Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cheers! Root Beer for Grownups only!

There are several things, culinary-wise, that blow my mind.

This weekend, at Old Sugar Distillery, I had a drink that falls smack into that category.  Root beer.  But not the soda pop kind...a fully adult, packs-a-punch cocktail.  I couldn't wait to try making my own version at home!  I still can't wrap my head around the idea that the ingredients that you put into it end up creating the taste sensation that it does.  But somehow, they do. 


3 ingredients, plus ice.  Go for quality here.  If you, in any way, can get your hands on Old Sugar's Americanaki Ouzo, do it.  It is the smoothest, most delicious ouzo that I have ever had, and I'm pretty sure it contributes to how fantastic this root beer turns out.  The hubs is not a fan of ouzo, and even he enjoyed sipping on the Americanaki.  



Then get some good ginger beer.  Bundaberg has been my standard, but I recently found that Goose Island's Spicy Ginger is pretty amazing too.  And last, Angostura bitters.  Don't try to sub here either, no Peychaud's or anything...different bitters have totally different flavor notes.


This is totally my new drink of the summer for 2014.  


Fill a large glass with ice.  If you have one of those frosty mugs, filling it with this drink would make it brag to its friends in the cabinet for weeks.  A pint glass will work as well, or an ice tea glass, like I used tonight.


Pour in a generous shot of ouzo.


Fill the glass the rest of the way with ginger beer.  About 8 ounces, if you want to get technical.


Top it off with a good dose of Angostura bitters.  I probably splash in about 15-20 drops. 


Give it a quick stir to blend in the bitters, then kick back and enjoy.


Then, prepare yourself.  Try to figure out how licorice-tasting ouzo, ginger, and gently spiced bitters somehow add up to a drink that tastes just like root beer.  Sweet, flavorful, fantastic root beer.  

Note: even if you HATE ouzo, or licorice, don't count this drink out!  Seriously, you don't taste the anise at all.  The flavor is almost identical to a root beer barrel candy.  And it's delicious!  But beware, Old Sugar's ouzo is 90 proof...and with a drink that tastes like a soda, you can fall pretty hard pretty quickly!


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