Millcreek Road Rootbeer
Best if consumed in Ama’s backyard on 3250 Millcreek Road in the summertime after swimming
(over the course of a childhood). Always tastes best after grandchildren take turns sitting on the lid:
Shannon, Maia, Dwight, Greg, Sadie, Haley, Natalie,
Devin, Quinn, Taylor, Emma & Ben Featherstone.
Lots of paper cups needed if Taylor Soper is participating.
Children LOVE making this (with your help). Who doesn’t love the fog effect from dry ice? And they love holding onto the lid for dear life imagining that if they don't, the pressure will eject them into outer space. I wonder who gave them that idea?
Update 2010: The house, my childhood home, is no longer there, but our Taylor family memories will always linger in that acre of air, sky, gully, river and trees—and with the neighbors. Most likely, there are still plastic Easter eggs in the gully from years past, nestled in the trees still waiting to be found.
5-gallon insulated beverage dispenser
5-pound bag of sugar
5 gallons water (less for more fizz)
5 pounds dry ice
Gloves (or hands—if you’re not too smart)
1 2-ounce bottle McCormick root beer concentrate (found on spice isle in store)*
Extra small chunks of dry ice (add just before serving so children can see the fog effect)
1 large kitchen trashcan liner
- Make this outside on the grass near a hose. In 5-gallon thermos container, dump in bag of sugar. With a hose, fill only partway with water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add rootbeer extract.
- Add remaining water to equal about 4 gallons (COLD—usually from the hose). You need airspace at the top to create enough pressure, which equals more fizz. (Ideally you have 1/3 liquid and 2/3 air).
- Stir with a long dowel, because you’ll never find a spoon long enough.
- Put gloves on. While dry ice is still in paper bag, hit with hammer to make smaller chunks of dry ice.
- Slide dry ice out of bag into the root beer without burning yourself, stirring so that the chunks don’t all freeze in a solid mass at the bottom blocking the spiggot (speaking from experience)J.
- Put the lid on tightly, and cover the entire thing with a plastic trashcan liner pulling the top of the bag down to the grass (This contains the splattering that comes from under the lid—otherwise whomever is sitting on the jug gets very sticky!)
- Have kids and cousins take turns sitting on the lid for 10 to 20 minutes, up to one hour. Stories about the building pressure inside make it even more fun for the younger ones, wondering if they are going to get shot into outer space riding on the lid—tell them to hold on tight to the handles J.
- Remove plastic liner, then hose off jug before serving if it got sticky.
- If you want extra fog for the kids, add the extra dry ice now and leave off the lid, otherwise leave on the lid and it will stay carbonated longer.
- DRINK AND ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*Other brands available online: Big H Rootbeer Extract, Zatarains (Walmart sells this). Homemade Soda Company dot com sells 3 rootbeer flavors (original, old fashioned, and gourmet), sarsparilla, as well as a foam enhancer when you serve it in a frosty glass mugJ.
*When Taylor was little he used to put a little bit of root beer in many cups, then line them all up on the orange and yellow Little Tykes table in Ama’s backyard, sipping from cup to cup trying to get the level of root beer even in all the cups.