A tale of two sodas.
A lot of people know that Dr Pepper was invented right here in Waco, but did you know that Big Red soda was born here too? Big Red was invented in 1937 and has been made in Waco ever since. One Texas city with two bottling companies born here. Pretty cool, I think!! Big Red isn’t sold as widely as Dr Pepper, but it’s fans are just as passionate. I’ve actually had to bring along six-packs to friends who didn’t live in a states that it was sold in. I’ve heard of some Texans stationed overseas in the military who have loved ones ship them a supply on a regular basis. Now that’s love!
Living here in Waco, we grew up with Big Red. We use it in baking and we enjoyed lots of it poured over vanilla ice cream to make floats. During the hot summer months, my Aunt Willie would bring her hand crank ice cream machine over to my grandmother’s house and she would make us all Big Red Ice Cream. Uncle Roy seemed to always be the one sitting on the back steps cranking that machine while he allowed us kids to add the ice and salt as it melted. Uncle Roy would tell us stories of Tom Sawyer and his life as a young boy growing up in what was a foreign state to us. He would let us crank from time to time, but none of us hung in that long. Dang, that was hard work!! Bless his heart! Looking back now, I really appreciate him!
When all that cranking was done, and the lid was finally opened, what came out was MAGICAL!! Creamy, fruity, magic! Better than a float any day! Big Red ice cream!
Waco’s Big Red Ice Cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 pint of whipping cream
1 – 10 ounce package of frozen strawberries
1 – 2 liter bottle of Big Red (64 ounces)
You will also need a bag of ice and rock salt for your ice cream freezer.
Mix together the sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and partially defrosted strawberries in a medium bowl. Once combined, pour into standard size ice cream freezer cylinder. Place cylinder in outer bucket of machine. Fill cylinder with Big Red. Insert paddle, cover cylinder and attach motor. Fill outer bucket with ice, layering along the way with the rock salt, repeating till ice is at the top of inner cylinder. Freeze according to manufacturers directions.
Makes about 3 quarts. This ice cream is yummy right out of the ice cream maker or you can freeze and serve later. Store leftovers in freezer safe container.
You can use the basic part of this recipe and change up the soda and frozen fruit to customize it to any flavor combinations you wish. Just use your imagination! There are so many speciality sodas available now that you can just go crazy! My Aunt Willie would sometimes use Orange Crush and frozen pineapple. It was really good too! Here’s a few other variations you might like to try:
Ginger ale with pineapple
Cream soda with cherries
Cherry soda with dark cherries
Ginger ale with peaches
Pomegranate Italian soda and blueberries
Be sure to share what ice cream you’re planning on making!
Have you had Big Red ice cream before? Tell us your story.