On August 6, float a scoop of vanilla ice cream in an ice cold mug of frothy root beer. It’s National Root Beer Float Day!
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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 it, 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.
- Root beer is made out of 16 Roots, and herbs. The most original ingredient was Sassafras. It comes in an alcoholic drink also.
- In 1960, a key ingredient (the sassafras root) came to be known as a carcinogen and its use was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Colonists were actually the first people to make root beer.
- The A and W in A&W stands for Alan and Wright. Roy Allen would team up with Frank Wright in 1922.
- Charles Hires, a Philadelphia pharmacist, made his own root beer formula and introduced it to attendees at Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exposition.
- Root beer accounts for 3 percent of America’s Soft Drink Market.
- A&W is the number one selling brand of root beer in America.