O-So Vanilla Butterscotch Root Beer

Ingredients: carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), citric acid, natural and artificial flavors


Frostie Vanilla Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval About a year or so after I found Frostie Root Beer I encountered Frostie Vanilla at a grocery store in Provo where I was studying. They’re still going for the whole Christmas theme though now the snowy field has been replaced with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the frosty mug o’ brew is now a tall root beer float, or something with a scoop of ice cream. It’s like they wanted it to be a root beer float soda, but wanted me to review it so they’re calling it a vanilla root beer instead. I can only say that that is a wise choice, because everyone knows that a soda that I won’t review based on the semantics of its name is clearly not worth drinking.

This has a sweet, creamy Body with lots of luscious vanilla. The Bite is on the weak side but not too bad. The Head is adequate, though it could be frothier. The Aftertaste is a wonderful vanilla flavor that lasts a long time.

Wow, delicious. This is really got a nice vanilla flavor while still being a root beer. It basically tastes like a normal Frostie root beer with the strange unnatural flavor replaced with vanilla. A wise and excellent improvement I say. Clearly, some great sage was present at the birth of this brew, guiding them so they’d make me happy. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

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Ingredients: carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, sodium benzoate (a preservative), citric acid, natural flavor

This traditional sour recipe doubles up on the root-beer notes naturally found in the hoja santa leaf, infusing the leaves into an aromatic simple syrup and dropping in root beer bitters as a garnish. The vanilla comes from the addition of Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur rife bursting with vanilla, fruit, and spice aromas.

Hoja Santa Leaves


For the hoja santa-infused simple syrup:

  • 34 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup hoja santa leaves, roughly chopped (4-5 large leaves)

For the cocktail:

  • 34 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 34 oz. hoja santa syrup
  • 12 oz. Licor 43
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 oz. Jamaican rum, preferably Appleton Estate Jamaican Gold
  • 2 dashes root beer or sassafras bitters, preferably Bittered Sling plum and root beer, as garnish
  • 1 hoja santa leaf, as garnish


Step 1

Make the hoja santa syrup: In a small pot combine ¾ cup cane sugar and ¾ cup cold water. Heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the syrup begins to simmer, remove from heat and immediately add the hoja santa. Steep the leaves in the syrup until room temperature, then set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl. Strain the syrup, sqeezing the leaves against the strainer to extract as much flavor as possible. Use immediately or save the in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Step 2

In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, Licor 43, hoja santa syrup, rum, and egg white and dry shake, without ice, for 15-20 seconds.

Step 3

Fill the shaker with ice and shake an additional 20 seconds to aerate the egg white.

Step 4

Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with skewered hoja santa leaf and drops of bitters.


The Body is sweet and hollow. While it’s in your mouth there are really only faint traces of butterscotch and vanilla and not a lot else. I search in vain for the classic root beer flavors. The Bite from spices is non-existent but the carbonation level is very sharp and prickly so you can’t really taste much until you swallow. It does, however, feel very smooth and rich in your mouth. The Head is medium tall and lingers awhile but not forever like some. The Aftertaste is a solid vanilla and butterscotch flavor that still doesn’t have a lot of characteristic root beer to it.

Because why would a butterscotch root beer actually taste like root beer? I actually think this has the best butterscotch flavor profile of the three, but it has the worst root beer profile. Probably due to the fact that root beer which tastes like root beer is too mainstream. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Ingredients: carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), citric acid, natural and artificial flavors

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