Root beer is making a huge comeback. It did not completely leave the market per se.
However, the revived marketing and an endorsement from popular influencers on social media have generated more interest in recent years.
This soft drink is quite popular in Northern America. But its popularity is not bound by its geography. Root beer is a trendy drink, especially among the young crowd.
However, what does root beer taste like is a frequent question that we come across. It is because root beer is a complex drink with multiple ingredients in it.
So today, we are attempting to explain what root beer tastes like. In addition, we also talk about how you can cook with this soft drink.
What is Root Beer?
Root beer is a soft drink that is popular in North America. It is made using the root bark of a sassafras tree.
Alternatively, the vine of sarsaparilla is also used to make root beer. However, the USFDA banned the use of safrole, the main compound in sassafras.
Apparently, the safrole has carcinogenic properties.
These days, commercial root beers have artificial flavoring that mimics the taste of sassafras. Some companies still use sassafras extract that does not contain safrole.
Nonetheless, the drink may also contain caffeine, soda, and occasionally alcohol.
Unlike regular beers, root beer has a thick frothy appearance. It is especially true when you pour out the drink.
It is one of the distinct characteristics of this sweet drink. The foam in the traditional root beer was from the sassafras root.
However, modern root beer companies use carbonated components to add foam.
What Does Root Beer Taste Like? Does Root Beer Taste Good?
To put it simply, root beer tastes sweet. However, there is more to the taste of root beer than the sugary components that hit your taste buds.
Traditionally, root beer has sassafras extracts that were also used in medicine. This is why you will come across people who say that root beer has a medicinal taste.
Commercial root beers from popular companies also have a tinge of the acidic taste.
Most of the companies also use vanilla extracts and other spices so you can taste it in the beer. The taste of root beer also varies significantly from one brand to the other.
For instance, root beers from A&W are known for their creamy taste with hints of vanilla. On the other hand, the ones from Sioux City have a distinct flavor of vanilla with generous fizz.
In terms of flavor, root beer does not have a distinct flavor. However, many people say that root beer is an acquired taste.
This sweet soft drink is almost exclusive to North America. So others from outside either love root beer or they don’t.
Visit this link to read about an interesting conversation about the taste of root beer.
Nutritional value of root beer compared to others.
Root beer is essentially a soft drink. And soft drinks are not known for their nutritional benefits when compared to other beverages.
Nevertheless, the nutritional value of root beer per 100 grams, according to the USDA, is as follows:
Sodium – 13 gm
Carbohydrates – 11 gm
Sugar – 11 gm
Potassium – 1 gm
Total calories per 100 gram of regular root beer are 41
Note: The nutritional value of root beer may slightly differ from one variety to the other. It may also differ from the root beer of one brand to the other.
How to Cook with Root Beer?
Many expert and amateur chefs alike use soft drinks and carbonated drinks in their recipes. Cooking with root beer is not common.
However, root beer can be a great way to enhance some recipes and flaunt your ownership of a secret ingredient.
It has a complex flavor that can easily transform a mundane dish into a restaurant-quality delicacy.
Some of the best ways you can incorporate root beer into your recipes include:
- Baking cakes
- Fried chicken
- Stir-fried veggies
- Baked beans
Check out these fantastic root beer recipes on Huff post.
Cooking with root beer does not entail serious precautions. But yes, a few tips and tricks can help you make the best culinary move. These include:
Remove the root beer from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. If the beer is too cold, it can compromise the taste of the other ingredients. The same is true if the beer is too hot. So unless the recipe calls for sizzling hot or ice-cold root beer, bring it to room temperature first.
Use a liquid measuring cup to measure out the beer. Root beer is not one of those ingredients that you can eyeball.
Refrain from using diet root beer. The diet version of the drink can be bland while used in cooking.
While boiling root beer, make sure that the vessel is uncovered.
Use a vessel with a heavy bottom for boiling root beer.
Always allow the beer to cool before you add other ingredients.
Few things can beat a bottle of chilled root beer on a hot summer day. There is something quite refreshing about this usually non-alcoholic drink.
A fantastic thing about this quintessential North American drink is that adults and kids alike can appreciate it.
Combine it with a generous dollop of ice-cream, and your day is complete!
So go ahead and give this delicious sweet drink a shot, literally.