PHILADELPHIA, PA — I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM, right? Well then pull up a stool to the ice cream counter folks because today is a day made just for all of you frozen dairy treat lovers!
It’s National Ice Cream Soda Day today in the United States, but I think it should be a global celebration. What’s more refreshing than a tall, cold glass of soda (aka pop, soda pop, fizzy drink, tonic, etc.) with a heaping helping of sweet, creamy ice cream floating on top?
Did you know that the ice cream soda, also known as an ice cream float, was invented right here in Philadelphia? It’s said that in 1874 Robert McKay Green was operating a soda fountain at the Franklin Institute’s 50th anniversary celebration and was having trouble drawing clientele to his stand when a rival soda fountain stand nearby was bigger and fancier-looking.
He decided to get a little creative and began combining vanilla ice cream and soda water, along with about 16 different types of flavored syrups to choose from. The drink was an instant hit and a new treat was born.
The most popular version of the ice cream soda is the root beer float, sometimes referred to as a “brown cow” or “black cow”. In some regions, a “black cow” refers to a Coca-Cola with vanilla ice cream. A “purple cow” is the same thing, replacing the Coke with grape soda.
You can really create just about any type of ice cream soda depending on what your tastes are. Just experiment with different flavors of soda combined with different flavors of ice cream. Pictured on the left is something new I tried today: a Coca-Cola with black cherry and vanilla ice cream. It’s like a creamy version of a Cherry Coke!
And for those of you visiting your local pub today, you could try adding a shot of vanilla vodka to your soda, or drizzling a bit of spiced rum or amaretto over the top of your ice cream. The possibilities are endless! So grab a straw (or two, if you’re willing to share) and celebrate National Ice Cream Soda Day!
What’s your favorite kind of ice cream soda? Leave us your ideas in the comments section below!
Photo credits: Amy Johnson and TurkeyHill.com
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