Sunday, August 6, 2017

"Oh, Kaye!" chats about Root Beer Floats


Did you know today is National Root Beer Float Day?



So.  Let's go float a scoop of vanilla ice cream in an ice cold mug of frothy root beer.  It’s National Root Beer Float Day!
Also known as the “Black Cow,” the root beer float got its start in Colorado in a mining camp. Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado, gets the credit for inventing the “Black Cow”  way back in August of 1893.
One night Wisner, owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company, was staring out the window and thinking about the line of soda waters he was producing for the citizens of Cripple Creek when he came upon an idea.  The full moon that night shined on the snow-capped Cow Mountain and reminded him of a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  He hurried back to his bar and scooped a spoonful of ice cream into the children’s favorite flavor of soda, Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. After trying, he liked it and served it the very next day.  It was an immediate hit.
Wisner named the new creation, “Black Cow Mountain” but the local children shortened the name to “Black Cow”.
Since its inception, thousands of root beer floats have been enjoyed around the country each day.

Several by Don Barley, who may be the biggest 










Annabelle says, "Wow.  Want, please"


So, of course she got one too.  Sans the Root Beer.





There are also several recipes for "Adult Root Beer Floats"



Vanilla Vodka Root Beer Float - 
Scoop 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a glass. Fill halfway up with root beer.
Pour 1 shot of vanilla vodka (about 1.5 ounces) and then top with root beer to fill to the top of the glass.





Rum N’ Root Beer Float -

Vanilla Ice Cream
Root Beer
2 oz. Dark Rum
Fill a tall glass with several healthy scoops of vanilla ice cream, pour in the dark rum and top off (slowly as it foams up) with the root beer

And . . . 


my fave,


Rachel Ray's Root Beer Russian Float


2 shots vodka
2 shots Kahlua
1 shot heavy cream
6 to 8 ounces root beer
1 scoop coffee ice cream
Whipped cream, for garnish
Maraschino cherry, for garnish



So.  Dear Reds.  Any Root Beer Float fans out there?  Or do you have a different fun drink you favor?

And how do these adult versions sound to you?  Donald said, "No Way!  Don't mess with a good thing!"

Annabelle says, "just give me the ice cream, please, and I'm a happy girl."

59 comments:

  1. National Root Beer Float Day? Didn’t have a clue . . . I think my mom made us root beer floats once when we were kids.
    Generally, I am not a soda drinker, though I may have to sample some of your adult root beer floats . . . thanks for the story of how root beer floats came to be and for the recipes.

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    1. I'm not a big soda drinker either, Joan, but I have to admit I look forward to Don's floats. I his official taste tester to make sure he got it "just right."

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  2. Something tells me I will be stopping off for some vanilla ice cream and root beer tomorrow. I don't go for the adult versions since I don't drink. I prefer Breyer's vanilla ice cream, but definitely have to have the A&W root beer. The two together is the best root beer float version.

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    1. Well, there ya go! Enjoy that float and some happy thoughts, Mark!

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  3. Rudely awakened by the hotel fire alarm at five , a.m., I am now unevacuated back to my room. Someone had the foresight to put a vat of coffee in the lobby. Therefore it's less painful then it might be. I shall try to go back to sleep with visions of root beer floats and trips to the A & W floating thru my head.

    An no, I don't think "unevacuated" is a word.

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    1. Perhaps you were repatriated, Ann. Why do such things always happen in the middle of the night? Why not over breakfast? Or just after dinner? Who is up, playing with fire, at 5 am?

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    2. Seems the steam from a shower set it off. On the bright side we got to meet dozens of dogs who were also guests, very happy to be outside for a wee

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    3. Ugh! What a way to start a day, Ann! I'm so sorry. We've been through that one time at a hotel with kitchenettes. A guest started cooking and fell asleep with his dinner on the stove. I was scared to death - firemen and smoke everywhere. When we finally got back to our room I couldn't sleep a wink. Have an adult drink - of your choice.

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    4. Oh, so terrible! It's just so jangling and disturbing to be awakened like that… Treat yourself to a root beer float today!

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  4. The taste for root beer somehow skipped right over me. My mother loved it, though, and my husband used to wax poetic over the relative merits of A&W, Dad's, Hire's, and who knows what other brands. I'm sure you'll hear a deep sigh of pleasure from at least one of the Reds on this topic, since Debs has been known to go to great lengths to get all the right ingredients for the perfect root beer float. I, however, remain firmly in Annabelle's camp. Just give me the ice cream.

