Today we’re taking some transatlantic inspiration and looking at root beers.
Root beer was originally flavoured with Sassafras roots and some traditional root beers still use it, however it was banned from commercially mass-produced food in 1960 for causing liver damage and cancer in lab animals. Proving that natural is not necessarily better. That’s your interesting fact for the day. On to the sodas…
Soda Folk comes from an American exile in London. Founder, Ken Graham, couldn’t find a good root beer in the UK so he decided to make his own small batch soda with all natural ingredients and sweetened with cane sugar. The flavour is of maple, wintergreen and vanilla. Soda Folk are also selling cream soda if you’re not sold on the slightly medicinal taste of root beer.
Yes, Square Root, Hackney’s own craft soda makers have their own very English root beer. Like all Square Root Sodas it’s handmade in London with as many locally sourced ingredients and as little added sugar as possible. It tastes slightly antiseptic with zesty orange notes and a hint of pepperiness.
Available online £1.29 for 355ml
Dominion are a US based brewing company that makes craft beers as well as a range of soft drinks. Dominion Root Beer grew out of original authentic American recipes found at the Library of Congress and has an old-fashioned taste that is full-bodied, rich tasting and aromatic. Flavour notes include honey, botanicals, malt, mint and creamy vanilla. This is a sophisticated flavor profile with a lot going on in the mouth. It’s also pretty sweet and is sweetened with cane sugar, so just an occasional treat.
Available online from Ocado £1.70 for 355ml
I included this one mostly because it’s pretty easy to get hold of. An authentic American root beer made with cane sugar, pure essential oils of sweet birch, cinnamon, sassafras, and anise, extracts of bourbon vanilla, yucca and licorice, and other natural flavors and spices. Contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It has a creamy, traditional root beer flavour and isn’t overly sweet.