The other day, after playing full-court basketball for over two hours, I stopped at Trader Joe's and, severely parched, headed to the small refrigerator case where they sell chilled drinks. Not in the mood for an energy drink and in need of a sugar fix, I grabbed the only alternative, a bottle of Virgil's root beer. It doesn't taste like any other root beer I've had. And some people aren't too keen on the strange overtones in its finish. But I was bowled over. I'm not much of a root beer drinker, either, preferring sarsparilla or, even better, birch beer -- my elementary school nickname, incidentally, which tells you how thoroughly immersed I was in Eastern Pennsylvania culture -- if I'm going to deviate from my usual Coca-Cola-drinking ways. The thing about Virgil's, though, is that the complicated recipe brings it closer to birch beer. There's also the deliciousness of the cane sugar, which is easy to detect, that gives it that extra something that makes Mexican Coca-Cola in glass bottles the Dom Perignon of colas. Anyway, I highly recommend Virgil's, even as I worry that I may become too fond of the taste to maintain my increasingly healthy ways.