Hires Root Beer & Vodka

Drink: Hires Root Beer and Vodka
Source: Canada Dry Motts, Mississauga, Ontario
ABV: 5%
Size: 473 mL tallboy
Cost: $2.95

Following in the footsteps of Dusty Boots and Crazy Uncle, Motts has licensed a RTD (ready-to-drink) root beer cocktail. Mill St and Mike’s have gotten in on the root beer biz, as well as Captain Morgan’s—beverage alcohol companies love spirit-based RTDs, simply because of their low cost and high sales margin.

A typical dark brown pour, this root beer offers traditional sarsaparilla and vanilla notes on the nose, with only a faint touch of grain alcohol (most likely corn-based, due to massive governmental subsidies) emanating from the glass.

With a deceptively smooth taste that masks the alcohol well (though considering it’s only 5% ABV, this is less tricky than a 7-9% ABV drink), the cola and liquorice elements join in as it goes over the tongue.

Although it’s got high-fructose corn syrup in the mix—thanks, big beverage alcohol—the finish is balanced as any other soda.

What differentiates this drink from its competitors can truly only be the branding; having tried Dusty Boots and Crazy Uncle, one can deduce that only so many things can be tinkered with when you’re adding vodka to root beer.

Worth a try if you’ve never had a spiked root beer. If you’ve had one, however, you’ve had them all; Hires relies on nostalgia to get into your fridge.

Serve ice cold.

Hoochsavvy Grade: B-

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/hires-root-beer/491316

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