Root beer is a sweet soft drink traditionally made using the sassafras tree Sassafras albidum (sassafras) or the vine Smilax ornata (sarsaparilla) as the primary flavor. Root beer may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, come naturally free of caffeine or have caffeine added, and carbonated or non-carbonated.

The beginnings of root beer go all the way back to Medieval Europe. Water was extremely unsafe to drink at the time because there was no public sanitation. Instead of getting a fatal illness by drinking disease-riddled water, people used to quench their thirst with “small beer,” or beer that contained very little alcohol. Brewing beer with malt involves boiling water, which purifies water and makes it safe to drink. Workers who had physically demanding jobs would sometimes drink up to 10 pints of beer a day to stay hydrated. Sounds pretty good to us.

Back in the 19th century, pharmacists tried to sell these root drinks as drugs that cure all ailments. One pharmacist in particular, Charles Hires, is famous for commercially marketing the root-based drink, and, more importantly, naming it “root beer”. When the Pennsylvania-based pharmacist first packaged his herb mix, he wanted to call it “root tea”. But after thinking it over, he decided marketing it as “root beer” would make it more successful with Pennsylvania coal miners, who were renown lovers of beer. Smart man. FOODNINFO.COM #FOODNINFO #ninfonetwork #ROOTBEER #FLOAT #ROOTBERRFLOAT #A&W #foodnetwork #foodandwine #bonappetit #marthastewart #EATER #truecooks #chefsofinstagram #chefLife #BEER #delicious #TASTY #FOODPORN #YUM #NYC #LAEATS #safoodie #sffoodie #SPAIN #FRANCE #EEEEEATS

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