Homemade Soda Recipes: Rooty Toot Root Beer

Make your own root beer at home!

| June 2011 Web

The following is an excerpt from Homemade Sodaby Andrew Schloss (Storey, 2011). The excerpt is from Chapter 3: Root Beers and Cola Brew. 

Root beer is a complex brew, radiating the wintergreen aroma of birch, the tang of sassafras, the woodsiness of sarsaparilla, and the palate-pumping pungency of licorice root. Modify those root flavors with floral vanilla beans and the fruity esters plentiful in raisins and you have one of the most sophisticated flavor combinations ever devised. In this chapter you’ll find more than half a dozen recipes for root beers; this one is beautifully balanced and rich-tasting. It gets its creamy mouthfeel from the addition of maltodextrin (available from most brewing supply houses and natural food stores).

Root Beer Syrup
enough for 1 gallon brewed root beer  

4 1/2  cups water
1/2 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
2 ounces dried sassafras root
1/4 ounce dried wintergreen leaves
4 star anise
1/2 vanilla bean, cut into three pieces
2 cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoon maltodextrin (optional)

1. Combine the water, raisins, sassafras, wintergreen, star anise, and vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally; let simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

2. Blend the brown sugar and maltodextrin (if using), and gradually add the mixture to the simmering root infusion, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then remove from the heat, let cool for 30 minutes, and strain.

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