Bailey Cows and Root Beer Snobbery

Bailey Cows {The Reluctant Hippie}

It’s a grown-up root beer float! I know that Not Your Father’s Root Beer is all the rage around here, but there have been a few supply issues lately. If you’re looking for a boozy root beer replacement or you want a bit more of an ice creamy flavor, give this a go.

I got this recipe from a 2011 fundraiser cookbook published by Rotary International District 6450 – “A Summer Cookbook To Help End Polio Now.” I got stuck on the recipe’s name when I first read it – if you make the float with ice cream & root beer, it’s a black cow. If you make it with ice cream & cola, it’s a brown cow. If you make it with root beer and Bailey’s Irish Cream, it wouldn’t have “cow” in the title at all, would it? But all of the alternatives sound kind of racist, so I’m going with the title given in the cookbook.

This recipe couldn’t be easier.


  • 1 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 12-oz bottle of your favorite root beer (see note below)
  • Ice


  1. Fill a pint glass with ice.
  2. Pour the Bailey’s over the ice.
  3. Fill to the top with root beer.

Virgil's Root Beer for Bailey Cows {The Reluctant Hippie}

Note: Have you been introduced to Virgil’s Root Beer? About 8 years ago, my cousins and I did a root beer taste-off after arguing for years about the best root beer (we are huge winners. Huge). I championed Sioux City Sarsaparilla, and they preferred Sprechers.

It turns out that we were all wrong. Sprechers made it into the top 3 (because of severely biased judges who were able to recognize the sickly sweetness of their favorite root beer, even in a blind taste test), but the top dogs were Virgil’s and – I’m not kidding – Mug root beer. One of the cheapest options on the market. Seriously. Mug root beer.┬áThe ingredients list is problematic, but we have to give tasting credit where credit is due.

Anywho – lots of root beer companies have come and gone in the time since our taste-off. However, I still love Virgil’s. Its flavor is a little less sweet and a little more herbal. The ingredients list is comprised of all natural ingredients (still by no means healthy. Tons of sugar. But hey – this is a dessert recipe). I’ve seen Virgil’s at Trader Joe’s and Woodmans in the Chicagoland area. Hope you can find it and give it a try!

Virgil's Root Beer for Bailey Cows {The Reluctant Hippie}


One thought on “Bailey Cows and Root Beer Snobbery

  1. Pingback: Finger Foods for Parties | The Reluctant Hippie

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