We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In the late 40's I can remember my father used to make root beer. He would use any soda bottles and he had his own bottle capper. He would keep them in our cool basement for a few weeks to ferment/finish. I can still hear the sound of a bottle of root beer in the basement breaking under the pressure. As I remember you have to hold the newly made root beer in a large crock for a few days or so until most of the fermenting is done and then bottle it. If you misjudge and bottle too soon it will ferment off enough CO2 to blow up. I also remember that the best way to open them was in the basement before you even moved the bottle. It was cool and unshaken and would usually barely foam over the lip of the bottle. But if you brought it upstairs or worse allowed it to get warm it would fizz and bubble over worse than any Champagne and leave you with half a bottle of kinda flat root beer.
One of the local beverage bottlers sold a sarsaparilla but I don't think they spelled it that way. It lacked the rich creamy flavor of a good root beer.
The picture is not the picture of a well-made root beer float. First a little bit of vanilla in the bottom of the mug, then a little bit of root beer--cream the two together with your spoon. Now, two more full scoops of vanilla ice cream (size relative to the size of the mug--I prefer medium sized). Finally, add the root beer down the side of the glass to fill in all the empty spaces. Put in a long spoon and move the scoops of ice cream around so that the liquid starts to become cloudy.
When I was a kid, whenever we went to a restaurant, my folks would order my sisters a Shirley Temple; with a Willie Rogers for me. We were very sophisticated. I don't even know if they make those drinks anymore.