The exact origin of the root beer float, also known as a “black cow,” is a bit uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 19th century. The most widely accepted origin story attributes its creation to Frank J. Wisner, a soda shop owner in Cripple Creek, Colorado, around the year 1893.

According to the story, Frank Wisner was inspired by the snowy peaks of Cow Mountain while staring out of his shop’s window one evening. He decided to combine vanilla ice cream with his root beer to create a delightful treat that resembled the snow-capped mountains. The result was a foamy, frothy concoction that quickly became popular among his customers.

The root beer float gained popularity over the years and became a classic American dessert and beverage enjoyed by people of all ages. Its popularity eventually spread across the country, making it a staple at soda fountains and ice cream parlors. Today, the root beer float remains a beloved classic and is available in various variations and flavors.

Image from Ice Cream from Scratch