Just as the Native Americans did for hundreds of years, people all across the native range of sassafras continue to harvest it and make homemade root beer yearly with no apparent detriment to their health. If you feel adventurous and would like to go out and harvest some of your own to make your sassafras root beer, here is what you need to look for. If you are unsure as to whether a root or stem that you have gathered is sassafras, just break the root or stem and smell it. If it is sassafras, it will smell just like root beer.
If you do not have sassafras readily available to you, it can be purchased online and at many health food stores.
Homemade Sassafras Root Beer
If you want to try your hand at making a delicious detoxifying tonic, try the recipe below and then relax and enjoy the flavors.
Natural “Roots” Beer Recipe
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup sassafras bark
- ½ cup sarsaparilla root
- ¼ cup burdock root
- 2 cloves
- ½ teaspoon anise seeds (You can use fennel if desired.)
- 4 allspice berries
- ½ cup dried Wintergreen leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
- 3 half-inch slices fresh ginger root
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 cups purified water
- ½ cup honey
- 4 cups carbonated mineral water
Scrub the roots and bark clean of any dirt. If necessary, cut the roots and bark into small one half-inch long pieces. It may be necessary to use a pair of pruning shears to accomplish this task.
In a 3 quart pan, mix together the herbs, orange peel, ginger and vanilla bean. Add the purified water and mix well.
Bring to a boil, cover pot and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
Strain through cheesecloth or a paper towel lined fine mesh sieve. Add the honey to the hot herbal tea mixture and stir well. Taste and add more honey if more sweetness is desired. Allow the mixture to cool.
When ready to serve, add the carbonated mineral water, stir well, and pour over glasses filled with ice. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 cups
To create a healthier version of the traditional root beer float, try your homemade root beer recipe with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.
So if you’re looking for a historic and flavorful detoxifying tonic, root beer just might be what the doctor ordered. If you’re looking for that familiar and favorite root beer flavor, but don’t want all the sugar and artificial flavors, making your own homemade sassafras root beer just might be the answer.