Interesting Fact – In 1875, Charles Elmer Hires introduced the first commercial brand of root beer, named Hires Root Beer. Hires initially wanted to name the product to be “Root Tea,” but chose “Root Beer,” to make the beverage attractive to Pennsylvanian coal miners. Hires, who did not drink alcohol, marketed root beer as an alternative to alcohol.
Is sarsaparilla illegal?
How to make original root beer
Sarsaparilla – While they can appear similar and often be confused, there has always been a difference between the beverages, traditionally Sarsaparilla was made from the sarsaparilla root alone. The extract made from sarsaparilla root has a slightly bitter flavour profile, which is why most producers now include ingredients like liquorice to try and reduce the bold flavour.
Who is older Pepsi or Coke?
Dr. John S. Pemberton created Coca Cola in 1886 while Pepsi did not come about until 1893. Both companies have long histories, and each has had some ups and downs along the way.
What drink is older than Coke?
The Buzz on Soda History TexaCola isn’t the first soda. But it does have a cool history. Ah, soda. For as long as you can remember, soda has been there for you. Thirsty on a hot summer day? Have some lone vanilla ice cream that could really use some oomph? Enjoying a delicious meal and need something to wash it down? You already know you’re reaching for a bubbly ice-cold soda.
- But have you ever wondered what had to go down to get that bottle to your table? Buckle up for this ride.
- Our story begins in 1767 when a European man named Joseph Priestly figured out how to infuse water with carbon dioxide, creating the first carbonated beverage.
- Back then people believed carbonated water cured illnesses so “soda” was sold in pharmacies.
Pharmacists would mix prescriptions into soda to make it easier for the patients to take. It wasn’t until the creation of root beer in 1876 that soda began to evolve into a drink option. Cola flavored soda entered the market shortly after in 1881. Dr Pepper was created in 1885 and believed to be the first soda as we know it today followed by Coca-Cola one year later.
- The story doesn’t end there; there have been many modifications to the way soda has been enjoyed between its invention and today.
- In 1892, Baltimore shop owner William Painter created the crown cork bottle seal to keep carbon dioxide bubbles from escaping the bottle.
- In 1902, the first vending machines were set up in U.S.
providing an easy way for Americans to have access to soda. The state of the soda market dramatically shifted in the 1950s with the creation of the easy-to-open soda can. The love of soda is still very much alive today seeing that America spends approximately $65 billion in soda a year.
Did root beer use to have beer in it?
Root Beer and the Small Beer – As we have pointed out, and you probably know, root beer is not beer, as it does not have alcohol. However, many believe it was not always like that. Today, water is undoubtedly the healthiest thing to drink. However, there was a point in history when it was not due to water pollution.
- During this time, many preferred brewed drinks to try and avoid getting sick from contaminated water.
- One of those brewed drinks was the small beer.
- Many believe that small beer is the origin of what we now call root beer.
- However, unlike modern-day root beer, this drink contained some alcohol, albeit only a low percentage.
Small beer used to have only as high as 12% alcohol. On the other hand, it could have as low as 2%. There are a few ways brewers made this drink, but it almost always used some bark, berries, and herbs. However, the belief is at least one of its varieties bears similarities in taste to modern-day root beer.
Why does root beer taste like root beer?
Why is it called root beer? – Root beer gets its name from the roots and herbs that are used in the traditional brewing process. Wintergreen, sassafras, anise, ginger and other aromatic spices are what give root beer its distinct flavor. The term “root beer” was first coined in the 1800s as a way to describe this unique beverage.
Did root beer used to be beer?
Root Beer Root beer originated in North America and remains most popular in North America. Historically made using the root of the sassafras plant with that being its primary flavour, there is no standard recipe. Root beer can vary from mild and easy drinking to strong and more challenging, but to give a very general definition it is a sweetened, carbonated beverage.
The origins of root beer can be traced back to 18th century American farm brewers who adapted native North American recipes to make very low or non-alcoholic family drinks, known as a small beer. This was a widespread and popular practice and George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are all said to have had their own favourite root beer recipes.
These small beers were made from all sorts of herbs, barks and roots. Favourite ingredients were sassafras root, ginger, sarsaparilla, hops and birch bark, but wintergreen, vanilla beans, liquorice allspice, coriander, juniper, burdock root, dandelion root, spikenard, guaiacum chips, spicewood, wild cherry bark, yellow dock, prickly ash bark and dog grass were also used.
After extracting the flavours from these naturally occurring products by heating them in water to produce what is known as the wort, sweetener in the form of honey, maple syrup or molasses (which was cheapest and added flavour and colour), more water and yeast were added and the wort was then barrelled to ferment.
If a very low alcohol beverage was required the liquid was bottled and corked straight away and then cooled after a day or two to stop fermentation. The amount of alcohol in these instances would have been akin to what is found in a loaf of bread. Fermentation produced carbon dioxide as a by-product which resulted in some carbonation (fizzing) of the drink.
Farming families believed that the beverages they made were good for them and given that they were brewed from boiled water from what might sometimes be a tainted source they probably often were a healthier option than water. What’s more, the tiny amounts of alcohol had an antimicrobial action as did the carbon dioxide.
Root Beer is first known to have been marketed commercially at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 by a teetotal Philadelphia pharmacist named Charles Hires who is said to have discovered a recipe for a delicious herbal tea while on his honeymoon.
- He introduced a commercial version of the tea which he sold in 25-cent packets of powder, each of which yielded five gallons of root beer.
- He claimed the powder was a solid concentrate of sixteen wild roots and berries.
- In 1893, the Charles E.
- Hires Company began supplying Hires root beer in small bottles.
A & W Root Beer, which is still widely for sale today, is another early brand. It was created by Roy Allen, who began marketing root beer in 1919. Non-alcoholic versions of Root Beer were particularly popular during Prohibition and the constraints of the period probably contributed to preserving the domestic art of making traditional root beers.
- Sassafras extract from the roots of the very fragrant deciduous sassafras tree was once a primary ingredient in root beers.
- Unfortunately it was found that the safrole (also once used as a fragrance in perfumes and soaps, food and for aromatherapy) contained in sassafras is a carcinogen and Root Beer took a terrible hit in 1960 when the United States Food and Drug Administration banned its use in commercially mass-produced foods and drugs.
Commercial root beer brewers had to reformulate their recipes, either balancing out the missing sassafras with other roots or synthetic flavours or by removing the safrole from the sassafras root oil. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act removed the ban on sassafras oil and microbrewers once again began to use sassafras, but it is now unlikely to be found in big commercial brands.
Most mainstream brands of root beer are unadventurous in their ingredients, fairly ubiquitous in taste and are often very sweet. More interesting variations are made by many North America microbrewers and the home brewing tradition survives to this day. Flavourings commonly included in the more interesting modern root beers include vanilla, wintergreen, cherry tree bark, liquorice root, sarsaparilla root, burdock nutmeg, acacia, anise, cinnamon, dandelion, ginger, juniper and cloves.
Modern sweeteners include aspartame, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses and most commonly, sugar. Many brands of root beer contain sodium benzoate as a preservative. Most are caffeine-free but one or two contain caffeine. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic root beers can have a head, to any degree of thickness and foam when poured.
This is often enhanced by the addition of yucca or Auillaja saponaria extracts. Most modern root beer brands are artificially carbonated by injecting carbon dioxide gas or mixing the root beer syrup with carbonated water (as with a soda fountain). Sarsaparilla, a soft drink, originally made from the Smilax regelii plant, can be classified as a root beer, and some consider it to be the father of root beer.
: Root Beer