Taste Test: A&W Float And Sunkist Float

to popular demand and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies,
The A.V. Club will now regularly
feature "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new
edibles for future installments: E-mail us at

Float and Sunkist Float

in the day, Mr.
ran a
series of brilliant fake commercials for the combined mustard/mayonnaise
products mayostard, mustardayonnaise, and mustmayostardayonnaise; these ads
spoofed the perennial mania for combining, in one unwieldy package,
complementary food items too long segregated by the cruel dictates of the free

Let's face it: Some things go
together like peanut butter and chocolate, peaches and cream, and McGovern and
Eagleton. So in the proud tradition of Smucker's Goober (peanut butter and
jelly in the same bottle!) comes A&W;'s Float and Sunkist Float. No longer
must mankind waste precious seconds painstakingly finding glasses, then scooping
ice cream into said glasses, before finally topping them off with frosty root
beer or, um, Sunkist orange soda. Who has the time for all that? The Queen of

These floats promise a time-
and perhaps even life-saving combination of "rich A&W;" or "Sunkist Soda"
with "Ice Cream Flavor." The key word in that last sentence is, of course,
"flavor." These floats aren't promising ice cream, but rather a vague, fuzzy,
wildly unsatisfying approximation. Think of it as a slightly more palatable
version of mustardayonnaise.

A quick note on packaging:
The stylishly designed retro bottles these floats come in are surprisingly
heavy and substantial. One doomed Sunkist Float bottle quickly ripped through a
plastic bag, shattered, and emptied its contents onto the sidewalk mere seconds
after being purchased. So even if the taste of the A&W; Float leaves you
cold, it may prove useful as a murder weapon, or a tool for good old-fashioned

A consensus
formed rapidly about the taste of both misbegotten floats. Most tasters agreed
that the Sunkist Float tastes like a melted creamsicle. When asked if this was
good or bad, one A.V.
answered, "Do you like room-temperature creamsicles? If you saw a creamsicle
melted on the sidewalk, would you stop to lick it up?" We're gonna take that as
a "bad."

A&W; Float fared no better, with most testers agreeing that it smelled like
Bailey's Irish Cream and tasted like a sickly-sweet mixture of melted caramel
and heavy cream. Incidentally, while neither drink has much carbonated
snap—though upon opening, the Sunkist Float did explode all over Kyle
Ryan's work area—a good bit of weird science was involved in trying to
recapture the trademark foam and fizz of the real thing. In addition to such
folksy ingredients as propylene glycol alginate and phosphoric acid, both
floats contain nitrous oxide (a.k.a. laughing gas) as a foam-generating agent.
Judging by the response to these bad boys, it looks like the old-fashioned
root-beer float may not be a thing of the past after all.



"Oh, yuck. It's foamy, thick, and nasty-looking. Even for something with a
Sunkist base, it's still got a really unnaturally bright color."

"If you could freeze it, it wouldn't be that bad."

"It's almost nauseatingly sweet."

"The point of a creamsicle is the cold and the texture. Drinking something this
cloying and sugary is just kind of repulsive."

"So... sweet..."

"Tastes like summer at grandma's house."

"Okay, that's something I never have to taste again."

"If you left a can of Sunkist open on your kitchen counter for a day, then
poured melted Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream into it, it'd taste about like

"Oh my God, it's so

"It doesn't taste too bad, but it's like drinking something melted."


"It looks like stale café au lait. Like the dregs of someone's Starbucks

"It's also roughly the same color as the cheeseburger in a can."

"Oh yeah, it's terrible."

"Have you ever had yogurt milk? It's sort of like that."

"Part of me feels like the contents of my stomach are coming right back out."

"Smells like Baileys, tastes like Baileys with no alcohol."

"A very poor approximation of what a root-beer float tastes like."

"Who could drink a whole bottle of this? It's so rich."

"Who would want to drink a bottle of something with the texture of gluey melted
ice cream?"

"It's not that

"Really? Try smelling it again. Take a deep, long whiff, and then try to drink
some more of it. Ugh."

to get one:
stores, 7-Elevens.