For too long, root beer was relegated to childhood pizza parties and ice cream floats. Now, root beer’s distinct sweet, spiced flavors are making their way into adulthood with deliciously nostalgic boozy products. Here, three great grown-up root beer bottlings.
Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer
Served over ice with a straw, you’d never know this fizzy, frothy drink was actually an ale. Surprisingly strong with an ABV of 5.9 percent, the easy drinking beer is brewed with spices used to make root beer. If that’s not boozy enough for you, the Illinois brewery also makes two limited-edition 22-ounce versions: one weighing in at 10.7 percent and another even stronger bottling, which comes in at a whopping 19.5 percent ABV.
Uncle Bob’s Root Beer Flavored Whiskey
Sweet but not too sweet, this spiced whiskey tastes like anise, sassafras and sarsaparilla. Meant to be a more sophisticated (or at least retro-cool) alternative to flavored whiskeys like Fireball, it’s best served on the rocks or in a simple cocktail—like an extra-sweet old-fashioned.
Made by Art in the Age, this craft liqueur was inspired by root tea, root beer’s 1700s predecessor made with sassafras, sarsaparilla, birch bark and other roots. It’s flavored with 13 organic roots, herbs and fruits including cardamom, birch bark, anise, smoked black tea, orange and nutmeg. Drier than you’d expect, it’s a terrific digestif or cocktail ingredient.