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Last weekend we went to a 4th July themed party at a friends house. They are both American and they have a 4th July themed party every year. They had it slightly early this year as they will both be back in the US over the actual 4th July holiday.
One of the many drinks that they had on offer was root beer. I do like root beer, and will always have some whilst we are on holiday in the US. Normally in the US I buy the A&W branded root beer, and I always buy the diet version. The root beer on offer at the party was the Mug branded root beer, they had both the normal and the diet versions on offer. I did only try the diet Mug root beer, so can only comment on this version.
Root beer is a typically American fizzy soft drink. It looks similar to coke, but it's more of a dark caramel brown colour than the black colour of coke. It always has a thick foamy head when you pour it, and it's typically served in frozen tankards. It's especially popular in root beer floats.
So how did the Mug diet root beer taste? - delicious! Root beer is probably a bit of an aquired taste and I know lots of people that absolutely hate it. It has a very distinctive taste, a kind of a spicy and tangy rather than a sweet taste, the nearest comparison I can think of is a sasparilla tyre taste. It's not overly sweet, even my husband likes root beer, and he's not a sweet fizzy pop lover at all. The Mug diet root beer was lovely, a creamy, not too sweet fizzy soda, especially good when served really cold. I actually brought some of it home with me as I loved it so much.
At the party you could choose to just have the root beer to drink on it's own, or the host was making root beer floats for anyone that wanted them, and also they'd used root beer in a marinade for chicken and ribs; this was especially delicious and something that I'm definately going to try myself.
Next time we are in the US I'm definately going to have the Mug root beer again, and I'm also going to keep an eye out for it here. The drinks for the party were all ordered online from a company supplying American foodstuffs, I did get the name, but unfortunately drank too much at the party to actually remember it! A quick google search would probably locate it though.
Root beer. Its weird, its not available in Britain, its classically American...and its actually quite nice. While I was in America I stumbled across this (not that it was hard to stumble across it its everywhere) and thought Id try it.
What is root beer?
Root beer is a traditional herby drink originally brewed from roots and flavours such as liquorice, aniseed, vanilla and sarsaparilla. Its most popular in America but you do see variations in England such as dandelion and burdock.
Who are Mug?
Mug Root Beer was started in San Francisco by the Belfast Beverage Company, which soon changed its name to Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer and began to ship the product around the country. The company was bought by PepsiCo in 1986, and today they make both traditional root beer and cream soda.
The bottle is a normal plastic fizzy drinks bottle, with a label bearing the word MUG and the companys logo a dog holding a beer glass. Although its called root beer, the liquid actually looks like cola rather than beer much darker and more syrupy-looking than even the darkest ale.
The overpowering smell is aniseed, but with a slightly medicinal twist kind of like Pepto-Bismol! When in the mouth, its thin, syrupy and very fizzy. This is a drink which smells just like it tastes the flavours that come to mind are mainly aniseed, a hint of liquorice and plenty of sugar. And yes, it does taste a little bit like Pepto-Bismol!
This varies, but in most places you can buy a bottle from $1.50 to $3 I seemed to buy it mostly from vending machines at $2.
I suspect that its a love it or hate it thing, and its probably too strong and aniseedy for some, but I was won over. Overall Id say this was a nice drink a little weird, but definitely a nice weird. Also Id bear in mind that its very syrupy, with 100 calories per bottle, so Id go for the diet version if youre watching the calories.
Where to buy
You can buy this product from almost anywhere in America as it is a very popular drink. I dont think Ive seen it in England, so youll have to wait till you go to America (or someone nice brings you some back) but Dandelion and Burdock is similar.
www.mugrootbeer.com for more info.
Mug was first produced by the Belfast Beverage Company in San Francisco, California during the early 1950s. Its name was changed to Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer. In the late 1960s, Sugar Free Mug (now Diet Mug Root Beer) was introduced. Mug Cream Soda (and Diet Mug Cream Soda) was later introduced, but it is not as widely available. Mug was purchased by Pepsi in 1986. The Mug can features a bulldog holding a mug of root beer; on the Mug Root Beer website, there is a free online comic to view the dog's adventures.