Root Beer Float or a Black Cow
A root beer float is a dessert drink that is usually prepared by mixing some vanilla ice cream with some root beer. It can be prepared either by scooping some ice-cream into a container and then adding root beer or by adding some ice cream into a mug or glass with root beer. The difference is that in the first case foam often overflows the container; this is somewhat more spectacular way to prepare the beverage, but if you're not experienced in it, you better use the second way. You can also stir root beer a little to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide bubbles in it and then add ice cream.
Root beer floats can also be blended to create a smooth beverage; the drink is sometimes called root beer freeze. A root beer float can be consumed either with a straw or a spoon. You can either eat the ice cream with a spoon and then drink remaining melted ice cream mixed with root beer or melt and mix all the ice cream with root beer and then drink the concoction. You can also just dip ice cream into root beer and then drink it.
Root beer float sometimes is also called a black or a brown cow; however, "brown cow" is a more common name for a drink made with cola instead of root beer. The drink is believed to be invented by Frank J. Wisner in August of 1893. He was inspired by a late night glimpse of the snow on top of the blackened Cow Mountain (that's where his gold claims were located) illuminated by the full moon and decided to try to "float" a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of his root beer. Local children soon shortened the original name to just a "Black Cow". Wisner liked to remark that if he could have at least a nickel for every root beer float ordered, he would become a very rich man.
Besides the brown cow coke beverage, there are few more variations of the root beer float. Beer is also used sometimes to create a "beer float". The beverage can also be prepared using soft drinks like Sprite or 7up, but these drinks are far less common and don't have a uniform name to them.