Monday, July 16, 2012
Another Right of Summer
My before the holiday grocery shopping included this soda. It's July 4th. Root beer, in case you don't know, is a distinctly American invention. You will not find it in Great Britain. Well, you might find it in stores catering to an American audience, but the average Englishman or woman has never heard of this, least of all tasted it. The last time we went to England, in 1996, we took along a can of root beer, A&W, to be exact, to be shared with my late pen pal and her family. It was put in the fridge and, a day later, when it was all nicely chilled, we opened the top as you would open a bottle of wine. The can was passed around the table and everyone got a whiff.
"Well, that's ... um ... different."
"You actually drink this?"
Then, we poured a swallow or two into glasses for everyone and had them take a taste. I remember the kids trying to hold their noses while drinking it. I think they all swallowed. I don't actually remember. We were thanked for a distinctly American soda and the three of us; my ex, Carole and I, split the rest of the can. My pen pal's family watched in astonishment as we actually drank our share down in one gulp. I think we mentioned that we pour the beverage over ice cream which garnered stares of "Yes, they are mad but she's mum's friend so we'll be polite."
With the power going out July 1st, I didn't get around the the root beer float until yesterday. I don't have a frosty mug. I have these tall glasses I got in college which are distinctly collector's items now. Two scoops of vanilla ice cream and fill the rest of the glass with root beer. Scoop off the foam and let it settle a bit and add more root beer. When you have half ice cream and half root beer, find the last straw you have in the house, take the glass and go sit in the living room with a cat sticking her nose into the foam because obviously, what you have is something she has to have. Once she leaves, savor the flavor.
It was 98 outside yesterday afternoon but who cares. I had a root beer float. Quintessential summer. Plus, there's more ice cream and root beer to use up although I'm out of straws.