Homemade Root Beer

2012-09-29T20:30:00Z 2012-11-01T15:18:31Z Homemade Root BeerRecipe by Cassy Vires Feast Magazine | Inspired Local Food Culture/Midwest
September 29, 2012 8:30 pm  • 

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.

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