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The Accidental Chocolate Sundae Root Beer Float

Updated on September 16, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in early American history and all Indigenous Peoples.

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

A Surprise on 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 ever heard of a root beer float, nor realized that his 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 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 is listed below.

The Accidental Chocolate Sundae Root Beer Float

Yield - 1 Large Summertime Beverage


  • 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 - optional
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry
  • Root Beer - Hire's or Dad's are good brands.


  1. Place one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the drink glass.
  2. Pour chocolate syrup over the ice cream and top with nuts.
  3. Fill remainder of glass with root beer and top with whipped cream.
  4. 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.


Root Beer History

Make Your Own Root Beer
Make Your Own Root Beer | Source

A Historic Popular American 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 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.

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

Root Beer Festivals in Middle America

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 is celebrates as the "Home of the Brave, Grave and Porky"

Greater St. Louis Area

Root Beer Saloon #4 Main Street Alto Pass IL:
4 Main St, Alto Pass, IL 62905, USA

get directions

Carbondale IL:
Carbondale, IL, USA

get directions

Home of cats who have their own houses.

St. Louis MO:
St Louis, USA

get directions

In Nearby Carbondale, Illinois. Photographer bluebike found that cats have their own houses here.
In Nearby Carbondale, Illinois. Photographer bluebike found that cats have their own houses here. | Source

Attractions to Enjoy With Your Root Beer Float

  • 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 | 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Garden of the Gods. See the actual structure in the next photo.
Garden of the Gods. See the actual structure in the next photo.
Garden of the Gods. See the actual structure in the next photo. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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