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    1. Hahahaha - me too, Gigi, give me the ice cream, please. I did not know this about Debs! I'm going to be interested in hearing what her choices for the perfect root beer float are.

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  5. I adore root beer floats, never met one I didn't like. As soon as possible I plan to change natruct an adult version. Thanks Kaye

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    1. Let me know which adult version and what you think, Ann!

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  6. I can't remember when I last had a root beer float, but now that Kaye has planted the seed...I have fond memories of summer trips in the western states where there were A&Ws with car side service. We loved getting root beer floats and chocolate malts after spending the day outside exploring and horse back riding!

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    1. What a fun memory, Ingrid! Here's a idea - you and hubby fix your floats and go sit in the car with the radio on and recapture a little of that childhood memory. Shoot. I might do that too.

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  7. One per summer--Dad's or Hire's root beer and our local dairy's vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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    1. I second your YUM, Flora. Have you had your summer float yet this year, or is it still to come?

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  8. I've been a root beer enthusiast for as long as I can remember. I grew up drinking Frostie, but also remember Hires, A&W, Dad's, Mug, and Barq's (as well as the horrible store brands). I can still tell most of these brands apart by taste. I switched to diet many years ago so I didn't have to give it up completely. My younger son finds me new kinds every couple of years. Floats are pretty wonderful--I might have to find some ice cream today to observe the day properly.

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    1. Jim, Donald says he can tell the difference too and if I pick up something other than A&W thinking he might enjoy a "new" root beer, it just sits there. and sits there. until I finally just give it away, so over the years, I've learned to just stick with what he loves. Have a float today and enjoy!!

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    2. Agreed! Diet root beer… If it's the right kind… Is perfectly good!

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  9. We used to go to A & W all the time, isn't that right? I remember they were root beer stands, weren't there? Did I dream this?
    What I think it's so interesting about root beer floats – – what a great topic! – – Is that the combination of the ice cream and the root beer doesn't taste like a combination of ice cream and root beer. It taste like a completely different thing.
    I bet I have not had a root beer float for… 57 years. Whoa. And now I think the vodka version sounds pretty divine.

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    1. hahaha - No, dear one, you did not dream it. There were root beer stands - what happened to them? Why did they disappear?! And YES! Isn't it funny how that whole flavor change happens? And now in honor of it being a National day and all, have a float - kid's version or adult version. life is too short to pass up on a float. xxoo

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    2. Oh, whew, that is a relief. That's what friends are for. I seriously could not remember whether I had imagined it..

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  10. My husband has introduced many children to this delicacy on summer afternoons. I have never seen anyone who didn't love them. I remember the deep flavor of A&W at the stands. Did I hear a rumor that A&W is coming back?
    I would love to try the one with rum.

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    1. Your husband is a very good man, Denise Ann!

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    2. A&W, which became a fast food restaurant, at least in California, is now owned by the same company that owns Kentucky Fried Chicken. We have combination restaurants, Kentucky Fried Chicken with A & W too. They are not drive-ins, but you can walk in and still get a root beer float. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

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  11. I am not a root beer fan. I find it rather disgusting. So I don't do root beer floats. But when I was a teenager, I worked at the seasonal fast food place in the summer and I made a lot of root beer floats.

    A fun drink for me is lemonade and the varying flavors that have come to pass with the lemonade.

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    1. I love good lemonade. I used to love when you could get a lemon blend at soda fountains.

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  12. Well, I'm not a fan of vanilla ice cream(chocolate is the only flavor for me) and rarely drink soda, I won't be making a root beer float today. My mom, however, loved root beer floats and used to tell us about childhood summers spent rooting (ha!) around her neighborhood with her best friend, looking for bottles and cans to return to the store. After collecting their bottle return money, they would go to a nearby soda fountain (does anyone use that term anymore?) to buy a root beer and a cup of ice cream, and put together a root beer float to share with the friend.

    DebRo

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    1. I miss old soda fountains. I worked in one as a teenager, along with my best friend (who is still a best friend) - Whitey's Candy Store. Whitey was a judge, and he was the father of author John Barth.

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    2. We had a soda fountain a few blocks away when I was in the fourth grade. It was right next to an independent bookstore, so it was a big deal when Mom let us ride up there on our bikes without supervision. My favorite was a lime phosphate. Yum!

