Ice cream soda

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"Floats" redirects here. For the Dr Pepper brand of bottled beverages, see Floats (drink).
Ice cream soda
Soda jerk NYWTS.jpg
Alternative names
Ice cream float, Coke float, spider
Place of origin
United States
Creator(s) Robert M. Green
Main ingredients
Ice cream; soft drink, or syrup and carbonated water
Cookbook:Ice cream soda  Ice cream soda

An ice cream soda or float (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and East Asia), coke float (United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand) or Snowball (New Zealand), or spider (Australia and New Zealand),[1] is a beverage that consists of ice cream in either a soft drink or in a mixture of flavored syrup and carbonated water.

Origins[edit]

The ice cream soda was invented by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia, PA, in 1874[2] during the sesquicentennial celebration. The traditional story is that, on a particularly hot day, Mr. Green ran out of cold ice for the flavored sodas 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 Franklin Institute's semicentennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1874, 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 sodas. Green's will instructed that "Originator of the Ice Cream Soda" was to be engraved on his tombstone.[3]

There are at least three other claimants for the invention of ice cream soda: Fred Sanders,[4] Philip Mohr,[4][5] and George Guy, one of Robert Green's own employees.[6] Guy is said to have absent-mindedly mixed ice cream and soda in 1872, much to his customer's delight.[7]

Regardless of its origins, the beverage quickly became very popular, to such a degree that it was almost socially obligatory among teens, although many adults did not like it. According to some accounts, it was banned, either entirely or on holy days, by some local governments, giving rise to a substitute treat, the sodaless ice cream sundae. As soda was marketed as a miracle cure, it was often considered a substance that required oversight and control like alcohol, another controlled substance that could not be served or purchased on Sundays in many conservative areas. Many soda fountains had to figure out a way to turn a profit on Sundays when selling soda was considered illegal.[8] The solution was to serve ice cream on these days, as it is merely a food product and not a controlled substance. Soda fountains then coined the term "Sundaes" for the ice cream concoctions that they served on "soda's day of rest".

Regional names[edit]

In Australia and New Zealand, an ice cream soda made with CocaCola or PepsiCola is known as a "spider."[9] Other spiders are usually known by their flavour, as a "lime spider" or an "orange spider".

In the UK and Ireland, it is usually referred to as an "ice-cream float" or simply a "float". "Coke" is often used generically to refer to any cola in the United Kingdom, while "soda" is usually taken to mean soda water.

In Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia it's called Vaca Negra (Black Cow), while in Puerto Rico is referred to as a "blacao", the phonetic interpretation of "black cow".

In the United States, an "ice cream soda" typically refers to the drink containing soda water, syrup, and ice cream, whereas a "float" is generally ice cream in a soft drink (usually root beer).

Variations[edit]

Variations of the ice cream soda are as countless as the varieties of soda and the flavors of ice cream, but some have become more prominent than others. Some of the most popular are described below:

Chocolate ice cream soda[edit]

This ice cream soda starts with approximately 1 oz of chocolate syrup, then several scoops of chocolate ice cream in a tall glass. Unflavored carbonated water is added until the glass is filled and the resulting foam rises above the top of the glass. The final touch is a topping of whipped cream and usually, a maraschino cherry. This variation of ice cream soda was available at local soda fountains and nationally, at Dairy Queen stores for many years.

A similar soda made with chocolate syrup but vanilla ice cream is sometimes called a "black and white" ice cream soda.

Root beer float[edit]

Root beer float, a type of ice cream soda

Also known as a "black cow"[10][11] or "brown cow",[12] the root beer float is traditionally made with vanilla ice cream and root beer, but can also be made with other flavors.

In the United States and Canada, the chain A&W Restaurants are well known for their root beer floats. The definition of a black cow varies by region. For instance in some localities, a "root beer float" has strictly vanilla ice cream; a float made with root beer and chocolate ice cream is a "chocolate cow" or a "brown cow." In some places a "black cow" or a "brown cow" was made with cola instead of root beer. In some areas, for example, Northeastern Wisconsin, "black cow" is said to mean a root beer float where the ice cream and root beer have been mixed together.

In 2008, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group introduced its Float beverage line. This includes A&W Root Beer, A&W Cream Soda and Sunkist flavors which attempt to simulate the taste of their respective ice cream float flavors in a creamy, bottled drink.

Coke float[edit]

A coke float can be made with Coca-Cola and vanilla ice-cream.

