Root beer is a sweet North American soft drinktraditionally made using the bark of the sassafras tree Sassafras albidum or the vine of Smilax ornata (sarsaparilla) as the primary flavor. Root beer may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, most often non-alcoholic. It is naturally free of caffeine but can have caffeine added, and be carbonated or non-carbonated. It usually has a thick and foamy head when poured. Modern, commercially produced root beer is generally sweet, foamy, carbonated, non-alcoholic, and flavored using artificial sassafras flavoring. Sassafras root is still used to flavor traditional root beer, but since sassafras was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to the carcinogenicity of its constituent safrole, most commercial recipes do not contain sassafras.Some commercial root beers do use a safrole-free sassafras extract. Major producers include A&W Root Beer, Barq’s, Dad’s Root Beer, Hires Root Beer, and Mug Root Beer.
How to make
Commercial root beer is now produced in every U.S. state and in Canada. Although this beverage’s popularity is greatest in North America, brands are produced in other countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Argentina, Germany, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Sweden, Vietnam, and Thailand. The flavor of these beverages may vary from typical North American versions. While no standard recipe exists, the primary ingredients in modern rootbeer are filtered water, sugar, and artificial sassafras flavoring, which complements other flavors. Common flavorings are vanilla, wintergreen, black cherry bark, licorice root, sarsaparilla root, nutmeg, acacia, anise, molasses, cinnamon, sweet birch, and honey. Soybean protein is sometimes used to create a foamy quality, and caramel coloring is used to make the beverage brown.
Ingredients in early and traditional root beers include allspice, birch bark, coriander, juniper, ginger, wintergreen, hops, burdock root, dandelion root, spikenard, pipsissewa, guaiacum chips, sarsaparilla, spicewood, wild cherry bark, yellow dock, prickly ash bark, sassafras root, vanilla beans, dog grass, molasses, and licorice. Many of these ingredients are still used in traditional and commercially produced root beer today, which is often thickened, foamed, or carbonated. Although most mainstream brands are caffeine-free, Barq’s does contain caffeine.
Root beer can be made at home with processed extract obtained from a factory, or it can also be made from herbs and roots that have not yet been processed. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic traditional root beers make a thick and foamy head when poured, often enhanced by the addition of yucca extract, soybean protein, or other thickeners.
List of main ingredientsEditRoots and herbsEditSassafras albidum – sassafras roots and bark containing the aromatic oil safrole (or an artificial substitute)Smilax regelii – sarsaparillaSmilax glyciphylla – sweet sarsaparillaPiper auritum – root beer plant or hoja santaGlycyrrhiza glabra – licorice (root)Aralia nudicaulis – wild sarsaparilla or “rabbit root”Gaultheria procumbens – wintergreen (leaves and berries)Betula lenta – sweet birch (sap/syrup/resin)Betula nigra – black birch (sap/syrup/resin)Prunus serotina – black cherry (wood)Picea rubens – red sprucePicea mariana – black sprucePicea sitchensis – Sitka spruceArctium lappa – burdock (root)Taraxacum officinale – dandelion (root)FoamEditQuillaja saponaria – soapbarkManihot esculenta – cassava, manioc, or yucca (root)SpicesEditPimenta dioica – allspiceTheobroma cacao – chocolateTrigonella foenum-graecum – fenugreekMyroxylon balsamum – Tolu balsamAbies balsamea – balsam firMyristica fragrans – nutmegCinnamomum verum – cinnamon (bark)Cinnamomum aromaticum – cassia (bark)Syzygium aromaticum – cloveFoeniculum vulgare – fennel (seed)Zingiber officinale – ginger (stem/rhizome)Illicium verum – star anisePimpinella anisum – aniseHumulus lupulus – hopsMentha species – mintOther ingredientsEditHordeum vulgare – barley (malted)Hypericum perforatum – St. John’s wort, sugar, Molasses, Yeast
Source by wikipedia