What Is A Black Cow Drink?

Are you curious to know what is a black cow drink? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a black cow drink in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a black cow drink?

Amidst the world of classic soda fountain treats, there exists a timeless and indulgent delight known as the Black Cow drink. But what exactly is a Black Cow, and why does it hold a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate its simple yet satisfying charm? In this blog, we’ll explore the history, components, and the enduring appeal of this classic beverage.

What Is A Black Cow Drink?

A Black Cow, also known as a root beer float, is a classic dessert beverage that combines two simple yet delicious ingredients: root beer and vanilla ice cream. It’s a sweet and creamy treat that’s both refreshing and indulgent. The name “Black Cow” harks back to the early 20th century and is one of many creative monikers for this delightful concoction.

Key Characteristics Of A Black Cow Drink:

  1. Root Beer: The base of the Black Cow is root beer, a carbonated soft drink with a distinctive flavor derived from a combination of herbs, spices, and, in some cases, sassafras.
  2. Vanilla Ice Cream: To create the signature contrast of temperatures and textures, a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream is placed in the root beer. The ice cream floats on top of the soda.
  3. Soda Fountain Tradition: The Black Cow is a beloved relic of the soda fountain era, where it was commonly served in ice cream parlors and drugstore soda fountains.

The History Of The Black Cow

The origins of the Black Cow, like many classic American desserts, are somewhat disputed. However, it’s widely believed to have emerged in the early 20th century, coinciding with the popularity of root beer in the United States. Several similar concoctions appeared around the same time, often under different names, such as the “brown cow” and the “root beer float.” The term “Black Cow” likely gained favor due to its catchy, memorable name.

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The Appeal Of The Black Cow Drink

The Black Cow has stood the test of time for several compelling reasons:

  1. Simplicity: It’s an uncomplicated and accessible treat, requiring only two readily available ingredients.
  2. Flavor Harmony: The combination of sweet, creamy vanilla ice cream with the herbal and spiced notes of root beer creates a harmonious and delicious contrast.
  3. Refreshment: The fizziness of the root beer and the coldness of the ice cream make it a refreshing and satisfying choice, especially on a warm day.
  4. Nostalgia: The Black Cow invokes a sense of nostalgia, transporting people back to a bygone era of soda fountains and simpler pleasures.
  5. Customization: Many variations of the Black Cow exist, allowing for creative twists, such as using different ice cream flavors or adding toppings like whipped cream and cherries.


The Black Cow, with its blend of flavors and delightful simplicity, has solidified its status as a cherished classic. Whether enjoyed at a nostalgic soda fountain, a family gathering, or a local diner, this beloved treat remains a testament to the enduring appeal of time-honored culinary traditions. So, the next time you’re seeking a sweet and satisfying indulgence, consider the old-fashioned charm of a Black Cow drink, and let its timeless allure whisk you away to a simpler, more delicious time.


What Is A Black Cow Drink Made Of?

Combine 1/2 cup of evaporated milk with 2 cups of root beer (your choice of the brand but we used A&W Root Beer for this particular one) and 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon. Mix then split between two tall cocktail glasses. Add ice to fill the glass. Drizzle chocolate sauce on the top.

What Does It Mean To Drink A Black Cow?

calls for root beer poured over vanilla ice cream with a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Another recipe claiming to be for the “Original Black Cow” includes Coca-Cola, chocolate ice cream, cream, and chocolate syrup.

What Is The Difference Between A Black Cow And A Rootbeer Float?

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.

What Is A Black Cow At A&W?

If you haven’t ever had or not familiar, basically a black cow is a root beer float…. but blended (like a milkshake but root beer instead of milk). You can catch us making this recipe any time, summer or winter when some A&W’s are closed up around us for the season.

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