Happy National Root Beer Float Day (8/6)

National Root Beer Day is the kind of holiday The List is for. It’s why I decided to eat 2012. If it weren’t for the celebration of today’s very worthy holiday, I would likely not have had a root beer float at all this year. In fact I would likely not have had a root beer float for the next several years, especially considering my daughter describes soda as “too spicy on my tongue.”

Growing up, I actually didn’t eat a lot of root beer floats… or drink them. Not sure why. I’ve always liked both vanilla ice cream and root beer, but I just haven’t had many. I suppose it’s a symptom of not having grown up with root beer or vanilla ice cream in the house. My Dad has always been a Coke drinker and a chocolate ice cream eater, so having one would have had to have been a treat I got outside the house. Of course it never would have been something I ordered at an ice cream store since the most basic double scoop on a sugar cone trumps a root beer float any day of the week, and I guess all my friends’ dads were chocolate ice cream eaters and Coke drinkers too. What can you do? It was the ’80’s.

There is a memory in my brain, however, of my Mom showing me that they existed. “Have you ever had a root beer float, Jimmy?” I believe she asked. Scoop, scoop and pour. That’s all it took. I’ve made several since, but at least two of those times were during college when you suddenly have the power to have whatever you want in your refrigerator. IBC root beer was always a young man’s soft drink of choice because of its resemblance to a label peeled Budweiser bottle, and so I had IBC Root Beer in my apartment, I tell you.

Still, the construction of a root beer float has always seemed too simple. So much so that when it came up on The List, I immediately started scouring the internet for “real root beer floats” and “the perfect root beer float.” Both of these key word searches, however, came up with the same thing. A scoop of vanilla and a bottle of root beer. Not even Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray vary the construction of a root beer float at all.

A glass cooling trick that almost works.

So, what’s a blogger to do? Try to invent a brand new root beer float because no one else has? Nope. Not going to do it. I scooped the ice cream into a pint glass, poured in the root beer, and slurped that sucker down just like on that day when mom made me my first. It was just as delicious, of course, like a soda themed orange creamcicle. The warmer the soda, the more melty it is, and so the more quickly it goes down. The root beer that I bought was a little warm still, so I incorporated a little trick that I learned from the bartenders at T.G.I. Fridays. When they’re pouring the house wine, they fill the glasses with crushed ice so that the beverage doesn’t immediately start warming to the glass the second the beverage is poured in. It’s more of a great idea than a great use of ice, but I think it helped a little. My daughter even drank some of it without complaining about her tongue burning.

See you Tuesday for National Raspberries and Cream Day.

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About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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