It's pretty hot in these here parts, but we've been partying like crazy. We have a lot of summer birthdays and anniversaries in our family (as well as a wedding coming up and a baby on the way) so we've been celebrating something pretty much every weekend. It's great to sit out in the yard and soak up summer, but these desert days have been just a little too hot for my taste. This ice cream soda bar is a great (and easy) way to cool off at a party or family gathering.
We needed some supplies for this one, since (A) this family party was at my parent's house so our part needed to be semi-mobile and (B) the last time I tried to do a refrigerated dessert outside, our bucket of ice was no match for the Utah heat. Luckily Walmart had a good price on a Coleman cooler that is the perfect size and is easy to roll around, so I was able to pack all of our party supplies into it. A couple of bags of ice later, this only took about five minutes to set up!
For the ice cream sodas, I picked up pint-sized canning jars, four flavors of ice cream, some whipped cream, a lime, maraschino cherries, paper straws, and some Dr. Pepper. I knew we'd need a lot, so I considered just grabbing some 2-liter bottles, but I am a huge sucker for party items that are ever-so-slightly miniature so I ended up going with some teeny cans and bottles. It was a good call, too, because everyone was delighted with how little they were and they were the perfect size for an ice cream soda.
To make the sodas as easy as possible (and melt-proof in the summer heat), I scooped the flavors of ice cream I had picked up into the canning jars, sealed them, and then wrote the flavor on top. Keeping them on ice in the Coleman cooler kept them from melting (even after an hour!) and everyone was able to choose their own combo of ice cream and toppings.
The kids were partial to the chocolate and vanilla ice cream sodas, but my sister really liked the coconut flavor with a little lime (ever had a Dirty Dr. Pepper?) and I was a big fan of the lime sherbet.
You could serve these in regular glasses, of course, but the canning jars make it easy because you can scoop the ice cream ahead of time and then you don't have to fuss with it during the party. Plus, there's something so summer about hanging out with a mason jar of something cool and sweet while you're poolside (even if it's a kid-sized pool).