The Accidental Chocolate Sundae Root Beer Float

Are you hot and thirsty? It is time for a cool beverage!
Are you hot and thirsty? It is time for a cool beverage! | Source

HubPages Question:

Summer Drink For Children? -- Asked by Seeker7

Hot Nights In the City

During much of March 2012, the temperature outdoors in Ohio stayed in the 80s F for an early summer season. People began thinking about summer foods and drinks and the cafe patios around town were always full right after work and on weekends.

One evening, I decided to have a root beer float.

Ordering the beverage treat through a local drive through window of a long-time restaurant chain, I heard the order taker hesitate. Then he brightened and said he would surely have one ready for me at the window. As it turned out, the young man had not heard of a root beer float, nor realized that the restaurant sold them. However, what he invented was pretty interesting.

Kids will love this drink, but parents will probably not like it to be consumed every day. It is sweet and full of dessert, but it can be an occasional celebration that children will remember.

The crewman at the restaurant drive through I patronized made a chocolate sundae in the bottom of a large drink cup and then filled the remainder of the cup with root beer. Interestingly, not everyone knows what a root beer float contains. Since the spread of Sonic Restaurants in our state, the public has accepted a large number of fancier soda beverages and slushies, so plain root beer and ice cream may seem second rate - or a poor excuse for a refreshing drink.

The recipe for the surprising accidental beverage I received one night is listed below.

Source

The Accidental Chocolate Sundae Root Beer Float

Yield - 1 Large Summertime Beverage

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Large Beverage Glass - at least 22-ounce size
  • 1 Drinking Straw
  • 1 Long Handled Iced Tea Spoon
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Chopped Nuts - option
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino Cherry
  • Root Beer - Hire's or Dad's are good brands.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the drink glass.
  • Pour chocolate syrup over the ice cream, top with nuts.
  • Fill remainder of glass with root beer and top with whipped cream.
  • Float a maraschino cherry on top and serve with spoon and straw.

For variations that use a cola beverage, use lime, cherry, or orange syrup instead of chocolate and fill with cola.

Source

Root Beer History

Make Your Own Root Beer

Source

Historic Drink

If you are unable to find your favorite root beer, you might try making your own. Several brands of root beer syrups that contain ingredients from a number of roots and other natural sources are on the market, with Zatarain's available since 1889. In fact, the very first product of founder Emile Zatarain was root beer.

Root beer is said to have first appeared in 1876, 100 years after America's founding, at the Centennial Exhibition (fair) in Philadelphia, which was America's second capital. Pharmacist Charles Hires introduced the product that was made from 25 different roots, berries, and herbs. Adding carbonated water, he made his name synonymous with root beer - Hires Root Beer, per se.

Root Beer Festivals

The Root Beer Saloon

Harley Davidson owners like to frequent this saloon and you can find bikes parked nearby usually every day.
Harley Davidson owners like to frequent this saloon and you can find bikes parked nearby usually every day. | Source

Root Beer Saloon and Festivals

A hopping big Root Beer Festival is held every year in Alto Pass, Illinois (pop. 406) at the local well known Root Beer Saloon at #4 Main Street.

The establishment is built to look like a wild west saloon and its staff pours locally brewed root beers all year long. It is also a coffee house and soda shop as well as a gourmet cuisine restaurant.

Specialty food events occur regularly at the Root Beer Saloon and here are a few examples:

  • Mar. 31st/ April 1st: Gangster Fest Chicago Style Gourmet Delights. Gangster Fest happens several times a year!
  • May: Mother's Day Weekend - Everything Lobster & Others
  • July 7th/July 8th: Buffalo Hot Wings Weekend with NY hot sauces.
  • Late August: Root Beer Festival Cool Off With Many Ice Cream Floats, Shakes, Banana Splits, Peach Delights; Croissant Sandwiches
  • Mid-November: Deer Festival Bavarian Stuffed Pork, Crawfish, Shrimp

Alto Pass is in the southernmost portion of the State of Illinois and southeast of St. Louis Missouri (see map below).

Alto Pass - "Home of the Brave, Grave and Porky"

show route and directions
A markerAlto Pass, Illinois -
Alto Pass, IL, USA
[get directions]

B markerRoot Beer Saloon #4 Main Street Alto Pass IL -
4 Main St, Shawnee National Forest, Alto Pass, IL 62905, USA
[get directions]

In Nearby Carbondale, Illinois

Photographer bluebike found that cats have their own houses here.
Photographer bluebike found that cats have their own houses here. | Source

Greater St. Louis Area

show route and directions
A markerAlto Pass IL -
Alto Pass, IL, USA
[get directions]

B markerSt. Louis MO -
St Louis, USA
[get directions]

C markerCarbondale IL -
Carbondale, IL, USA
[get directions]

Additional Attractions To Enjoy

  • Bald Knob Cross of Peace: Is the tallest Cross in the western hemisphere, located in the beautiful Illinois Ozark Mountains. This is a great place for photography.
  • Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge: This wildlife refuge is located west of Marion, Illinois on the northern edge of the Ozark Foothills. It is one of the largest refuges in the Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region of the American Midwest. The refuge is well maintained and open to hunting with a license during appropriate times of the year.
  • Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge | GORP.com: Research and find the best information on Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge with GORP's Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge Guide. Get parks and camping information, trail maps, hiking maps, and other outdoor resources to help book your next
  • Rendleman Orchards: This fun place to visit has produced fruits and vegetables since it opened in 1873. It is located in Alto Pass (see map above) and is an official Illinois Centennial Farm. it produces and ships peaches, nectarines, apples, and many vegetables to the commercial produce markets throughout the Midwest.
  • Shawnee National Forest: This large national forest is home to the "Little Grand Canyon", a swamp, lakes, fishing activities, and many more features, including wildlife and native plants. rock formations in the "Garden of the Gods" are on the Illinois state quarter. Located at 50 Highway 145 South, Harrisburg, IL 62946.

