Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Perfect Root Beer Float

Scoops of a high quality ice cream, topped with a great root beer, preferably bottled and ideally Barq's, add a tall spoon and straw and you have a fantastic, ice cold root beer float.

Perfect Root Beer Float

With ice cream in the house and summer just around the corner, seemed to me a root beer float was just waiting to happen!

Just sippin' on this reminded me of Amy, my best friend in junior high school, and visiting her Mama at Calvert-Carraway's drug store, where she worked in the afternoons. We'd sit and sometimes spin when we could get away with it, on top of the red vinyl topped metal barstools at the soda fountain counter and get treated to an ice cold root beer float - or sometimes a cherry coke - while we soaked in that ice cold air conditioning on one of these swelterin' hot summer days we have down here in the Deep South. I clearly remember when businesses used to proudly display signs in their front windows that shouted "Ice Cold Air!"

And if there weren't too many patrons eating at the counter and we didn't annoy Amy's Mama too much, sometimes we'd get to snack on some yummy onion rings too! Boy, those were the days. Life was simple, no worries, and nothin' to do but just be.

Ideally, in my corner of the world, a proper root beer float would be made with Barq's root beer, from the bottle. Despite what a lot of folks think, or what Wiki says, Barq's root beer as we know it, was first bottled right here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and in fact, the Barq family still live here. If I remember correctly, I believe that the Barq family retained the secret formula when they sold the bottling rights to Coca-Cola, and that formula is still made here and sent out to bottlers across the country to add into the product.

We still have Barq's in the bottle available around here at stores and in most restaurants, and that's what we love the best. In fact, it is near about a requirement to have a bottled Barq's root beer when ya get a good, drippy roast beef po-boy ... most likely dressed and pressed, if you're from around here. Mmmm mmmmm, that's soundin' so dang good, I just might have to run out and get one of those right now!

Anyway, I gotta say - there is a world of difference between Barq's in a bottle and Barq's in the can that is marketed all over the country (or is it the world) these days, but even so, I realize that not everybody has access to Barq's in a bottle ... or maybe you don't even like Barq's - so, substitute what ya got!

But just hurry up and make you one of these beverages, close your eyes and think back to childhood and less complicated times, if only for a few moments. Here's how to make one.

If you think this sounds yummy, I'd sure it if you'd click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word - thanks!


Recipe: The Perfect Root Beer Float

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 5 min | Yield: 1 servings

  • 3 to 4 scoops of a high quality vanilla ice cream (like Blue Bell or Breyer's)
  • 1 bottle of root beer, preferably Barq's
  • 1 tall glass
  • 1 straw
  • 1 long iced tea type of spoon

Fill your glass half the way with vanilla ice cream. Slowly pour Barq's root beer over the top of the ice cream until the foam rises to the top, reserving just a bit of the root beer. Give it a good stir and then pour the rest of the root beer on top to bring the head back up. Stick in a straw, stick in a spoon, so you can dig out some of that ice cream, and slurp it up!


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Posted by on May 20, 2009
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  1. ahh, we are roasting here today, and that looks wonderful!

  2. Mary, that looks wonderful! Ahhh.....

  3. Gosh Mary another vivid memory, which makes you feel like your right there!!! I'm gonna have to make this for the kids, they've never had one yet, and we luv breyer's ice cream, we usually have the vanilla bean in the freezer!!

  4. When I was little, we used to go to Lake Charles to get fresh root beer from the A&W root beer stand--it was so good. We would make floats from that and homemade vanilla ice cream--talk about good!! I can't get past the texture of the ice cream in a float now though so I don't enjoy them any more. Sheila in NC

  5. Ooh, that looks yummy! I haven't had a float in while. My RB Floats have to be made with A@W :)

  6. I haven't thought of Barq's in a long, long time...thanks for the memory! Nothing like it!

  7. Enjoy everybody!! I sure did... and yeah, we ended up having sloppy, drippy roast beef po'boys and bottles Barq's for supper! :)

    Doing this post made me think of our old A&W root beer drive it - the original Sonic!! Love those big frosty mugs of root beer - those were the days.

    Sheila - try it again, only this time whip it up until all of the ice cream has blended with the root beer. Yum!

  8. Boy Calvert and Caraway does bring back the memories, and I loved going into their Drugstore and just talking to Mr. Calvert. They had the best Hamburgers and Fries, tasting so much better then what they sell now at the fast food joints. The timeless Era of Biloxi, now changed will not be forgotten. Oh Yeah, Mr. Calvert is my sister's Father-in-law. Small world isn't it. Debbie Flynt Turner

  9. My Grandma used to bring me in there when I was a kid!!! I loved it, wish there were still places like that!


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