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Autumn has officially arrived and apple cider has begun to pop up at farmers’ markets. This makes me really excited because it means it’s time to enjoy one of my favourite treats of the season – sparkling apple cider floats.
Made with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with delicious, homemade salted caramel sauce, these floats are just so amazing. They are like having the best apple pie in an icy cold glass.
I’ve recently returned from from a trip to Calgary, Alberta, where I spent some wonderful time visiting with family. I used to live there for a number of years, so it gives me that cozy, nostalgic feeling of visiting ‘home’.
Alberta is naturally quite beautiful with vibrant skies and mountains peaking on the horizon. My bestie Nikki and I happened to be visiting at the same time. She captured some of the stunning clouds in this image she took of me. To see more of her amazing photography and art, visit her at Nikki Harrison Photography. She is doing the most amazing Santa Claus sessions this month!
My travel companion, little Miu, enjoyed spending time in my mother’s garden. She has perfected the art of carefully plucking ripe raspberries from the bush without damaging any of the stems. I only had to help by holding down the tallest branches to be within her reach. Berries are her favourite!
On the last day of my visit I made us all a final little farewell treat – these sparkling apple cider floats. What a deliciously sweet note to end my trip on.
I love to make things from scratch. It’s really nice knowing exactly what’s going in your food, and cutting down on preservatives and additives. In this case, I made my own salted caramel sauce. But if you want to skip this step, you can always use store bought caramel sauce to make this recipe extra easy and quick to throw together.
how to make salted caramel sauce
Salted caramel sauce is super easy to make. Simply melt sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it melts into an amber liquid. Be very careful not to burn it. Stoves can vary, so if yours seems too hot, turn it down to low to avoid burning the sugar.
As soon as the sugar has melted, immediately add the butter. Carefully stir while it bubbles and melts into the sugar. If they begin to separate, briefly remove the pan from the heat and whisk to recombine. Once the butter has melted, slowly pour in the cream then let it boil for a minute.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the salt. The caramel sauce will thicken as it cools. Allow it to cool and thicken a bit before using it on your floats. Store any unused sauce in an airtight container in your fridge for up to a couple weeks.
how to make sparkling apple cider floats
Start by chilling your glasses in the freezer. Then, if you are making your own caramel sauce, make that now.
Once the glasses are nice and cold, and the caramel sauce has cooled enough so as not to melt the ice cream, scoop in however much vanilla bean ice cream you would like. Try to get good quality ice cream with real flecks of vanilla beans.
Next, top off the ice cream with equal amounts of apple cider and sparkling apple cider. Drizzle your yummy caramel sauce on top, and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg. Your sparkling apple cider floats are ready to devour!
Looking for another drinkable autumn treat? Check out my Honeycrisp Apple Sangria.Print
These delicious sparkling apple cider floats are made with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with homemade salted caramel sauce. The perfect autumn treat.
vanilla bean ice cream
1/2 apple cider
1/2 sparkling apple cider
freshly grated nutmeg
star anise pods (optional)
Salted Caramel Sauce (makes 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
Chill glassware in the freezer.
If you are making your own caramel sauce, do it now following the instructions below. Once the caramel has cooled enough so as not to melt the ice cream, continue to the next step.
Take your chilled glassware out of the freezer and fill them with as much ice cream as you’d like. Top them off with equal amounts of apple cider and sparkling apple cider. Drizzle caramel on top, followed by a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it melts into an amber liquid. (If your stovetop seems too hot, lower heat to low to avoid burning the sugar.)
Immediately add butter and stir carefully while it bubbles and melts into the sugar. If they separate, briefly remove pan from heat and whisk to recombine.
Once the butter has melted, slowly pour in cream then let boil for 1 minute.
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in salt. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Allow it to cool and thicken a bit before using it on your floats.
Store any unused caramel sauce covered in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. Warm it up a bit to make it runnier if necessary.
Keywords: apple cider floats