Homemade Root Beer

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READY IN: 35mins
Recipe by Random Rachel

From Saveur magazine. My husband wants to try this, so I'm posting it before we lose the magazine. Looks like it'd be neat to try. The article says "the FDA banned safrole - a naturally occurring compound found in the oil of sassafras root bark - for commercial use, but it is still realitively easy to find sassafras in health food stores..." Makes 4 liters. Dried birch bark and dried sarsaparilla root aren't recognized ingredients, so I listed sugar instead with the real ingredients in parenthesis, just so they would be in the list of ingredients.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 14 ounce dried sassafras root, bark (optional)
  • 14 ounce dried birch bark
  • 14 ounce dried sarsaparilla root
  • 18 ounce dried licorice root
  • 1 inch piece gingerroot, thinly sliced
  • 1 split vanilla bean
  • 4 quarts water, divided
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 18 teaspoon active dry yeast


  1. Put dried bark and roots and vanilla in 2 quarts water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 2 hours.
  2. Strain liquid through cheesecloth into a clean plastic pitcher. Add 2 quarts of filtered water, cool to 75 degrees.
  3. Stir molasses and yeast into liquid, allow to sit 15 minutes. Pour into four clean, dry 1 liter soda bottles to 2" below top.
  4. Screw lids on tightly, set aside at room temperature for 12 hours. Chill for 2 days, it will taste strongly of molasses, or chill for 3-5 days for a milder taste. Open slowly and carefully.

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