Skip to Content

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

Share this...

Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Leah Hall

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 for Leah was the Purple Cow. It’s 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?


This post contains affiliate links for products that we think you as readers might find useful, and we make commission off of these! For more details about our affiliates, click our Disclosure and Contacts Page.

Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda in highball glasses with straws, cherries and whipped cream. Grape soda bottle in background with flowers

Luxardo Cherries / Highball Glasses / Paper Straws

We took a little road trip recently and at one of our stops we needed a little refreshment. That’s when we saw 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 top shot with whipped cream and cherries with straws. Nehi Grape soda bottle

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. It’s apologetically 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 in glasses with cherries, whipped cream and straws. Grape soda bottle in background

If You are Looking for More Vodka Cocktails, Try These!


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. The foam tastes like a grape creamsicle known as the Purple Cow float.

Adult Purple Cow with Nehi Grape Soda in highball glasses with straws, whipped cream and a cherry

What Ingredients are Needed for the Purple Cow Float?

  • Vodka
  • Whipped Cream
  • Grape Soda
  • Vanilla Ice Cream


Being cocktail bloggers, it is only natural that we added a little boozy component to this creamy sweet treat. You know 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. This 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! One of our brandied cherries of course! This brings the whole treat together!




Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #gastronomcocktails so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!


You can also subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss a delicious recipe again!


Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Concord Grape Moscow Mule - A Vodka CocktailConcord 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 Purple Cow Float with Nehi Grape Soda in glasses with whipped cream and cherries. Grape soda bottle behind
Yield: 1

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

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A childhood favorite has been turned into an adult favorite with vodka and Grape Nehi soda.


Purple Cow Float with Vodka

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 4-5 ounces Grape Nehi soda
  • cherry for garnish
  • whipped cream


Add the ice cream to a tall glass.

Add the vodka.

Top with Grape Nehi soda.

Garnish with whipped cream and a brandied cherry.


Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 4.6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Interested in stocking your own home bar? Make sure to see our favorites at our Amazon Store!


If you liked this post, don’t forget to subscribe for new (and of course free) recipes by entering your email address on the side bar (and get all the recipes delivered to your inbox when we post), so you don’t miss out on a thing. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!


Gastronomblog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Share this...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

J at

Wednesday 12th of April 2017

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!


Friday 7th of April 2017

This is such a fun recipe! I have never had this before, but it sounds SO fun! Definitely need to try this!

The 'Noms.

Saturday 8th of April 2017

Thanks so much! We had fun with this one!

Garlic + Zest

Wednesday 5th of April 2017

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!

The 'Noms.

Saturday 8th of April 2017

Yes, I always love memories like this one! This is someone reminiscent of this, too! Thank you!

Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

Tuesday 4th of April 2017

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

The 'Noms.

Saturday 8th of April 2017

Right?! We thought it was so yummy!


Tuesday 4th of April 2017

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.

The 'Noms.

Saturday 8th of April 2017

Haha, I think so too! Thanks!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe