Root Beer Syrup Infusion Recipe

I don't drink a lot of soda but when I do I almost always reach for root beer. It's a classic drink that has been around since the late 1800s and it's full of deep, nuanced flavors. Making it at home is easy once you obtain the ingredients, most of which I ordered online. This recipe makes a thick, sweet syrup you can mix with club soda, use in cocktails, or naturally ferment.

Sometimes I will leave out the brown sugar and use the root beer infusion similar to weak bitters. It's a tasty, sugar-free drink when combined with club soda and it's also a great way to add complexity to cocktails that don't need more sweetness.

One disclaimer, in the 1960s the government removed sassafras from root beer recipes because when taken by mice in large quantities (the equivalent of five 2-liter bottles a day) the safrole in it was correlated with liver cancer. It has since been replaced by wintergreen. Of course, basil and nutmeg have safrole too but if you are uncomfortable using it feel free to substitute it in this recipe with wintergreen.

Homemade root beer syrup bottle

Modernist Tools, Ingredients, and Techniques Used

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Root Beer Syrup Infusion Recipe

  • Published: November 30, 2015
  • By Jason Logsdon
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1.75 Hours

Root Beer Syrup Infusion Ingredients

For the Root Beer Syrup Infusion

2 cups water
1/2 cup sassafras root
2 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
1 tablespoon birch bark
2 teaspoons burdock root
2 teaspoons licorice root
3 star anise pods
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup brown sugar

Root Beer Syrup Infusion Instructions

For the Root Beer Syrup Infusion

Combine everything but the sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer. Let simmer 20 minutes then stir in the brown sugar and cook until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool for 60 minutes then strain.

The syrup will last in the refrigerator for several weeks.

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Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the website.
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