General Question

Trance24's avatar

What is the "root" in "Root Beer"?

Asked by Trance24 (3306points) July 29th, 2008

Why is it called root beer? Does it actually use some kind of root? If so what kind and how is it used?

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8 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Currently, root beer is made from extract in a syrup..
However, historically, it was made from ground sarsaparilla roots.

PupnTaco's avatar

A combination of roots and more, actually. Hires’ original recipe included:
Birch Bark
Chirreta
Dog Grass
Ginger
Hops
Juniper Berries
Licorice
Sarsaparilla
Sugar
Vanilla
Wintergreen
Yerba Mate

Trance24's avatar

@ PT that sounds delicious. I started drinking virgils recently and that is very good. Has a lot of the ingredients you just listed.

kevbo's avatar

Cliff Claven moment: it actually started out as “root tea,” but became “beer” to increase sales among laborers.

poofandmook's avatar

@Kevbo: Anybody who quotes Cheers is okay in my book.

Response moderated
Strauss's avatar

Ginger “ale”, and its cousin ginger “beer” were also originally brewed.

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