You’ll have to go beyond your usual grocery store aisles to find these ingredients, but it is certainly worth the time and effort to enjoy an all-natural and authentic root beer. To make a classic root beer float, simply add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
Yield | 6 cups |
- 1½ qts water
- ½ cup sassafras root bark
- ¼ cup wintergreen leaves
- ¼ cup sarsaparilla root
- 1 Tbsp licorice root
- 1 Tbsp ginger root
- 1 Tbsp dandelion root
- 1 Tbsp hops flowers
- 1 Tbsp birch bark
- 1 Tbsp wild cherry tree bark
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 packet kefir starter culture
| Preparation | In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. | 1 | Add the sassafras root bark through the cinnamon stick and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. | 2 | Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
While the liquid is still hot, add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
| 3 | Once cool, stir in the starter culture and pour into a bottle or jar with an airtight seal, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top.
Place the bottle or jar in a cool, dark place and let ferment at room temperature for 3 days. Move the bottles to the refrigerator and ferment for an additional 3 days.
| 4 | Take care when opening, as the contents have been under pressure and may fizz up or even explode. Open the jars slowly over a sink, pour into drinking glasses and enjoy.
NOTE: All specialty ingredients in this recipe can be purchased at Cheryl’s Herbs, 7170 Manchester Road, Suite A, Maplewood, cherylsherbs.com.