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National Black Cow Day – the Critter or the Beverage?

Sandra Kinney
June 10, 2024

If you are like me, and when you hear “National Black Cow Day” you think: “How fun, I love cows!”, then you will be just as surprised as I was to find out that National Black Cow Day celebrated a whole other kind of black cow.


A black cow is a beverage made with root beer and vanilla ice cream, which is relished by people of all age groups.

Frank J. Wisner, hailing from Cripple Creek, Colorado, invented the black cow. He was the owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company. One night he was thinking about the line of soda water that was being produced for the citizens of Cripple Creek and that’s when he came upon the idea for the root beer float. While staring out of his window, he saw the full moon shining on the snow-capped Cow Mountain, which made him think of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. That encouraged him to add a spoonful of vanilla ice cream to the children’s soda Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. When he took his first sip of the drink, he knew he was onto something great. He named his creation ‘Black Cow Mountain,’ which was later shortened to ‘black cow’ by the local children.

Black Cow | Unbottled

Over the years, not only children, but even adults have started enjoying this simple yet delicious beverage. It is also offered by several fast food outlets. The black cow can be easily served at house parties or potluck lunches and dinners.

For more information and a recipe to create your own Black Cow, click here.


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