How to Make the Best A&W Root Beer Float

An A&W Root Beer Float has been a popular treat for decades. The A&W Root Beer Spider or float originated from Philadelphia in 1874. The float was reputed to have been created by Robert McCay Green when he ran out of ice for his drinks stall and used the vanilla ice cream from another vendor to create a new drink. However, Green’s account is that he deliberately created the new drink to tempt customers away from a competitor who had a bigger soda fountain than his own. Green’s first floats were soda water with vanilla ice cream and one of sixteen flavoured syrups.

The A&W Root Beer Float:

The A&W chain has become well known for their floats made with A&W Root Beer. Often referred to as a “Black Cow”, a traditional float is made with vanilla ice cream and root beer. However, there are regional variations that use chocolate ice cream to make a “brown cow”.

The company has seen such popular demand for their floats; it inspired a range of “Float” beverages. This range includes A&W Root Beer bottles, Cream Soda and Sunkist flavours to simulate the taste of a creamy ice cream float.

Instructions to Make a Standard Root Beer Float:

You will need 16 oz A&W Root Beer bottles and vanilla ice cream. One bottle should be sufficient to create two large floats. All you need to do is fill your glasses approximately three-quarters with root beer. Place the glasses on a tray or plate to avoid making a mess if the float fizzes over.

a&w root beer float

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly into each glass and slowly top up the glass with root beer. As the root beer hits the ice cream, it will turn foamy, so keep drizzling until the glass is filled to the top. Take care as once the ice cream starts to float, the glasses may overflow.

You will need to eat your float slowly to avoid brain freeze. Be sure to scoop up both ice cream and root beer with your spoon to enjoy the famous creamy texture and flavour of a traditional float. Serve the floats with straws so that you can sip the remaining creamy, dreamy root beer left at the bottom of the glass.

If you enjoyed your traditional float, try different flavour combinations. Try a “brown cow” with chocolate or get a little experimental with toffee or fudge ice creams. Just remember that the flavour of the ice cream should complement the root beer, so avoid mint choc chip or other complicated flavours that could clash. Kids and adults alike love root beer floats, so next time it’s a particularly hot day be sure that you have plenty of A&W Root Beer bottles on hand.

If you are wondering where can I buy root beer in glass bottles or A&W Root Beer floats, contact us. We have a wide selection of traditional sweets, imported candy and other tasty treats including A&W Root Beer. Our team would be delighted to help you to find the perfect treat for any occasion.


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