If you don't spring for champagne for your next party, here's another way to end the night with some delicious tiny bubbles. I first served these at my holiday party last year and, as my guests quickly discovered, these aren't your run of the mill float.
This dessert was inspired by Tom's, the well-known diner that I'm lucky enough to have right on my corner here in Brooklyn. Tom's serves up old-fashioned chocolate ice cream sodas in tall soda fountain glasses, but I've switched mine around so they can be eaten standing up at the end of a crowded cocktail party. Just make sure you have enough spoons.
Mini Chocolate Ice Cream Sodas
1/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
3/4 cup seltzer water (must be very fizzy, open a new bottle for this)
1/2 pint premium chocolate ice cream
Stir the milk and the chocolate syrup together in a pitcher. Add the seltzer water. When you pour in the seltzer water, the drink will get foamy, so be sure to use a large pitcher. Taste to make sure there is a nice balance between the sweetness of the chocolate milk and the bitterness the seltzer helps to bring out.
Pour the soda into the serving glasses, filling each glass about 2/3 of the way full. Put two small scoops of ice cream in each glass. (To make the assembly process faster, if there's space in the freezer, you can pre-scoop the ice cream and freeze the scoops on wax-paper lined cookie sheets.) The mini-sodas can be garnished with homemade whipped cream, maraschino cherries, or even some sprinkles. At the party, I served mine with cut-out Christmas cookies.