Hansen’s Creamy Root Beer

Summer 2013 Root Beer Project, Post 2

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Hansen’s Creamy Root Beer

CONTAINS: Pure Triple Filtered Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural Spices of Wintergreen, Birch, Anise, Sassafras, Tahitian Vanilla Extract, Citric Acid.

Harsh and thin. Almost tastes like it is a diet drink, not sugar sweetened, maybe from the can? Wintergreen lingers on the palate and the flavors not well integrated.

Toothpaste.

—Update!—

2 Hours later, my tongue still feels a little numb and my mouth tastes like I compulsively chomped a whole roll of Wint-O-Green Lifesavers.

Root Rating:

2 out of 5 Barrels.

Baladin “Ginger”

Baladin – GINGER SODA This ginger soda contains no colorings or preservatives. It’s ingredients are simply water, natural brown sugar, lemon juice, carbon dioxide and the unmistakable infusion of herbs, zests of bitter and sweet oranges from Garagno PGI, spices and vanilla which gives it its distinctive aroma and flavor.

We were just lamenting the loss of Sanbitter, one of the more similar beverages might be Baladin “Ginger”. I have no idea why it is called “Ginger”, it tastes more like Aperol and Soda. Maybe a bit more grapefruit, than Aperol’s Orange, but pretty darn similar.

I think “Garagno PGI” might be a mis-spelling/abbreviation of Gargano, Puglia.

Baladin Ginger

Sanbitter & Bitter Lemon

Sanbitter & Bitter Lemon

Recently, I was contacted by a friend about participating in a home bar crawl to several bartenders’ houses.

Rock Star Bartenders’ Home Setups, Grant Marek

**Cough**Yes, the name of the article is **ahem** inaccurate, at least in my case!

I drew the lucky straw and they started at my house at 11 AM. Made Ramos Fizzes and served coffee and pastries.

The second stop was at Josh Harris’ apartment in the Mission.

He served us a drink made with Sanbitter and Fever Tree Bitter Lemon, about 50/50, on cracked ice, which totally hit the spot on that ridiculously, unseasonably, hot November day.

I’ve spent most of the rest of the last few months trying to track down some Sanbitter, I enjoyed that non-alcoholic aperitif so much, but not had much luck.

This month, a month of ‘experimenting with sobriety’, I really wanted to track them down, but BevMo! was out stock on both Fever Tree Bitter Lemon and Sanbitter.

I remembered seeing some bottles at Tower Market, before it became Molly Stone’s, but they didn’t really turn over the inventory with the new management, so I had some hope it would still be there. Score one for slow inventory turn over.

Fever Tree Bitter Lemon is exactly that, a sort of cross between lemon soda and tonic water. One of my favorites of Fever Tree’s flavors.

Sanbitter is sort of a non-alcoholic campari-soda. It’s maybe a bit more cherry-ish, than Campari, but similar in flavor with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Right up my alley.

Combining them is a great idea, Thanks Josh! I’m told, they should have this combo at the new and excellent Trick Dog, if you don’t feel like tracking down your own carton of Sanbitter.*

*Update! Apparently, the Sanbitter product has been discontinued, so the Sanbitter & Bitter Lemon Highball will NOT be on the menu at Trickdog. They still have 3 excellent non-alcoholic drinks, so go anyway!

Blenheim Ginger Ale

Blenheim Ginger Ale

Woo, That’s a spicy Meat-a-Ball!

So, the thing about the chemical components which cause ginger to seem spicy-hot, is that they degrade quickly. If you make a ginger syrup, it will stop being very spicy within a very few days, even refrigerated.

However, some Ginger Ales and Ginger Beers are very spicy. How can this be?

Well, among the ‘natural flavorings’ the manufacturers use to flavor these spicy Ginger beverages, you will find the chemical component which causes chile peppers to be spicy, Capsaicin.

Yep, the same stuff in Pepper Spray.

Though, I can’t say that carrying a bottle of Blenheim Ginger Ale will probably have quite the same deterrent effect as pepper spray. Not a recommended substitute.