Did you acquire the taste for root beer as an adult?

As an Immigrant, I was introduced to root beer / Dr Pepper (I know they are not the same - but are similar) in my 20s but never quite liked it. Neither did many of my other Indian friends. We picked up different beers, wines, cocktails, soft drinks etc etc but nobody I know picked up root beer.

Is this common with other people who are introduced to Root beer as an adult ? Are there other flavors/tastes that are unlikely to be acquired as adults ?

I live in the UK I didn’t taste root beer until I was 20 and A&W made a brief incursion into the UK. It tasted to me like that stuff you wash your mouth out with at the dentist and didn’t order it again. Since then Aldi have started selling it and I’ve tried it a couple of times but I can’t get into it, it still tastes awful.

Several immigrants from China (including my wife) have told me that root beer has a medicinal taste to them. My wife still drinks it occasionally, though.

I had a Russian co-worker who told a story about when he first moved to Canada. He was taking a long bus journey from Ontario to Alberta and at one stop he saw a vending machine that sold beer. He took a big swig and was horrified to learn that root beer tastes nothing like beer.

It’s vile!

Not really. Root beer is a flavor that’s predominantly wintergreen and vanilla, with other stuff added for complexity. Dr. Pepper is a spiced cherry soda, much like Coke/Pepsi are actually spiced citrus sodas.

I suspect the wintergreen is the stumbling block for people not brought up to it - I can totally see how it would be considered medicinal.

Out of curiosity, do you eat wintergreen Life Savers, or are those considered gross and medicinal in other countries?

I grew up with root beer and I’d say the majority of my current enjoyment is nostalgia. I never buy it but, every once in a while I’ll be at a kids birthday party or something where they serve pizza and root beer and I love it.

My Tehran-born wife says root beer is a notoriously American flavor that tastes like cough syrup to everyone else.

I grew up on the west coast of the US and A&W was everywhere. My dad liked it, so as a kid I tried it, and liked it too. I know a lot of people who don’t care for it, so it’s definitely an acquired taste. I didn’t like beer when I first starting drinking it in college but have since learned to enjoy and appreciate it. I also started drinking Dr. Pepper quite young and nobody I knew liked it. I think I got tired of Coke, Pepsi, and 7Up and wanted to find something most people weren’t drinking for some reason.

I love root beer, but I grew up with it. It has no medicinal qualities at all to me.

Dr. Pepper is very different. I really don’t like it. When I was in high school my older sister had a job with an interview company. She recruited me and some friends for a soft drink survey. It was in person and would conclude with a sample. As we discussed which soft drinks we liked and which we didn’t, we were all ragging on Dr. Pepper. Carbonated prune juice was our description. So, what was the sample? Dr. Pepper of course.

This was ages ago…back when their advertising was based on the ten-two-four slogan. Shortly after our interviews, the “I’m a Pepper” ads with David McNaughton started. We claimed credit!

I need to try other countries’ cough syrup it seems to me!

I liked root beer as a kid. Still enjoy it now.

I always thought Dr. Pepper had kind of a bubble gum-like flavor.

As an aside…

I love root beer.

I hate Dr. Pepper. If I was crawling through a desert, about to die of dehydration, and found a Dr. Pepper I would think twice before drinking it.

Just my $0.02

I loved root beer as a child (side note that due to allergies there were some essential foods that I could not eat at the time, such as eggs and chocolate, so I had to get my flavor enjoyments where I could). One vacation as a young teen I had a root beer float as my beverage at every single meal except maybe breakfast.

As an adult, I find it cloying and uninteresting.

Isn’t it based on Native American recipes, based on sassafras? So she would be correct in this view.

For what it’s worth, I was raised with both (like most Americans), and I like root beer, and Dr Pepper is my favorite of the common American soft drinks.

Yes, and hasn’t sassafras been a common flavoring for most of American history?

The first time I tried Cream Soda as a…teen maybe?..I thought I was drinking Root Beer which I liked, and considered it the best Root Beer I had ever had before I figured out what I was drinking. I absolutely cannot imagine confusing Dr. Pepper for root beer. They are very different, other than being extremely sweet carbonated beverages. As a child I would happily drink Dr. Pepper. Now I would try to avoid it, but I’ll still drink root beer as a treat.

I’ve also made homemade root beer with sassafras root a few times and it’s quite different from the commercial stuff, but saffrole is considered a carcinogen so I don’t make a habit of it.

Disclaimer: I had a major U.S. soft drink company, which made several popular root beer brands, as a client for several years.

It’s worth noting that different root beer brands have different flavor profiles, and may be more (or less) appealing to someone trying them for the first time as an adult.

A&W and Mug (made by Pepsico) tend to have a mellower taste, while Barq’s (made by Coca-Cola) and Vernor’s have stronger, “bitier” flavors.

I prefer A&W root beer and have liked root beer since I was a child (I did like Barq’s back then much more than now, but I kinda wonder how much of that was liking the can because children work that way sometimes). Not my daily drink, but I like to get some occasionally. I’ve heard it said that if you didn’t grow up drinking it, root beer tastes like medicine.

I have never cared for Dr. Pepper, but have not tried it in decades, so can’t actually say I would not like it now.

I’ve heard the same and am wondering what part of our anatomy is responsible for this ? Are there other tastes / flavors that also cannot be acquired once you are an adult ?

Like you know we have genetic differences that makes Cilantro or licorice liking different for different people. But I know for sure that’s not the case with root beer since my kid and many immigrant kids love it - so is there some other part of our anatomy that dictates this?

Like many sodas, root beer was marketed for its medicinal properties back in the 19th century.