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  • artfullyalissa

How to create a stunning vintage-inspired build-your-own ice cream soda bar for your next patriotic event

I love a stunning vintage inspired moment, especially with the antiques I've been collecting over the years! With Memorial Day and July Fourth around the corner, I wanted to create a classic ice cream soda bar, considering it's a quintessential American treat. While there are several origin stories, the drugstore ice cream soda became a cultural phenomenon.

As the spring starts heating up, cool down with your own version of an ice cream soda bar right at home or your backyard!

Creating a patrioitc bar

Red, white and blue are marching along this beautiful antique table with vintage accent pieces. When recreating at home, look for items in your home, at a local thrift store or antique store that fit the color scheme and vintage nature of the bar, such as:

  • Patriotic bunting *Found at a local craft store, Home Goods or even Target

  • Antique home decor including stars, milk jug, molding, or accents in red, white and blue

  • Ribbon for glassware

  • Goblets for ice cream *Mine are from Fitz & Floyd!

  • Metal stand *Home Goods had this great tiered find!

Not everything has to be antique - it's absolutely okay to find items that you already own or even ones that fit the vibe!

Patriotic ice cream soda bar
ice cream float

Delicious and classic toppings

Of course you can't have a ice cream soda bar without root beer and soda in glass bottles! When choosing toppings, select fresh ingredients and premium ice cream. On this bar, we included delicious yet classic offerings for guests:

  • Tillamook Ice Cream *pick a few different flavors! We selected vanilla and strawberry, YUM!

  • Strawberries

  • Dark cherries

  • Cherry simple syrup

  • Taffy

  • Coca Cola

  • Root beer

Having different options makes it easy for guests to make their favorite float combinations! You can even explore fruit flavors like orange with orange soda or a caramel ice cream with Coca many decadent floats!

Fitz and Floyd Trestle glasses

Patriotic touches throughout

Given the patriotic theme, I infused iconic touches throughout including red and white checkered ribbon around the glasses and bottles as well as themed paper straws to easily sip the floats with. Of course, an American flag is a must along with bunting and a banner! These little details go a long way and add a touch of sophisticated whimsy.

ice cream soda bar
Patriotic Coca Cola

Tips for serving ice cream

Ice cream is by far one of my favorite treats, but with the summer heat it melts quite easily. For an entertaining trick, use two metal baking pans or cookie sheets, adding ice to the bottom then stacking the second one on top of the ice to use for the scooped ice cream. This trick will keep the frozen treat cold for much longer and let's you keep the dessert out as guests enjoy building their own floats.

How to serve ice cream


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