Liquid assets Interesting things to imbibe around town

Root beer float at Parlor Deluxe.

Root Beer ‘Deluxe’ Float

Root Beer “Deluxe” Float is a classic soda fountain beverage with 19th-century roots, literally.

James Groetzinger and Joey Rinaldi of Warehouse have introduced their signature float to the menu at Parlor Deluxe, a soda, shake and hot dog emporium that opened last week.

According to Soda Fountain Magazine (1910) the ice cream float was invented in Philadelphia in 1874 by Robert McCay Green.

It seems he ran out of ice for his sodas and “borrowed” scoops of ice cream from a neighboring vendor to chill his beverages.

In the same century, Frank Wisner of Colorado added ice cream to a root beer soda and called it the “brown cow” as it reminded him of the snow-topped Cow Mountain in his native state.

The “jerks,” the affectionate term given to those attendants who “jerked” the soda draft arm to dispense carbonated water into a fountain drink, distinguish between an ice cream soda that combines soda water, a flavored syrup and ice cream and a float that combines ice cream and a soft drink, usually root beer.

The Root Beer “Deluxe” Float marries custom-brewed Cannonborough Beverage Company’s locally made root beer with Hilton Head Ice Cream’s premium vanilla ice cream.

Parlor Deluxe is the only location in Charleston to serve Hilton Head Island Ice Cream and it’s where a teenaged Groetzinger held his first job as an ice cream scooper.

$5.50, $7

Parlor Deluxe at 207-A St. Philip St.; noon-midnight.

(843) 900-7574

The “Deluxe” float combines froth and foam for a creamy mouth feel.

The quality ice cream tempers the spice notes of the root beer; its birch bark notes and sugar never overpower the softly carbonated drink.

Deidre Schipani