When you think back on the 90s, what sticks out? I recently watched Clueless for about the 23rd time (it’s one of my favorite movies) and noticed the slightest bit of nostalgia rising up in my stomach. I quickly fell down a Google wormhole searching 90s trends when an ad for Zima came up. It was the one in which some guy was getting stuck on everything in a hot room, then cracked a Zima and everything instantly cooled off, proclaiming “Ahhhhh Zima!” Being in the target demographic for super surgery alcoholic beverages at the time, I was probably a little more captivated with the ad then others. Zima paved the way for things such as Mike’s Hard and Smirnoff Ice, and a host of other things you wouldn’t be want to be caught drinking over the age of 16. While these beverage have kind of flamed out, some new beer alternatives have taken their place.
Hard root beer has grown rapidly in recent months as a perfectly acceptable adult soda. As the Steigl Radlers seemed to be all the rage during the summer, the emergence of hard root beer has taken its place in the colder winter months. The two most widespread brands are Not Your Fathers Root Beer and Best Damn Root Beer. Both can be found at TLS and The Jackson Whole Grocer, while Bin 22, Aspens Market, and Lucky’s Market carry the first one. Although this might not take over IPAs as the most popular beer category, it is pretty versatile to use as a mixer, just sip, or most importantly, make into an adult root beer float.
Root beer floats have always been in my top 3 favorite desserts of all time. Alcohol-spiked desserts are also a huge plus, so a mixing of the two together is a total win win in my book. I have made plenty of straight up beer floats in my life, and if you haven’t tried one, I would suggest it (use Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing if going this direction), but there is something comforting about the original. For mine I used Cream + Sugar salted carmel ice cream, which can be found at Bin 22, for an added local twist.