FOOD > RESTAURANTSRoot beer floats a summer favorite at local restaurantsBY ELISE J. BRUNSVOLD, STAFF WRITER : JULY 21, 2013 : Updated: July 21, 2013 12:00am

by / Sunday, 21 July 2013 / Published in Uncategorized

Since its creation in the late 19th century, the root beer float has been an American favorite.

Cold, sweet and simple, this tasty treat was invented byFrank Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colo., in 1893. He reportedly came up with the combination after looking at the snow covering the top of nearby Cow Mountain, deciding to mirror the image by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to his root beer.

Thus, the root beer float was born.

Often called a Black or Brown Cow — though in different parts of the country, the meaning of those names can vary — this delicious combination is perfect for hot summer days and afternoon indulgences. It can be made in different ways, too, with a variety of root beers and ice creams now used in the mix. Many restaurants have their own way of serving root beer floats, some sticking to classic ingredients with others making the dessert all their own.

The following are seven local places to get your root beer floats, each presenting its own take on the cool treat.

Heavy on the ice cream

The place: Charlie Wants a Burger, 223 Losoya St.

Their take: For Charlie Wants a Burger, ice cream is the key to a good root beer float.

Its Brown Cow, $4.95, features New Braunfels-made Uncle Charlie’s vanilla ice cream as well as Mug Root Beer. The ice cream gives the Brown Cow a “traditional” and “nostalgic taste,” said Charlie’s Toby Fox.

Substitute Uncle Charlie’s chocolate, strawberry or chocolate chip ice cream for different and unique blends, or order Uncle Charlie’s Eight Gauge Shotgun ice cream made with Jack Daniel‘s whiskey for an adult twist. The floats are served with whipped cream and topped with a cherry.

“What makes our floats different is the ice cream,” saidJohnny Degliesposti, general manager. “It’s handmade. That’s the secret to a great root beer float, in my opinion.”