Root Beer, a unique American soft drinkEP Scholten
There are a couple of things you should experience during a stay in America. Root Beer is definitely one of those. If you tell an American that you’ve never tasted this classic American pop, chances are they will buy you your first can as a gift. Americans are very proud of their Root Beer.
Root Beer is not really a beer, but an alcohol-free soft drink. It is popular amongst the younger children, because it makes them look like they’re drinking a real beer. In reality, it is a harmless carbonated soft drink, with a distinctive, sweet flavour.
What does Root Beer taste like?
Root Beer is a surprising mix of ingredients. The subtle flavour it’s known for is achieved by combining root extracts of the female sassafras plant, combined with vanilla extracts, liquorice and nutmeg. This gives it that particular flavour that makes everybody wonder what it reminds them of at the first sip. Its soft vanilla notes will surely tempt you to make it a regular in your fridge though!
Root Beer Float, an extra sweet treat
Americans enjoy sweet things, which is only highlighted by their invention of the ‘Root Beer Float’. A Root Beer Float consists of vanilla ice cream, floating in Root Beer; a delicious, sweet dessert or snack that will transport you to vanilla heaven. The Root Beer Float: you definitely have to try it once in your life!
The differences between Root Beer and Cream Soda
Those visiting the US sometimes claim that Root Beer and Cream Soda are the same thing, but this is hardly true. Despite the fact that, today, both sodas are associated with America, only Root Beer actually has American roots. Cream Soda originated on the other side of the ocean, in Britain. Both pops are nice and sweet, but Root Beer is known for its complex combination of flavours. Cream Soda in the other hand, is characterised by it foamy texture. Moreover, both pops differ in colour. They have one thing in common; they both have those soft hints of vanilla. The exact difference between the two soft drinks, however, you can probably best experience yourself. Don’t be afraid to try them both!
Root Beer in the Netherlands, unknown but not unloved
Although Root Beer isn’t very well-known in the Netherlands, many people that have lived in the US enjoy the beverage back home too. Once you appreciate the taste of Root Beer, you’ll be sold and might find yourself craving it at some point. Despite the fact that it probably will be some time before the Netherlands completely accepts Root Beer, a future for the carbonated soft drink here is certainly in the cards!
A&W Root Beer, the most popular Root Beer?
Over the years, many soda brands have made their own version of Root Beer. Some well-know brands with a Root Beer are IBC,
A&W, Barqs, Henry Weinhard’s, Dad’s, Sprecher, Hires, Barrelhead, Mug and White Rock. Of these brands, A&W is by far the most popular. The brand was founded in 1919, and has become the standard when it comes to Root Beer. In 1974, A&W launched a special, sugar-free version of Root Beer, so that everybody could enjoy its unique flavour. The formula of the sugar-free version was slightly adapted in 1987. Many Americans agree, if you truly want to experience Root Beer and its flavour as it’s meant, you go for A&W Root Beer!