According to the National Calendar, today we are to wiggle our toes, preferably in the sand. Breath in that sweet salty sea air. Feel the fading warmth of a setting sun. Savor the moment before the day is but a memory.
Today is also National Root Beer Float Day. If it weren’t for a mining camp on Colorado’s Cripple Creek, we might not have a summertime favorite, the root beer float. As the story goes, Frank J. Wisner, owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Gold Mining Company, was staring out the window and thinking about the soda waters he was producing for the citizens of Cripple Creek. Naturally, that’s what owners of mining companies did back in 1893, daydream about soda water. The moon was full that night, hanging low on the snow-capped Cow Mountain. To Frank, it looked like a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. He hurried back to his bar, scooped a spoonful of ice cream into his children’s favorite flavor of soda, Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. After trying it, Frank knew what he would be serving to the folks of Cripple Creek the very next day. His Black Cow Mountain Root Beer Float was an immediate hit. Since its inception, countless root beer floats have been enjoyed around the country each and every day.
Some floats are for children, others have a grownup appeal. Guess which kind I like on a warm summer’s eve?
Kahlúa Vanilla Root Beer Float
Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 parts Kahlúa French Vanilla
3 parts chilled Root Beer
1 scoop French Vanilla Ice Cream
Pour a little sweetened condensed milk in a small plate. Pour sprinkles in another small plate. Dip the rim of the mugs into the milk, then the sprinkles.
In a large measuring cup or pitcher with a pour spout, mix together Kahlúa French Vanilla and root beer. Stir to blend. Carefully pour Kahlúa mixture into each prepared mug. Add one large scoop vanilla ice cream and a straw.
Note: make Kahlúa mixture in batches if necessary, then add ice cream as needed for each mug and serve.