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Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods | Source
Source

© 2012 Patty Inglish

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Comments 23 comments

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

What an interesting story and recipe to go with it. I didn't realize root beer had lost popularity. Since we can't buy root beer where we live, I plan to buy one of the extracts you recommend and attempt root beer making! Thank you...voted up and awesome.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Some of these extracts are very good. Really, not many places here sell root beer floats all year long (just in summer) and I think the young man working in the drive through just had not heard of one.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Just today I mentioned Meryl Streep to a young woman and she asked, "Who?" So I think "young" is the key word in both situations!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Yes, that sounds right!


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA

Mmm...ice cream floats and summertime just go together, don't they? Thanks for the recipes; hubby loves root beer so I'll have to give these a go to see what he thinks. Voted up.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Hey Patty, please forgive the dumb question but what does root beer taste like? I don't think I have ever had it. I have heard of it many times though. I am trying to figure out if it is similar to what we know as Malta, a kind of non-alcoholic stout made from malt.

That recipe looks pretty interesting too.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

@Cardisa - Have you ever tasted sassafras in candy or sassafras tea? Root beer tastes a little like that and a little like sarsaparilla. Each brand of root beer tastes different to me, but they all taste like a sweet root, almost like a sweet potato with a darker flavor and carbonation.

If you ever taste root beer barrel hard candy, it's a little like that, only a darker flavor. Sometimes in home brewing, a little alcohol enters in, say 0.5%, but usually, there is no alcohol and little or no caffeine in root beer. I don't know if it would taste like the non-alcoholic stout.

@DonnaCosmato - I was surprised by the chocolate syrup in my float, but it was different!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 4 years ago

I thought chocolate was always in a root beer float!? At the very least, chocolate ice cream!!? Of course, I think chocolate goes in everything! Like the hot oatmeal I am having for breakfast right now ~ sprinkled with semi-sweet chocolate chips!! Yum, root beer, chocolate ice cream, semi-sweet chocolate chips and chocolate covered nuts and cherries on top! GREAT Hub Patty! Now I better go exercise!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

You just created your own drink and I will certainly try it! Too much chocolate for me to have it every day, but once a week would be grand.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Patty, It was so nice to hear that they tried to make you a good root beer float and that you did enjoy it as well. All these good thing we enjoyed when we were younger are now slowly disappearing. It is even hard to find root beer barrel hard candy any more.

Vote up and more !!!


Gloshei profile image

Gloshei 4 years ago from France

Mmm this sounds delicious I must try the The Accidental Chocolate Sundae Root Beer Float this is amazing.

The only problem I can't get root beer here! bummer I know but that won't stop me.

Thanks for the share.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

@kshmir56 - I still see it occasionally at CVS Pharmacies and Walgreens drug stores. Also, in smaller specialty markets in suburbs and small towns. If nothing else, the Old Tyme Candy Company in northern Ohio still can get them from time to time, but it is no longer in the supermarket!

Lot of work for a piece of root beer candy, huh?

@Gloshie - Do you have ginger beer? That would work. Any carbonated soft drip might work - orange drink with orange syrup!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Patty, It just that i have not thought of root beer barrel hard candy in a while and seeing it in your hub i could almost taste one(love them).

I will check out the Old Tyme Candy Company in northern Ohio, thanks !


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I grew up with a family that drank root beer floats, using just vanilla ice cream and root beer. This hub brought back memories. Your recipe sounds delicious and I'm sure there aren't any calories! I never knew there were root beer festivals either. Very interesting hub. Thanks.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Well, Pemela99, I did not eat dinner that night!

kashnmi56 - I am now looking for root beer barrels everywhere. They are haunting me and I will find them!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Thanks for the explanation Patty. I don't remember what sarsaparilla taste like but my Granddad use to make a kind of tonic using it. I do know what sweet potato taste like though...lol. Thanks again.


gloshei 4 years ago

Thanks Patty I will check, why didn't I think of that. As geoff would say to me "what is red backwords"?

Will let you know.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

I have had the traditional root beer float - root beer with vanilla ice cream - but never enjoyed the chocolate syrup concoction you described, Patty. Hmmmm, something to look forward to.

That festival in the metropolis of Alto Pass sounds like a hum-dinger. If you blink while driving through, do you miss the town? Just wonderin'.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

@drbj - Small town Alto Pass fills up with visitors for the Root Beer Festival from nearby Carbondale and St. Louis (farther) where travelers go for other reasons and umpteen large motorcycle groups love the place for some reason. Shoot, people drive from out of state and there's no place to put them.

It's like our Reynoldsburg here for the Tomato Festival and tiny Circleville for the Pumpkin Festival or Marion and the PopCorn Festival. Suddenly the streets are mobbed for a week and all the campgrounds are full!


Gloshei profile image

Gloshei 4 years ago from France

Thanks Patty I will get some for the week-end. I am sure it will go down a treat with this lovely warm weather we are having.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I am going to go get some ice cream and experiment with the recipe!


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Very interesting. It is very hard to find root beer in England. Pat likes it but Tricia does not. However, the other thing that interests us is that Ohio had unseasonably warm weather in March 2012. There were some days here when it was warm enough to wear summer clothes for a walk along the seafront. The weather has turned strange.


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

An Awesome Hub so much of information fantastic!!!

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    Patty Inglish (Patty Inglish, MS)6,760 Followers
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    Patty enjoys collecting old recipes from generations ago among ethnic groups, the 13 Original Colonies, the American Civil War & the 19th c.



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