homemade root beer syrup
Recipe type: drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 ounces sassafras bark (or sometimes labeled 'sassafras roots' -- you use the bark for the flavor)*
  • 1 ounce burdock root (also called gobo and sold in Japanese markets)
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 clove
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 drops of wintergreen (or peppermint) extract
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  1. Chop sassafras root (if using fresh) and burdock into ½-inch or smaller pieces.
  2. In a medium-large pot, place clove, star anise, coriander, sassafras, and burdock. Add 6 cups of water. Cover and boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add molasses. Simmer another 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and remove pot. Add wintergreen extract. Cover and allow to cool.**
  5. Strain through fine-mesh sieve and cheesecloth.
  6. Return to pot and add sugar. Stir to combine and simmer 5 minutes uncovered.
  7. Cool slightly and pour into jars. Makes about 2 quarts. Keeps for a year in the refrigerator.
I mixed ⅛ cup syrup with ½ pint of seltzer water for my desired sweetness. Hank recommends 1 tablespoon of syrup to 1 pint of seltzer water. Everyone has different tastes, so you adjust accordingly. * I ordered my sassafras root bark from Mountain Rose Herbs (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/). The company has a beautiful selection of teas also. ** The original recipe didn't say how long to cool, so I cooled for 2 hours.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at https://www.storyofakitchen.com/drink-recipes/homemade-root-beer-syrup/