When it comes to alcohol I’m not the biggest beer drinker in the world. Sure, when I was in high school and college that’s all I would drink because seriously, who did you ever see walking around a house party with a mixed drink? The closest we came to mixed drinks in high school was those lynchburg lemonades from Jack Daniels and nobody will admit to drinking those things. Personally, instead of beer, I’d rather have something loaded with sugar and that’s why I’ve come to enjoy alcoholic ciders and adult root beer.
I know it’s not the “manliest” thing to drink, but Angry Orchard, Crispin, Magners and other ciders have come to find a special place in my fridge next to the guest beer. For years and years my go to drink has been Captain Morgan and Coke, but things are starting to change, and even though I don’t like change in most of my life, I accept this change. The only problem with drinking these ciders is that they contain quite a bit of sugar which makes it hard to drink more than a couple of them, which could be seen as a good thing, as long as your goal isn’t to go out and get absolutely wasted. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely get wasted on these things considering they have an alcohol content of 5.5% where as a Bud Light has an abv of 4.2%, but the sugar content makes it hard to pound these as you would with beer; you’re definitely not putting these in a beer bong (challenge accepted!!).
I don’t think I’m the only one that has developed an affinity for these types of drinks as Chicago actually held a cider tasting fest last summer which, from what I’m told, was pretty popular. I didn’t know about this event so I did not attend, but had I known, I probably would have been down there to imbibe in a few beverages myself. I also read that the owners of the Fountainhead bar in Ravenswood are opening a Cider bar around the corner as well.
Aside from hard ciders, there is another “hard” drink that’s starting to make it’s way around the Chicagoland area… Not Your Father’s Root Beer, or Adult Root Beer. This particular alcoholic root beer is brewed at a brewery in Wauconda Illinois so I’m not sure if it’s spread to the rest of the country yet, but it’s different than some of the other ones on the market already. Some of the other ones out there just seem to taste like you poured alcohol into root beer, but not this one. Small Town Brewery has created the most dangerous alcoholic “pop/soda” ever, in my opinion. With two versions of the product at bars in the area, you can wet your palette with a drink containing 10% alcohol or 19.5% alcohol, which is just insane. I’ve only had the 10% alcohol version, as the other one is hard to find, but it literally tastes like a normal root beer. It’s loaded with sugar, it’s fizzy, it doesn’t taste like alcohol, and it’s super dangerous. However, just like the ciders, due to the sugar content, it’s super hard to drink more than 2 of these things without your stomach starting to feel like you’re burning a hole in it.
So if you’re looking for something other than beer or mixed drinks, why don’t you give a hard cider a try. They definitely aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for something sweeter than beer, this is a decent option.