Can you believe it? Summer!!! At least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Makes me want to eat Popsicle and drink from a garden hose just like I did as a child. I can remember gathering up some of the newspapers stacked in the garage, and using them like Papier-mâché. We dug a hole in the ground, lined it with layers of wet newspaper to create a “pool”. Once filled, my brother and I could float our Popsicle-stick Sailboats across our man-made sea.
Today is also National Ice Cream Soda Day. Granted, I’m an old broad but I really don’t have a memory of the Drugstore Soda Fountains. Now ask me about Department Store Lunch Counter and I have a story or two, but the Drugstore Soda Fountains were not a part of my world. I bring this up because, in my opinion, Drugstore Soda Fountains and Ice Cream Sodas seem to belong together. The Drugstore Soda Fountain was the backbone of Main Street USA from their appearance in the 1830s. Through wars and the Great Depression, Soda Fountains were hub of Average Joe’s social scene. Their popularity really didn’t fade until the 1970s. Back in their hay day; life seemed less complicated when a nickel or even a dime could buy a Cherry Coke or Chocolate Ice Cream Soda. Why drugstores? Originally Soda Fountains were used to create elixirs that included “drugs” to cure what ailed you. Over time, they evolved into “bars” without the booze. But all of that is a subject for another day. Today it’s all about the Ice Cream Soda.
I had to wonder, what is the difference between an Ice Cream Soda and an Ice Cream Float? Were they just different names for the same treat? Turns out, while the two are similar, (ice cream and “soda”), they are not the same.
An Ice Cream Soda refers to a drink made with ice cream, soda water and a syrup flavoring, while an Ice Cream Float is made with ice cream and a flavored soft drink, usually Root Beer. The flavoring in the Soda comes from the syrup and the choice of ice cream, while the flavoring in the Float comes from the carbonated soft drink. Ya learn something new every day.
Old Fashion Chocolate Ice Cream Soda
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
Pinch Kosher Salt
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
1/2 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Sift Cocoa Powder through a fine sieve. In a saucepan, combine the sieved cocoa, salt, sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
Add the instant coffee granules, lower heat to simmer and let steep for 5 minutes.
Pour the syrup into a bowl, whisk in the vanilla extract.
Cover syrup, refrigerate to chill. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Ice Cream Soda – Per Glass
3 tablespoons Chocolate Syrup
Club Soda as needed
2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
Pour Chocolate Syrup into a tall ice-cream soda glass. Whisk with a fork. Continue to whisk, add club soda to fill the glass three-quarters full.
Add ice cream, then more soda to fill to the top of the glass.
Garnish Finish – Per Glass
1 tablespoon Chocolate Syrup
Shaved Chocolate as desired
Drizzle chocolate syrup over the top of the Ice Cream Soda. Top with shaved chocolate. Serve with a straw and Ice Tea spoon.