Root Beer Float Day

cheerful partners with tasty pastry and alcoholic drink at work

Root Beer Float Day

Celebrating the Classic Dessert on August 6


Root Beer Float Day, observed annually on August 6, is a celebration of one of the most beloved and nostalgic desserts: the root beer float. Combining the creamy, rich flavor of vanilla ice cream with the fizzy, sweet taste of root beer, this treat has been delighting taste buds for over a century. In this blog post, we will explore the history of the root beer float, share interesting facts about this iconic dessert, and suggest fun ways to celebrate Root Beer Float Day.

The History of the Root Beer Float

The Invention of Root Beer

Root beer has a long and fascinating history. The beverage can trace its origins back to indigenous peoples of North America, who created medicinal drinks from sassafras roots. In the 19th century, root beer evolved into a popular soft drink, with commercial production beginning in the late 1800s.

The Creation of the Root Beer Float

The root beer float, also known as a “black cow,” is said to have been invented by Frank J. Wisner, the owner of Cripple Creek Brewing in Colorado. One night in August 1893, while gazing at the snowy peaks of Cow Mountain, Wisner was inspired to create a drink that resembled the mountain’s appearance. He added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to his root beer, and thus, the root beer float was born. The drink quickly gained popularity and became a staple at soda fountains across America.

Interesting Facts About Root Beer Floats

Different Names and Variations

  • Black Cow vs. Brown Cow: While “black cow” typically refers to a root beer float, some regions differentiate between a “black cow” (made with root beer) and a “brown cow” (made with cola).
  • Global Variations: Root beer floats have inspired similar creations worldwide. In Australia, they enjoy a “spider,” a float made with any type of soft drink and ice cream. In Mexico, a “Helado flotante” is a popular dessert combining ice cream and soda.

Root Beer Ingredients

Traditional root beer is made from a combination of flavors derived from roots, bark, spices, and berries. Some of the key ingredients include sassafras, sarsaparilla, vanilla, wintergreen, licorice, and anise. Modern root beers often use artificial flavors to replicate the traditional taste.

Health Benefits of Root Beer

Unlike many other sodas, root beer is often caffeine-free, making it a more suitable option for those looking to avoid caffeine. Additionally, some traditional root beer recipes contain medicinal herbs believed to have health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties.

Celebrating Root Beer Float Day

Making the Perfect Root Beer Float

Creating the perfect root beer float is simple and requires only a few ingredients:

  1. Ingredients: Vanilla ice cream, root beer, and a tall glass.
  2. Steps: Fill the glass about three-quarters full with root beer. Add one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Allow the ice cream to float and fizz, creating a frothy top. Serve immediately with a straw and spoon.

Root Beer Float Variations

  • Adult Version: For an adult twist, add a splash of bourbon or rum to your root beer float.
  • Flavored Ice Cream: Experiment with different ice cream flavors such as chocolate, caramel, or coffee to create unique taste combinations.
  • Root Beer Float Cake: Combine the flavors of a root beer float into a cake by using root beer in the batter and topping with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Root Beer Float Events and Promotions

Many ice cream parlors, soda fountains, and restaurants celebrate Root Beer Float Day by offering special promotions and discounts. Some establishments may even host root beer float-making contests or provide free floats to customers. Check with your local eateries to see if they have any special events planned for the day.

Sharing the Experience

Root Beer Float Day is the perfect occasion to share the joy of this classic dessert with friends and family. Host a root beer float party where guests can create their own floats using a variety of ice creams and toppings. Set up a root beer float bar with different types of root beer, including traditional, diet, and specialty flavors.

Learning About Root Beer and Its History

Take some time on Root Beer Float Day to learn more about the history of root beer and its cultural significance. Many root beer brands have fascinating stories behind their creation and evolution. You can also explore the process of making root beer at home using traditional ingredients and methods.


Root Beer Float Day on August 6 is a delightful celebration of a timeless dessert that brings together the best of creamy ice cream and fizzy root beer. Whether you’re enjoying a classic root beer float, experimenting with new variations, or learning about the history of root beer, this holiday offers a fun and delicious way to cool off during the summer. So, gather your ingredients, invite some friends, and raise a frosty glass to the joy of root beer floats!

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