Root beer is a mixer that flies under the radar in the world of adult beverages, but its sweet, mellow herbal taste can be used to create everything from a rich and creamy root beer float to a sophisticated fizz that capitalizes on beverage's complex flavor. Or, pair root beer with the root of its name -- beer -- for a no-frills, delicious drink.
Root Beer Floats
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a straightforward root beer float by beginning with two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass. Pour in one to two shots of your choice of liqueur, and fill the glass with root beer. Try using absinthe for a licorice kick, a flavored vodka like whipped cream or cherry for a sweet treat or a cinnamon liqueur like Goldschlager for a spicy twist. Mix with a long spoon to combine and top the drink with a dollop of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry for a real adult treat.
Root Beer Shooters
Root beer makes a great mixer for a simple shooter. Combine equal parts Guinness -- or another full-bodied stout of your choosing, such as a chocolate or oatmeal stout -- and root beer in a large shot glass and shoot. Try mixing equal parts Jagermeister and root beer, rum and root beer or a neutral spirit like vodka for a shooter that packs a punch while letting the root beer be the star of the drink.
Rum and Root Beer
Rum and root beer make a great pair, blending beautifully to create some seriously delicious cocktails. Try mixing one part spiced rum to four parts root beer over ice for a simple and sweet cocktail with a spicy kick. Or, add one part Bailey's Irish Cream for decadent twist. Exotic-flavored rums like coconut give this simple drink an island flair.
Root Beer Fizz
Show the sophisticated side of root beer with a root beer fizz. Begin by combining two parts gin, one part lemon juice and a spoonful of sugar in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until the sugar has dissolved. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Fill the shaker with four parts root beer, or, to taste. Stir gently. A Manila Fizz is similar but uses an egg to give the cocktail more body. Begin by combining two parts gin, two parts root beer, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, a spoonful of powdered sugar and an egg in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, until frothy and well mixed. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with a few ice cubes.