Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Right of Summer

That's right. That's an A&W Root Beer Float. I bought the best vanilla ice cream I could find and let it sit out for about 10 minutes so it was soft on the sides. It was NOT Haagen Das. It wasn't even Oberweis. It was the Dominicks store brand. Just the right amount of vanilla for me and on sale when I got it. It will be perfect when I make cobbler, if I ever get around to doing that. I will have to eat it up because you know ice cream gets funny when it has those crystals on the top of it. But, I digress.

My before the holiday grocery shopping included this soda. It's July 4th. Root beer, in case you don't know, is a distinctly American invention. You will not find it in Great Britain. Well, you might find it in stores catering to an American audience, but the average Englishman or woman has never heard of this, least of all tasted it. The last time we went to England, in 1996, we took along a can of root beer, A&W, to be exact, to be shared with my late pen pal and her family. It was put in the fridge and, a day later, when it was all nicely chilled, we opened the top as you would open a bottle of wine. The can was passed around the table and everyone got a whiff.



"Well, that's ... um ... different."

"You actually drink this?"

Then, we poured a swallow or two into glasses for everyone and had them take a taste. I remember the kids trying to hold their noses while drinking it. I think they all swallowed. I don't actually remember. We were thanked for a distinctly American soda and the three of us; my ex, Carole and I, split the rest of the can. My pen pal's family watched in astonishment as we actually drank our share down in one gulp. I think we mentioned that we pour the beverage over ice cream which garnered stares of "Yes, they are mad but she's mum's friend so we'll be polite."

With the power going out July 1st, I didn't get around the the root beer float until yesterday. I don't have a frosty mug. I have these tall glasses I got in college which are distinctly collector's items now. Two scoops of vanilla ice cream and fill the rest of the glass with root beer. Scoop off the foam and let it settle a bit and add more root beer. When you have half ice cream and half  root beer, find the last straw you have in the house, take the glass and go sit in the living room with  a cat sticking her nose into the foam because obviously, what you have is something she has to have. Once she leaves, savor the flavor.

It was 98 outside yesterday afternoon but who cares. I had a root beer float. Quintessential summer. Plus, there's more ice cream and root beer to use up although I'm out of straws.

Beverage:  water



  1. My friend Patt, who just got back from an exciting vacation to France and Germany said, "We have NEVER met a German who likes root beer. They think it's just weird. We always take our German guests to A&W and they freak out!

    But then, they ALL drink mineral water ALL the time -- and that's stuff is NASTY. They say, 'oh, it's just medium' -- whatever THAT means?? It's still NASTY. you have to order 'still' water if you want real water in Europe.

    We're no weirder than they are!!"

  2. I had no idea rootbeer was just an American thing! I'll have to ask my husband's aunt about it. (She's from England.) Now I have a serious desire to make rootbeer floats tonight. I needed to run by the store anyway... :P