Chilling your glass with ice cubes for a few minutes also helps keep the drink cold.
  • Use a strong cold brew for a nicely caffeinated drink.
front view of iced coffee float in glass.

More Cold Coffee Recipes You’ll Love

If you loved this cold brew coffee ice cream float recipe, try some of these cold coffee recipes:

Find more coffee drinks recipes here or browse all our coffee recipes.

Did you make this recipe? I would appreciate you rating the recipe and leaving a review!

coffee float with ice cream in short glass.

Easy Cold Brew Float

Cold and sweet, this easy cold brew float recipe is perfect for Summer coffee drinks or a quick and easy coffee dessert. Enjoy plain or add your favourite coffee syrup for an extra boost of sweetness.
4.50 from 2 votes
Servings: 1 drink
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 cup Cold brew coffee
  • 1 scoop Ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon Salted caramel sauce optional, note 1
  • Ice cubes


  • If using caramel (or other flavored) sauce, first drizzle the inside walls of the glass with the sauce.
  • Add 3 or 4 ice cubes to the glass.
  • Pour the cold brew coffee over the top of the ice cubes.
  • Top the drink with a scoop of your favourite ice cream (I used caramel ice cream) and enjoy.


  1. Using flavored sauce is completely optional and sweetens the drink. I recommend you match the sauce flavor with your ice cream.
  2. You can use any flavor ice cream you like. The ice cream flavor you choose will then flavor your coffee. Ice cream flavors that pair well with coffee include vanilla, caramel, toffee and chocolate.
  3. I use home made cold brew coffee, but any kind of cooled coffee works well – including brewed, french press and even espresso. Just make sure you chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes after brewing or else your ice cream will melt too fast.
  4. You can also use store bought cold brew concentrate. Simply dilute as per the instructions on the bottle.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Rachel Rodda
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Did You Make This?Leave a comment and let me know how it was!

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coffee float with text reads cold brew ice cream float.
glass of coffee with ice cream and text reads coffee ice cream float.
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Rachel Rodda

It's no surprise that as a former barista and founder of Creators of Coffee, I'm obsessed with all things coffee. I love to share easy and delicious coffee recipes, expert brewing tips and helpful coffee gear reviews with my fellow coffee lovers!

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