Home Today Is A Gold Miner Invented The Root Beer Float In 1893.

A Gold Miner Invented The Root Beer Float In 1893.

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!

Also known as the “Black Cow,” the root beer float got its start in Colorado in a mining camp.

  • Root beer was originally made from sassafras or sarsaparilla, making its commercial debut in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.
  • Root beer was originally sold as a health agent for its medicinal benefits but eventually morphed into a soft drink in the early 20th century.
  • Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado, gets the credit for inventing the “Black Cow”  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”.
  • Root beer is made out of 16 Roots, and herbs.
  • Colonists were actually the first people to make root beer.
  • Roy Allen purchased the root beer formula for A&W root beer from an Arizona Pharmacist.  The first batch was made in June of 1919.
  • The A and W in A&W stand for Alan and Wright. Roy Allen would team up with Frank Wright in 1922.
  • A&W is the number-one-selling brand of root beer in America.
  • Charles E. Hires was the first person to produce and market root beer throughout the United States.
  • Charles Hires initially marketed his beverage as “root tea.”
  • Introduced in 1875, it is the longest continuously made soft drink in the United States.
  • By 1876 Charles Hires had changed the name of his beverage to Hires Root Beer, and he presented the drink at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, celebrating America’s 100th birthday. The Philadelphia exhibition also included Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, Heinz ketchup, and the Remington typewriter.
  • Root beer accounts for 3 percent of America’s Soft Drink Market.
  • 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.
  • The first ice cream soda was sold in 1874.
  • In 1927 John and Alice Marriott purchased an A&W franchise in Washington, D.C.  The Marriotts named their root beer restaurant The Hot Shoppe.  Their restaurant expanded and eventually led to the creation of Marriott Hotels.
  • The Sonic chain of drive-in restaurants began as a hamburger and root beer stand in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in 1953
  • A reverse root beer float is made with root beer ice cream and vanilla soda.
  • Both Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were fans of small beer, the precursor to root beer.
  • 1876 – Pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires debuts a commercial version of root beer at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition
  • 1919 – Ray Allen opens a root beer stand in Lodi, California, which would eventually become the A&W restaurant chain.
  • 1920s – The popularity of non-alcoholic root beer explodes during Prohibition
  • 1960 – The FDA bans safrole, the aromatic oil that initially gave root beer its distinctive flavor. The ingredient caused liver damage during animal testing.
  • 2019 – August 6 – A&W Restaurants throw a party by filling small frosty mugs with their classic mix of vanilla soft serve and root beer — and giving them away free!
  • Popular root beer floats that have become traditional favorites include the Coke Float, Boston Cooler, Purple Cow, and the Harry Potter-inspired Butterbeer.
  • 1876 – the year when root beer was invented
  • 16 – the number of roots and herbs that root beer is made of.
  • 3% – the percentage that root beer makes up in America’s soft drink market.
  • 1960 – the year when a key ingredient of root beer, the sassafras root, was banned by the FDA.
  • #1 – the ranking of A&W as the leading root beer brand in America.
  • The Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia creates authentic root beer floats made with their own brand of root beer syrup and ice cream.
  • The first ice cream soda was sold in 1874.
  • Creamy Vanilla Root Beer Float – Another great way to dress up the average root beer float is to add in some French vanilla creamer and a little bit of club soda.
  • Smoky S’Mores Root Beer Float –  This fun take on the root beer float consists of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips, smoked sea salt, graham crackers, and some charred or torched marshmallows to go on top.
  • Banana Root Beer Float – To make this fun and boozy variation, all you need is a banana peeled and cut lengthwise, ice cream, hot fudge, bourbon, and of course root beer. Top with whipped cream, confectioner’s sugar, and chocolate shavings for a fun, fancy, and fruity root beer float.
  • Boozy Root Beer Float – For a pumped-up flavor infusion and a bit of booziness, this root beer float recipe calls for ginger-infused vodka, vanilla and cinnamon ice cream, and a dash of bitters along with the root beer.
  • Grown Up Root Beer Float – Another boozy root beer float variation, this one calls for vanilla bean ice cream, hard root beer, and maraschino cherries.
  • Root Beer Float Smoothie  For a fun and healthier way to have a root beer, why not try it as a smoothie? Do this by using a banana, plain Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and the McCormick Root Beer Concentrate.
  • Chocolate Root Beer Float –Add more of a flavor profile to your root beer float by using chocolate ice cream in place of vanilla, then add some chocolate syrup to it to create a chocolatey root beer delight.
  • Chocolate Root Beer Milkshake – Take your chocolate root beer one step further and make it into a creamy milkshake. Blend with ice, then add whipped cream and sprinkles on top for the ultimate milkshake experience.
  • Monster Float – This root beer float variation goes beyond chocolate or vanilla ice cream; instead, use birthday cake ice cream. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and an ice cream sandwich cookie with a wedge cut out of it so it fits neatly onto the rim of the glass. Fancy and fun!


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