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Jan 28, 2006 10:13 AM

Black Cow

  • j

Does anyone remember a chocolate drink called either Black Cow or Brown Cow? I think it was called Black Cow and came in a can. I was wondering if they still make it.

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  1. When I was growing up a Black Cow was a root beer float, vanilla ice cream and root beer.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      This is what I remember also. I still see this on the menus of small town diners, but more and more rarely as time and "progress" roll on.

      1. re: Monty

        Many moons ago, I worked in a 50's style diner, and the black cows that we made were root beer, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate syrup.

        Mmmm...Black Cows!

        Swell, now I NEED to go to the store for the fixins.


        1. re: Andy P.

          What makes a Black Cow a Black Cow is the addition of
          the chocolate syrup. Otherwise it is a root beer float.

          1. re: Rod

            And if it's made with coke instead of root beer it's a brown cow.

          2. re: Andy P.

            way back when.

            1. re: Paul in S.C.

              I was talking to an internet pal in New Brunswick. We were talking about milkshakes and rootbeer floats. He said oh yes from A&W. Umm, do you have those stores in the US?

              1. re: semmel

                We can buy A&W rootbeer in stores but I believe the A&W Drive-ins with their frosty mugs are just a memory. How great it was to have a curb-hop bring you a frosty glass mug of rootbeer on a hot summer evening. In my mind's eye I can still see the ice crystals that formed on the inside of that mug! Is root beer no longer popular with young people? I can remember soda jerks floating real cream ( not ice cream ) on top of root beer sold at drug store soda fountains.

                1. re: Paul in S.C.

                  The A&W full service restaurant chain is global. It is in every US State and a large proportion of countries of the world including Asia. While most of the restaurants are full service, there are also quite a few drive-ins still operating.



                  1. re: soda jerk

                    Glad to know they are still around. I live in Columbia, S.C. and our A&W's were closed many years ago.

                    1. re: Paul in S.C.

                      >> I live in Columbia, S.C. and our A&W's were closed many years ago.


                      1. re: Paul in S.C.

                        Looks like there are a half dozen in the Charlotte - Spartanberg area.

                        1. re: soda jerk

                          Sonics have taken over every street corner in Columbia. Don't know why they are so popular when our local Rush's chain is so much better. I'd certainly drive a few miles for an A&W but not 75.

                    2. re: Paul in S.C.
                      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                      A&W got bought up by Yum (owners of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, and KFC) a few years ago. Unlike the other brands, it's almost impossible to find a standalone A&W (I live in Phoenix and the closest one I know of is in Boulder City on the way to Vegas); When Yum builds new locations they are frequently a combination of two of their five brands. The most common pairing for A&W seems to be with KFC, but I have seen a couple of pairings with Long John Silver. A good number of A&Ws even have the frosty mugs; not all of them do. You've hit the jackpot if you find one that has hand-scooped ice cream, a great many use soft serve and a float with soft serve just isn't quite right.

                    3. re: semmel

                      When a little kid in Pittsburgh, we always considered that "WEST" was defined by the first A&W we came to.

                      I still make it a point, when in San Rafael at lunchtime, to hit the A&W drive-thru off the North San Pedro exit. Those great floats are one of the few concessions I make to refined sugar. I think this stand-alone is one of the older locations.

                      1. re: Shep
                        Seamus Mitwurst

                        Us too!
                        Except me were driving from Florida and Georgia.
                        I think we always stopped at the first one we saw.

                2. re: Monty

                  Where I grew up (Cleveland), a Root Beer Float was a Brown Cow, or a Boston Cooler. A Black Cow was a Coke Float.

                  1. re: Monty

                    I think it's a regional term, I grew up on calling them Black Cows (northern Illinois) but went to a dairy store in the Smoky Mountain area, asked for a Black Cow and got blank stares for a few minutes, then "you want to buy a cow?"

                    1. re: Monty

                      Hey, where I live, Berkley, MI--outside Detroit--we still have a full-serve drivein A&W, unchanged and original. Carside service and the great root beer and brown cows. Now also includes root beer ice cream.

                      C'mon down! On Twelve mile between Coolidge and Greenfield.

                    2. And there was also a candy bar on a stick that was called Black Cow... Like a Sugar Daddy but dipped in chocolate...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                        There's an alcoholic drink that's Guinness stout mixed with Bailey's Irish Cream, and something else (Kaluha?). It's called a Black Cow too.

                      2. i seem to remember the brown cow - choclate drink in a can - i grew up in rockville centre, ny in the 50's,60's- seem to think it was made by bordens - would really doubt it's still in current production.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kennycandy

                          kennycandy yes! im been looking for this black cow choclate drink in a can for years cant find it any where. I use to drink it when i was a kid in brooklyn. You said its a bordens product well need to contact bordens i guess, what do you think I should do?

                        2. Didn't the Sugar Daddy Co. also make a Black Cow on a stick? Most of us remember Brown Mule ice cream on a stick. I think A&W Rootbeer sold a rootbeer float called a Black Cow.

                          1. I remember a "black cow" as khalua, tequila and milk over ice (also called a brown cow, and sometimes even a brave bull).
                            Also, I recall a line from an old Steely Dan song (back in the '70's that goes something like..
                            "Well its over now, drink your big BLACK COW and get out of here.."