Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drink Up

Over the weekend I made a cake that called for a total of one tablespoon of root beer concentrate (some in the cake and some in the frosting). The concentrate came in a two-ounce bottle, so there was quite a bit left over when the cake was done. As I was putting the bottle back into the package, I noticed there were directions for homemade root beer on the back of the box. Since I already had the concentrate on hand, today I made root beer, then figured out how to prepare a single serving for myself.

Making the root beer was easy. The recipe had four ingredients: water, sugar, concentrate, and club soda or seltzer. The first step is to make a simple syrup by cooking the water and sugar till it boils, then stirring in the concentrate. Next, the chilled syrup is poured into carbonated water and mixed till it's blended together. How simple is that?

The plan was to serve root beer with tonight's dinner. I made the syrup, put it in the refrigerator, and walked away. But the syrup kept calling my name from the kitchen. Eventually, I gave in and decided to have some soda for a late-afternoon snack. I didn't want to mix the entire batch together, since I didn't know how long the carbonation would last once the concentrate was mixed with the club soda. Not a problem; a little computation allowed me to pour just enough of the syrup into a glass for a single serving. I added the soda water and a few cubes of ice and gave it a stir.

The soda was great! The syrup tasted like something you'd put on a snow cone, so I was afraid the end result would be way too sweet, but the carbonation of the club soda really cut the sugar and gave it a different taste. My treat was gone quickly, but I still have a partial bottle of concentrate left for another day. Root beer float, anyone?


  1. I had no idea making root beer was so easy! My fav is root beer floats.

  2. I love root beer...well, I love all fizzy drinks actually. I had no idea you could make it yourself. I don't think they sell that kinda stuff @ my local grocery shop. However, I have made my own ginger ale before.

  3. Lover of Life-I think that a recipe for "real" root beer is more complicated; I let McCormick do the hard work of preparing the concentrate for me :-)

    Sydney-try looking in the baking aisle, next to the other extracts. However, I had to go to three grocery stores before I found it.

  4. I remember doing this when I was kid on summer break. My mother bought a whole set of flavors and we made flavored drinks. I didn't have any sparkling water though so just used tap water. One time we used 7-up and just put the flavoring right into the soda. Of course, you're talking 50 years ago!

  5. Yeah, our grocery shop really sucks - their baking aisle only covers about two square feet total. The most exotic stuff they have is almond, vanilla and peppermint extract.

    I have to ask - were you making a root beer cake?