National Root Beer Float Day is celebrated each year on August 6. The day is a great chance to dig into a frosty sensation, but root beer floats are ideal just about any time of year.
A traditional root beer float is made by pouring bubbly root beer over vanilla ice cream. Frank J. Wisner, owner of Colorado’s Cripple Creek Brewing, is credited with creating the first root beer float on August 19, 1893. Wisner concocted the drink after the snowy peaks of Colorado’s Cow Mountain reminded him of ice cream floating in soda. So he combined the two and called the beverage a ‘Black Cow.’ Most people now refer to it as a root beer float.
Root beer floats can be made with any variety of root beer. Some of the popular choices include Barq’s, Dad’s, Mug, IBC, A&W, Stewart’s, and Dr. Brown’s. Take a tall glass designed for malted drinks or ice cream shakes and spoon in two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Then pour in enough root beer to submerge the ice cream. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.
A classic root beer float can’t be beat, but those looking to create a ‘Float Bar’ for a special party dessert offering, can whip up many different combinations of ice cream and beverages. Here are a few ideas.
Make the root beer floats pint-sized with root beer float shooters.
Swap vanilla ice cream for chocolate and have an even richer root beer float.
Use cherry cola and vanilla or black cherry ice cream for a sweet surprise.
Pair orange soda with vanilla ice cream and make a creamsicle in a cup.
Pour your favorite iced coffee beverage over coffee or chocolate ice cream for a mocha-style treat.
Grape soda and peanut butter ice cream creates a drinkable version of a PB&J sandwich.
Recreate the appeal of chocolate-covered strawberries with strawberry soda poured over chocolate ice cream.
Pina coladas take on new life when pineapple soda and cream of coconut are mixed with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Add a dash of rum for an adult version.
For another spirited concoction, skip the ice cream and use lime-flavored sherbet and tequila for a margarita-inspired treat.
Chocolate soda or Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink can be added to marshmallow-flavored ice cream and topped with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs for a s’mores-flavored float.