The Adult Purple Cow – A Vodka and Nehi Grape Soda Float

Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda

A boozy version of the kid’s classic Purple Cow Float!



There are many flavors that can take you right back to your childhood, be it that cookie your grandma made, your favorite candy, or a treat. One treat was the Purple Cow, a soda float made with vanilla ice cream and grape Nehi soda that was famous at soda fountains all across the Midwest. What if we recaptured that childhood flavor but added a definite adult edge and made an Adult Purple Cow?



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Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda

Luxardo Cherries / Highball Glasses / Paper Straws



We took a little road trip recently and at one of our stops we needed a little refreshment, so when we had the chance to hit an old fashioned soda fountain where they had all kinds of vintage sodas. One of those sodas was Nehi Grape, which is classic soda that has been around since the 1920’s and was the choice of Radar O’Reilly in the show M*A*S*H*!




Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda




Drinking a Nehi Grape is like taking a trip back to your childhood, rolling down the sidewalk on your bike, watching fireflies on a hot summer night or spending the whole day outside with your friends! Nehi Grape tastes like you think the color purple might taste, unapologetically candy sweet and kind of artificial grape flavored, this soda tastes totally vintage like the glass bottles with the old fashioned letters that looks like something you might find in your grandma’s icebox.




Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda




While this old fashioned soda might not have the most authentic natural flavor, it is really fantastic when mixed with vanilla ice cream to make a float. The sweet soda mixes with the creamy vanilla and makes a delicious lavender colored foam that tastes like a grape creamsicle known as the Purple Cow.




Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda




Being cocktail bloggers, it is only natural that we added a little boozy component to this creamy sweet treat (we love boozy desserts!). We decided not to mess with the classic flavor of the Purple Cow, so we decided to go with vodka, a spirit that is relatively unflavored. The sweetness of the Nehi Grape helps cut any burn from the vodka that might have been present which makes this a prefect boozy float! Leave out the vodka and the kids can have the same drink as you!




We topped the whole float with some whipped cream and put a cherry on top (a brandied cherry of course!) to bring the whole treat together! Cheers!



Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

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Concord Grape Moscow Mule



A new take on the classic negroni cocktail. the Concord Negroni Flip uses concord grape syrup, cream, gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to make a real summer sipper.

Concord Negroni Flip Cocktail





Other Adult Ice Cream Floats

Adult Root Beer Float – Cookie Rookie

Russian Root Beer Float – Onion Rings and Things

Kahlua Coke Float – Feast and West

Boozy Cheery Coke Floats – Cooking Is Messy

Champagne Floats – Eating Well




The Adult Purple Cow – A Vodka and Nehi Grape Soda Float

Serving Size: 1

Calories per serving: 816

The Adult Purple Cow – A Vodka and Nehi Grape Soda Float


  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 2-3 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 4-5 oz Nehi Grape Soda
  • Whipped cream
  • Cherry for garnish


  1. Add the ice cream to a tall glass.
  2. Add the vodka.
  3. Top with Nehi Grape Soda
  4. Garnish with Whipped cream and a brandied cherry.
  5. Cheers!



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37 thoughts on “The Adult Purple Cow – A Vodka and Nehi Grape Soda Float

  1. Oh wow! It’s a rare treat when I find a place that sells Nehi (I’m a fan of their peach soda) but next time I find such a place I’ll have to snag a grape Nehi and try this!

  2. I’ve never had a grape Nehi, but I can’t see or hear the name without thinking fondly back to sweet Radar! I loved that show- I’d drink this even though I don’t really drink soda, just to feel nostalgic haha. What an awesome idea!

  3. This reminds me of the movie Now and Then. Pretty sure Jeanine Garafalo serves them a purple cow in the movie. This looks super good.

  4. Yum! Count me in! A Purple Cow is such a good dessert, but add a little vodka and that puts it over the top.

  5. I’ve never heard of a purple cow before — but you mentioned tastes from childhood — which reminds me of the black cow my grandmother used to make for me with ice cream, chocolate sauce and coca-cola. Those are some good memories, but now it appears time to make some grown-up ones! This sounds delicious!

  6. Oh I love this recipe! We used to make the kid-version of these floats when I was young and I had forgotten about them completely. They are delicious! So what a great idea you have going on here. The addition of vodka makes it even more tempting. YUM!

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