Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No. 20: Root Beer from Mugs Up Drive-In

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 11:05 AM

 

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The Mugs Up Drive-In in Independence makes its own root beer

 

To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue, we're counting down our favorite Top 50 dishes each weekday until October 7.

For over a half-century, the orange-and-white loose-burger stand at 700 East 23rd Street in Independence -- Bill and Ann's Mugs Up Drive-In -- has been been serving Zip burgers, Whiz burgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, homemade orange drink and the house specialty, root beer.

There's no other beverage in town quite like it. The house-made brew is spicy, earthy ... truly rooty-tasting.

Long before the owners of Mugs Up started making their own root beer, the best way to concoct the fizzy beverage was to make it at home. In 1876, a Philadelphia druggist named Charles Hires began packaging a mixture of dried roots and berries that anyone could use to make root beer by cooking up the dried roots, straining the liquid, adding sugar and yeast and letting it ferment for several days.

When the passionate people of America's temperance movement started making life miserable for saloons, some business owners began selling root beer instead of the alcoholic variety. Like that other popular carbonated concoction, root beer caught on.

The best way to drink the brew -- like real beer -- is in a frosty cold mug, a specialty at Mugs Up. The drive-in also sells the beverage by the quart and the gallon.

Our list so far:

No. 50: Chocolate Malt from Fox's Drug Store

No. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli

No. 48: Italian sausage and eggs from Cascone's Grill

No. 47: Orange Roll from Clock Tower Bakery

No. 46: Tacos de cochinita from Frida's Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

No. 45: Barbecued pork bun from 888 International Market

No. 44: Tableside fresh mozzarella from Jasper's

No. 43: Gyro Sandwich from Mr. Gyros Greek Food & Pastry

No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer

No. 41: Rice noodle bowl from dim sum at Bo Lings

No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee

No. 39: Flight of Freshness from Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones

No. 38: Curried chicken salad from Cafe Provence

No. 37: Apple fritter from John's Space Age Donuts

No. 36: Pollo con limone e olive from Lidia's Kansas City

No. 35: Wedding-cake cookie from LattéLand

No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls

No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's

No. 32: Burger and frites from Westport Cafe & Bar

No. 31: Paletas from Paleterias Tropicana

No. 30: Goat korma at New Cafe Tandoor

No. 29: Lemon cake from Cafe Europa

No. 28: Chocolate Mousse Torte from Napoleon Bakery

No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe 

No. 26: French fries from LC's Bar-B-Q

No. 25: Classic Cookie's herbed-potato-and-sausage casserole

No 24: Farmer greens salad at The Farmhouse

No. 23: Egg salad sandwich from You Say Tomato

No. 22: Waldorf Salad from Bloomsbury Bistro

No. 21: Pork tenderloin sandwich from Kitty's Cafe

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