September 16, 2016 • FOOD, RECIPE

Recipe for Peanut, Pepsi & Bourbon Floats

Vivian Howard, chef and proprietor of celebrated Kinston, NC-based restaurants Chef & The Farmer and Boiler Room Oyster Bar, is one of the top talents at this weekend’s Music City Wine + Food Festival. She’s also about to come out with her first cookbook. Titled Deep Run Roots, the book is her love letter to the food culture of her region.

Vivian shared this intriguing recipe for Peanut, Pepsi & Bourbon Floats with us below. Drink up! (You can also find her recipe for Roasted & Fresh Tomato Pie right here.)


“From the tobacco field to a swanky dining room, our region’s work snack is now a tall glass of fabulous,” writes Vivian Howard in Deep Run Roots. “This foaming spectacle of sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy, and boozy is the gold standard of ice cream floats.” (Image credit: Rex Miller.)

Peanut, Pepsi, & Bourbon Float from Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard
Serves 4

Ingredients for the Float
2 cups Peanut Ice Cream (recipe below)
16 ounces Pepsi
4 ounces bourbon (optional)

Ingredients for Peanut Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups salt-roasted peanuts, divided
8 egg yolks
A tiny pinch salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a 1-quart container with a lid, stir together the milk, heavy cream, and 1½ cups of the peanuts. Tuck this in the refrigerator overnight. Roughly chop the remaining peanuts and set aside.

The next day, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the heavy cream and peanut mixture to just under a boil. Slowly whisk half of this mixture into the yolks, taking care not to scramble the eggs. Transfer the tempered yolks to the saucepan, and, stirring the whole time, cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Strain it all through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the tired peanuts. Chill the ice cream base thoroughly—ideally overnight. Process the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions on your frozen dessert machine. During the last few minutes of freezing, pour in the chopped peanuts. Let this ice cream spend at least 3 hours in your freezer before serving.

To serve, chill 4 glasses. Drop a nice scoop of Peanut Ice Cream in the bottom of the glass, top with roughly ½ cup Pepsi, and finish with bourbon to your liking.

Read our Q&A with chef Vivian Howard right here and get her recipe for Fresh & Roasted Tomato Pie here. You can also check out Vivian’s food truck book tour schedule and pre-order Deep Run Roots here.