At this new Lincoln Park diner, Brad Rubin is serving barrel-aged root beer, plus milkshakes, phosphates, and egg creams made with refurbished antique equipment.
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So what if you could take the best qualities of a root beer float—its deep root beer flavor, its mellow notes of cream and vanilla, and its subtle effervescence—and make it into a scoopable dessert all on its own? One that's everything good about a root beer float with none of the downsides? Enter root beer sherbet.
Root beer plus vanilla ice cream all in one scoop.
I like to think of root beer as the gateway beverage into the big, bad world of booze. Even though it's a big leap from A&W to Fernet Branca, there's definitely a connection between what makes a good root beer and what makes a good alcoholic beverage. This homemade root beer liqueur has more in common with an aperitif than it does with a soda, because the sugar is dialed back and the root-and-bark goodness can shine through.
The woodsy, complex flavors of root beer are right at home in a liqueur. Use it in cocktails like you would an amaro or in sweet concoctions for a bold and unusual flavor.
Until I was 13, I was convinced that root beer was alcoholic. I couldn't believe that my otherwise responsible dad would offer me sips of his root beer. Being a quite conservative child, I would always refuse.
Homemade root beer is earthy, bold, and sweet all at the same time.
After Sprecher Root Beer was recommended to me by a Wisconsin native, I was curious. It didn't place too highly in a Serious Eats taste test of regional root beers. Did the recommender's Wisconsin upbringing bias his taste for a hometown favorite? Maybe Sprecher is the Dan O'Brien of root beer, anxiously awaiting the next taste test to win gold. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
We get many packages delivered to SE world headquarters. But this was officially the first time that 100 pounds of root beer arrived. Have you ever signed for that much root beer? We hadn't either! It was fun. After trying all the national brands we could get our paws on, we ordered 22 small-batch brands from across America through Galco, the Los Angeles-based soda warehouse and store. Here's a rundown of our ten favorites.
Not everyone loves root beer. Some people really can't stand it. The medicinal, wintergreen, anise-y punch—it's exactly why others love it so much. Remember ordering it as a kid and thinking, how cool, they didn't even card me!...? Flavors can range anywhere from super sweet and cola-esque to herb-crazy, with notes of juniper, wintergreen, vanilla, bark, and licorice. We set out to find the best root beer in America, starting with 11 widely available national brands.
Combine sugar, yeast, root beer extract, and cold water in a large jug, shake the jug, let it sit for a few days at room temperature, and cool it in the refrigerator—ta da, homemade root beer! Basically. For more detailed instructions, check out this video from Howcast.
Photograph from Very Culinary Amy at VeryCulinary.com has this great shot of a summer root beer float. While I confess I've never been a fan—that weirdly stable soda-milk foam just creeps me out—my little brother used to go crazy over these things. Barq's root beer and Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream were his standbys, but I bet there are better ones out there. Serious Eaters, any root beer float lovers out there? What are your ingredients of choice?...
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, co-owners of Brooklyn cakeshop Baked, specialize in whimsical reworkings of comforting, familiar flavors, of which today's recipe is a perfect example. Evoking the lazy days of summer, their chocolate-root beer Bundt cake is smeared with dark, gooey root beer fudge.