Thursday, September 8, 2016

Moonshine Cherry Sarsaparilla Float

     A Gourmet Ice Cream Float!   
     Antique sodas and hand crafted gourmet sodas currently a developing trend in the hospitality industry.  A departure from mainstream soft drinks has opened the door for hand crafted soda makers to gain a competitive edge.  Modern consumers prefer locally produced sodas because the flavors tend to be more creative.  Consumers also like old fashioned sodas because they are made with sugar syrup, which is slightly healthier than national bran sodas that are made with GMO corn syrup.    
     Environmentalists like small craft soda companies that offer deposit refunds for returned glass bottles.  This is what sustainability is all about.  This is how things used to be in the world of soft drinks and this is how it should be in this modern age.      
     Sarsaparilla is part of the history of the wild west.  Sarsaparilla is a serious beverage that unjustly gained a comical reputation in Hollywood western movies.  Originally, sarsaparilla appealed to travelers that were tired and parched from a long ride on horseback.  Sarsaparilla was a tonic made with sassafras, sugar and some medicinal roots like licorice or horehound.  Sarsaparilla quickly revitalized a person that was exposed to the elements for far too long.  Often after the energetic feeling returned, whiskey soon followed as the drink of choice.  In old western saloons, sarsaparilla and whiskey traditionally went hand in hand.     
     Technically, western sarsaparilla is a root beer.  Sarsaparilla fans will quickly contest that notion and say that it should not be classified as a root beer.  Personally, I say sarsaparilla and root beer are each their own thing, just like birch beer is in a world of its own in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
     Western sarsaparilla should not be confused with Asian sarsaparilla.  They are two different sodas and the main flavors come from two different plants.  The old world version of sarsaparilla has pretty much become nothing more than corn syrup soda water with flavor additives.  It does not compare to traditional old west style sarsaparilla.    
     When I was a kid, there were several brands of sarsaparilla that were available.  Now there are only a couple of brands.  Sioux City Sarsaparilla is by far the most famous.  The Sioux City brand is managed by the White Rock Beverage Company.  
     The White Rock Beverage Company has been in the soft drink business, in one way or another, since the late 1800's, so this company knows what sarsaparilla is all about.  For more information about Sioux City Sarsaparilla can be found at the White Rock Beverage Company Website. 
     Today's Moonshine Cherry Sarsaparilla Float is a good example of a modern gourmet soda fountain offering.  Moonshine Cherry Ice Cream tastes great with a craft sarsaparilla!         

     Moonshine Cherry Ice Cream:
     The Moonshine Cherry Ice Cream for today's float recipe does contain alcohol, so this concoction is for adults.  Options for a denatured version are explained in the Moonshine Cherry Ice Cream recipe. 
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.

     Cherry Firewater Ice Cream Sarsaparilla Float:
     This recipe yields 1 float.
     Garnishing the float is half of the fun!
     Step 1:  Select an old fashioned 16 to 20 oz soda glass.
     Chill the glass in a freezer.
     Step 2:  Place 2 scoops of the Cherry Moonshine Ice Cream in the soda glass.  (About 3 ounces per scoop)
     Step 3:  Slowly pour some chilled Sioux City Sarsaparilla over the ice cream, till the glass is full and a foamy head appears.
     Step 4:  Place a straw in the glass.
     Spear 2 Ole Smokey Moonshine Cherries with a fancy cocktail umbrella and place the umbrella in the straw. 
     Garnish with petite mint sprigs.  
     Step 5:  Serve the extra sarsaparilla on the side in its own bottle.
     Serve with a long handle sundae spoon.  

     Viola!  A gourmet float all the way!

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