For the 4th of July I made root beer ice and vanilla ice cream for our family get together. I made it first using McCormick’s root beer concentrate. I wasn’t happy with the really dark brown color (the first ingredient is caramel color), though the taste was OK. I decided to try another batch using an extract made with natural flavors.
I found a reasonably priced extract with good ratings at The Spice House.
I like this extract much better then the first one I used. When I used it, the extract just seemed more like root beer. It made my kitchen smell strongly of root beer, and the scent spread through the house. My five year old son, came into the kitchen to tell me it smelt like root beer in the house.
I think the flavor of this version was better then that of the one using the McCormicks. Both taste sufficiently of root beer, but this one seemed to be less chemical tasting to me, which makes sense since it is supposed to be made of natural flavors.
The only issue I had was a minor one. This extract is clear because there are no added colors. I used gel food coloring to attempt to make my root beer ice a pleasing brown color. I had read that an equal amount of red, blue, and yellow food color should be used to get brown. Unfortunately, I must have done something wrong because my ice didn’t end up brown. When I was mixing it up, I thought it was light brown. However, when I took the ice out of the ice cream mixer it was more of a pinkish color. That was more of cosmetic issue then a real problem.
The pictures actually look a bit brown, but in real life it is more pink. I definitely didn’t add enough color, and I probably got to much red in the mix.
Using the natural flavor made for a superior root beer ice. I highly recommend using whatever natural extract you can get your hands on if you make this. If you can’t get natural extract, then using something bought in a regular store makes for a perfectly good root beer ice.