Great Baltimore cocktails, The Root Beer Float at Sweet Caroline's

Let's face it -- you need more dessert cocktails in your life.

Generally underrepresented in bars and restaurants, these post-meal libations always aim to please the palate with sweetness and strength. They are long thought to aid in digestion and further throw your stuffed face into a food coma. So why not, while you're at it, combine the classic taste of a root beer float with some booze? Locust Point newcomer Sweet Caroline's (not associated with Neil Diamond) has done such a thing and the results are pretty devilish.

The Root Beer Float consists of Three Olives Root Beer vodka, Licor 43 (a "cream soda/vanilla" liqueur), lots of cola and topped with heavy whipping cream. The cream is fresh and handmade, as we saw bartender Zack Barbour pull out a large chilled bowl full of the fluffy goodness and spoon out a heavy dollop, liberally coated with Mr. Boston Black Raspberry liqueur. There's a cherry topper, naturally.

The Root Beer Float certainly tastes like root beer if not a bit sweet for my teeth. It could possibly use an actual root beer product with less sugar, such as Barq's (it has bite!) to really drive home the flavor, though 3 Olives is a pretty flavor-blasted line. However, the instant you take your straw and mix up the cocktail and get that magical whipped cream into the mix, the Root Beer Float transforms into a rich, mellow and very satisfying dessert experience worthy of your hard-earned cash. Lactose intolerant need not apply.

Barbour explains that there's more than one way to enjoy the Root Beer Float as well. "Sometimes people get funky with it and we put a layer of vanilla gelato on the bottom and layer the drink," he says. That results in a concoction that can be consumed a layer at a time, akin to everyone's time-honored favorite the Mind Eraser. And that sounds like a must try as well. Vanilla gelato and booze? Sold.

Just be sure to avoid brain freeze while simultaneously enjoying responsibly.

How to make the Root Beer Float

1 1/2 oz. Three Olives Root Beer Vodka

1/2 oz. Licor 43


Heavy whipping cream

Mr. Boston Black Raspberry liqueur


Combine vodka, Licor 43 and cola into an iced pint glass. Top liberally with heavy whipping cream. Garnish with a cherry.

Where to get the Root Beer Float

Sweet Caroline's

1401 E. Clement St., Locust Point



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