Old Fashioned Root Beer Recipe

Root Beer & Soda photo for Old Fashioned Root Beer Recipe

This recipe is close to how the colonists would have prepared root beer. It produces a more 'medicinal' than 'sweet' drink, it has a strong molassas flavor and is heavily carbonated. It has been adapted from the original recipe from Saveur Magazine, September 2007.



Place 2 quarts of water, birch, sarsaparilla, licorice, and ginger in a medium, nonreactive sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 2 hours.

Strain root-infused liquid through cheesecloth into another pan or pitcher that has been thoroughly washed and rinsed. Discard the solids. Add the other 2 quarts of water and vanilla extract, stir well and let cool to 75 degrees F.

Meanwhile, wash and sanitize 8 16 oz. reusable plastic PET bottles. Rinse and air-dry. Stir molasses and honey into the root-infused liquid. Add 1/8 teaspoon champagne yeast into the liquid, cover, and ferment for 15 minutes. Using a funnel, pour into bottles, filling to within 1 ¼” from the top but no higher. Screw lids on tightly; set aside to ferment at room temperature until the bottles are rock hard when squeezed – usually 1-3 days. Chill for 2 weeks before drinking.

mug of ice cold homemade root beer soft drink

Root Beer & Soda

Homemade Root Beer can be Ready to Drink in as Little as Three Weeks.