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  13. Yes, count me in on the root beer floats!! Although I'm not normally big on ice cream (unless home made) and I don't drink soft drinks at all--except for the very occasional root beer. And once or twice a summer I aim to combine the two into that most heavenly of creations, The Root Beer Float! I'm very picky about my ice cream (Haagen Daz preferred) and about my root beer. Like Don Barley, I can tell them apart by taste. Nix the ones made with high fructose corn syrup, ugh. And the more root beery, the better. My top rated root beer is Whole Foods 365 brand (and it's cheap!) but in honor of National Root Beer Float Day, I'm going to work with what I've got, which is Trader Joe's Premium Vanilla and Boylan's Root Beer.

    We had A&W root beer stands here in Texas, too. In fact, there was an A&W in my college town, and that's probably the last time I had a RB float that wasn't home made. What happened to the root beer stands? Is A&W still around?

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    1. Yay - I love that you'll be joining us in honoring National Root Beer Float Day. I have not tried Boylan's Root Beer and if I can find it I'll pick some up. Here's looking at you, kiddo

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    2. I would think your home made vanilla ice cream would top even Haagen Daz.

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  14. The "adult" versions don't sound good to me. I think half the appeal of the root beer float is pretending you're a kid.

    And I did try some "hard" root beer and thought it was horrible. Bottles still in my fridge somewhere....

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  15. Henry Weinhard's root beer and Breyers vanilla ice cream...a match made in heaven. While we're on the subject, and not to detract from the wonderfulness of floats, how about a hand for root beer freezes?

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    1. Absolutely!!! It's keeping it in the family, after all

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  16. I would be in Annabelle's camp, too, of just give me the ice cream. I never developed a taste for root beer, and it wasn't a part of my growing up. I don't remember root beer ever being in the house. However, I didn't miss out on floats. My mother would fix Seven-Up floats, and I thought they were delicious. They were an occasional treat, so that made them something to look forward to. Anyone else ever enjoyed a Seven-Up float?

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    1. I don't think I ever had a Seven-Up float! Coke Floats though, and Cherry Coke Floats.

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    2. Kathy, I remember having a Seven Up float with rainbow sherbet. Not sure if we ever had them with ice cream.

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    3. I'm pretty sure I had a Seven-Up float or two, now that you mention it, and definitely Coke floats.

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    4. At home, we had cream soda floats. I never tried root beer one but I will.

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  17. I was never very fond of root beer but I drank a LOT of Coke floats as a freshman in college. My dorm's cafeteria had a soda dispenser and the freezer case usually had slabs of vanilla ice cream. Made a great snack. In the late 70s my favorite ice cream drink was a grasshopper and I got really good at making them. Haven't had either drink in a long time.

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    1. Grasshpper! Oh my - I remember Grasshoppers!

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  18. Huh - I just happen to have Vanilla Haagen Dazs and some A&W root beer on hand - Woo hoo! I love a good Black Cow, which until now I had no idea was another name for a root beer float! Thanks for the fabulous post, Kaye!

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    1. It was a fun one to do, Jenn - cheers!

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  19. Not a rootbeer fan and I can barely tolerate cream soda. I'm a coke float girl. We used to go to the A&W rootbeer stand too. Didn't they have a bear as their logo? We used to go to birthday parties where the mom served drinks with 7Up and lime sherbet.

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  20. I adore root beer floats! I have a date next weekend to have one at Wrights in Centerbrook CT. I had the best float of my life there earlier this summer and hope to repeat that experience

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    1. Well, alrighty then!! Have one for yourself and then have one for me, please!

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  21. Oh, I could so get behind (or in front of) a vanilla vodka root beer float today - sounds spectacular! My MIL was a WAAC in WWII, she and her best friend would get together every year at no particular time and drink a beer float. It was somehow tied to wherever they were stationed in Texas. I think it was a ya hadda be there to be able to drink it, but drink it they did, right down to the dregs.

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    1. I love this story about your MIL! I will lift a glass to her, but it will not be a beer float. She's a better woman than I

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  22. We had a Leary's root beer when I was a kid, then that went out of business...Hires came next and I would go for that and Kimball's vanilla ice cream. People who don't like root beer generally don't care for Moxie either! and a float with Moxie is also very good. Never thought of an adult version.

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  23. Brings back memories! Love root beer floats. But, my grandmother made us Boston coolers, which I guess was supposed to be made with ginger ale. However, she called them that no matter what flavor of pop (POP! I'm from Ohio) was used. Loved orange or grape with the ice cream, or root beer. - A Boston Cooler or Vernor's float is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream. The origin of the term "Boston Cooler" lies in Detroit, Michigan, the city in which Fred Sanders is credited with inventing the ice cream soda.

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  24. Yum! I grew up with root beer and vanilla bean ice cream.

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