An ice cream float or ice cream soda (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and East Asia), coke float (United Kingdom and Southeast Asia), or spider (Australia and New Zealand), is a chilled beverage that consists of ice cream in either a soft drink or in a mixture of flavored syrup and carbonated water. When root beer and ice cream are used together to make the beverage, it is typically referred to as a root beer float.
The ice cream float was invented by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874 during the Franklin Institute’s semicentennial celebration. The traditional story is that, on a particularly hot day, Mr. Green ran out of ice for the flavored drinks he was selling and used vanilla ice cream from a neighboring vendor, thus inventing a new drink.
His own account, published in Soda Fountain magazine in 1910, states that while operating a soda fountain at the celebration, he wanted to create a new treat to attract customers away from another vendor who had a fancier, bigger soda fountain. After some experimenting, he decided to combine ice cream and soda water. During the celebration, he sold vanilla ice cream with soda water and a choice of 16 different flavored syrups. The new treat was a sensation and soon other soda fountains began selling ice cream floats.
Well, Mr. Dewie’s has recently teamed up with Alameda Point Craft Sodas to create our own Root Beer Float.
We are beginning with our cashew vanilla ice cream as a traditional flavor, however we will likely be introducing other combinations such as a Ginger Float using AP Craft’s Ginger Beer poured over two scoops of our Turmeric Spice cashew ice cream!
The Root Beer float is now being served in our Albany retail location and offered in our custom glass take-home barrel.