Boston Cooler[edit]

A Boston Cooler or Vernor's float is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream.[13]

The origin of the term "Boston Cooler" lies in Detroit, Michigan, the city in which Fred Sanders is credited with inventing the ice cream soda. The name is a mystery, having no apparent connection to Boston, Massachusetts, where the beverage is virtually unknown.[14][15] One theory suggests that it was named after Detroit's Boston Boulevard, the main thoroughfare of what was then, according to the theory, an upper-class neighborhood a short distance from James Vernor's drugstore.[16][17] Boston Boulevard, however, did not exist at the time. The streets and subdivision that became the Boston-Edison neighborhood, approximately five miles from Vernor's drugstore, were not platted nor incorporated into the city until 1891, and its first homes not constructed until 1905, nine years after Vernor closed his drugstore.[18]

It is known that by the 1880s the Boston Cooler was being served in Detroit,[citation needed] made with the local Vernors.[13] Originally, a drink called a Vernors Cream was served as a shot or two of sweet cream poured into a glass of Vernors. Later, vanilla ice cream was substituted for the cream to make a Vernors float. Unlike a float, however, a Boston Cooler is blended like a thick milkshake. Both Sander's soda fountains and Michigan-based Big Boy restaurants (which had Boston Coolers as a signature item until the Elias Brothers sold their franchise to new ownership in the 1980s) used their milkshake blenders to prepare the drink.

It can be found most often in the Detroit region's many Coney Island-style restaurants,[13] which are plentiful because of Detroit's Greektown district influence. National Coney Island is one of the few restaurant chains to list the Boston Cooler in its menu. The Kerby's Koney Island chain lists a Boston Cooler on its menus, but that variant is actually a Vernors float, as the ice cream is not blended. It is also found at the Detroit-area Dairy Queens[citation needed] and at Halo Burger, a Flint, Michigan based fast food chain.[13]

A Boston Cooler is also available on the menu at the Chow Food Bar[19] in San Francisco.

Butterbeer[edit]

Universal Studios parks serve a concoction aptly named "Butterbeer" from the famous Harry Potter series which is a root beer and butter scotch version of the ice cream soda. Recipes for it can be found at many places online.[20]

Snow White[edit]

A Snow White is made with 7 Up or Sprite and vanilla ice cream.

The origin of this variation is unknown, but it is found in some Asian eateries.

Purple cow[edit]

In the context of ice cream soda, a purple cow is vanilla ice cream in purple grape soda. The Purple Cow, a restaurant chain in the southern United States, features this and similar beverages. In a more general context, a purple cow may refer to a non-carbonated grape juice and vanilla ice cream combination.

Sherbet cooler[edit]

The Friendly's chain also had a variation known as a "sherbet cooler," which was a combination of orange or watermelon sherbet, vanilla syrup and seltzer water. (At present, it is billed as a "slammer".)

Vaca Preta[edit]

At least in Brazil and Portugal, a non-alcoholic ice cream soda made by combining vanilla ice cream and coca-cola is known as vaca preta ("black cow").[21]

Vaca Dourada[edit]

In Brazil, a vaca dourada or golden cow is an ice cream soda combination of vanilla ice cream and guaraná soda.

Orange Float (or Orange Whip)[edit]

An orange float consist of vanilla ice cream and orange soda.

Beer Float (aka Shakin' Jesse[22])[edit]

Guinness Stout, Chocolate ice cream, and espresso.[23] Although the Shakin' Jesse version is blended into more of a milkshake consistency, most restaurant bars can make the beer float version. When making at home, the beer and espresso should be very cold so as to not melt the ice cream.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "spider, n.4" The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ "Soda beverages in Philadelphia". American druggist and pharmaceutical record 48: 163. 1906. 
  3. ^ "Ice Cream Soda a New Drink". The Soda Fountain (D. O. Haynes) 20: 66. 1921. 
  4. ^ a b Sundae Best: a history of soda fountains by Anne Cooper Funderburg; Popular Press, 2002
  5. ^ The Three Principal Claimants for the Invention of Ice Cream Soda; Soda Fountain, Vol. 18; November 1913
  6. ^ "Ice Cream Soda Invented By Seattle Pioneer" Seattle Times 19 May, 1965. p.40
  7. ^ http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE056588/toddler-making-ice-cream-soda
  8. ^ Funderburg, Anne Cooper (2002). Sundae best: a history of soda fountains. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. pp. 61–64. ISBN 0-87972-854-X. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Herald-Sun: Spider drink story has legs
  10. ^ [1] Milwaukee Journal, Aug. 10, 1934
  11. ^ [2] Letters, Time Magazine, Dec. 14, 1931
  12. ^ [3] Cedartown Standard. Oct. 24, 1996.
  13. ^ a b c d Fenech, Jeremy (September 26, 2012). "What is a Boston Cooler?". wcrz. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Detroit brainteasers", Detroit Free Press (December 31, 2001) pE1
  15. ^ Cruden, Alex, "Five things about Detroit Drinks", Detroit Free Press (October 9, 2006), p.A2
  16. ^ "Griffin, Holly, "FIVE THINGS: About coolers" Detroit Free Press (August 31, 2007)". Accessmylibrary.com. 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  17. ^ ""Daily TWIP: Ice Cream Soda Day", Nashua Telegraph (June 20, 2008)". Nl.newsbank.com. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  18. ^ "History", Historic Boston Edison Association
  19. ^ Chow.
  20. ^ http://www.foxnews.com
  21. ^ See article Vaca preta at the Wikipedia in Portuguese. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  22. ^ [4] Can't Fail Cafe Drinks Menu, April 2011
  23. ^ [5] The Thirsty Reader: A Guinness Milkshake, March 14, 2008

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]