the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

06
August

National Root Beer Float Day

Posted by Brittany

National Root Beer Float DayAugust 6th is National Root Beer Float Day, the perfect chance to beat the heat with a cool combination of root beer and ice cream. The root beer float was invented by Frank Wisner of Colorado’s Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company in the late 1800′s. Legend has it that Wisner got the idea for the sweet drink while staring out at his property on Cow Mountain one night; as the moon glimmered on the snowy mountain top it made him think of a scoop of ice cream floating atop the dark mountain. He quickly took to his bar and created the first root beer float, which was aptly nicknamed a “black cow.” Today the delicious drink can be found across the country, and is a particular favorite of A&W restaurants.

I grew up drinking soda with every meal — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — in just about every variety available. Coke was definitely the family favorite, but we also enjoyed Dr. Pepper, root beer, Sprite, and ginger ale. I remember being amazed as a child, when I discovered that two of my favorite things — soda and ice cream — could be combined to make an incredibly, delectable dessert. I didn’t eat floats very often, but occasionally I would crave one and my mom and I would head to the kitchen to seek out a tall glass and the two simple ingredients. It was always fun watching the soda fizz as it reacted with the creamy ice cream, and always satisfying to finish an entire wonderful glass.

At the start of this year’s National Root Beer Float Day I realized that it had probably been close to a year since I’ve had a root beer float. We do stop by the A&W/Long John Silver’s Drive-Thru in Fredericksburg once in awhile so I could be wrong, but whatever the case, it had been much too long. Today was a busy day for us, filled with vet appointments, errands, long overdue shopping, and a big family lunch, so by the time we were ready to head for home, a stop at the A&W was just what the doctor ordered. We usually like to go through the drive-thru for convenience, but in honor of National Root Beer Float Day we decided to dine inside where we could drink our floats from tall, frosty A&W glass mugs. I was surprised to realize how much I liked dining in; I’m not easily impressed with fast food restaurants but this little gem has the feel of a full service restaurant, with a friendly staff and nicely decorated atmosphere. Plus, the food is excellent. Chris and I dined on fries with malt vinegar and two of the most wonderful root beer floats I’ve ever encountered. The root-beer-to-ice-cream ration was perfect, and between the heavenly taste of our drinks, and the customer wearing a Long Jonh Siver’s paper pirate hat, I couldn’t stop smiling. Who knew that the root beer float was a mood enhancing comfort food? By the time we left I was so pleased I rang the “good service bell” three times!

Maybe we should grab another root beer float for our picnic tomorrow. We’ll be visiting a local park with a historic lighthouse in honor of National Lighthouse Day!

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