Root beer is one of my favorite soda flavors, so I couldn’t walk by the bottles of Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Root Beer Soda Syrup in Williams Sonoma without picking one up to try (they had cola and lemon-lime, too). I like a lot of the other products from Sonoma Syrup Co, including their vanilla bean crush, so I had fairly high hopes for the root beer. Plus, the idea of making my own gourmet soda was pretty appealing, especially because the instructions on the bottle just called for mixing the syrup with chilled soda water and giving it a stir before serving. The root beer and other sodas are all hand made using natural ingredients, cane sugar and natural flavorings. The root beer includes sweet birch, caramel, cinnamon, sassafras and vanilla.
The root beer syrup didn’t disappoint me. It was sweet, flavorful and peppery. It actually reminded me a lot of those little root beer barrel candies that you find at some candy stores (I used to buy those all the time when I was young!). The best thing about the syrup is that you can mix up however much soda you want – even if it’s just a little bit -at one time without having to open a can or a big bottle. The whole bottle makes about 25 8-oz servings. You can also adjust the amount of flavoring in your soda, if you prefer it stronger or weaker. I found that adding a little extra when I was making root beer floats made them even better. Because this syrup is really a concentrate (all of the carbonation comes from the soda water you mix it with), you could also use this as a flavoring for other recipes if you don’t want to drink down the whole bottle.