Sassafras = Root Beer!

Sassafras = Root Beer!

- in Root Beer Recipe

While out looking for some of the passion fruit plants that grow on our property, I discovered a grove of Sassafras trees. ROOT BEER! So I dug some up and chopped up the roots and got to work in the kitchen. Here is the recipe.

Makes 2 quarts.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

6 cups of water
3 ounces of sassafras roots
1 ounce of burdock root
1/4 cup molasses
1 clove
1 star anise
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 drops wintergreen extract or peppermint extract
6 cups sugar

Chop the sassafras and burdock roots into small pieces, about 1/2 inch or smaller.
Put the roots in a medium-sized heavy pot with the clove, star anise and coriander seeds and cover with the water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer this for 15 minutes.
Add the molasses and simmer another 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the wintergreen or peppermint extract. Put the cover back on the tea.
When the mixture cools, strain it though cheesecloth to remove any debris.
Return it to the pot with an equal amount of sugar. Stir to combine. Bring it to a simmer and cook it for 5 minutes, uncovered. Pour into quart mason jars and seal. Keeps a year in the fridge.


  1. Richard Vollnogle

    I love sassafrass rootbeer  but you can NOT just keep digging the roots or kill the saplings; before long no trees no rootbeer. It has to be from secondary feeders not the mains or you kill the tree. Also it has to be on a five or more year cycle to allow root regrowth.


  3. I wish I would have seen this earlier.  We have passion flower.  I will dig some up for you this spring.  We have tons of it. 

  4. and root beer is caffeine free.

  5. I found some in Virginia while I was doing Inipi ceremonies back when I was a young man. I've never managed to find any in Maryland but I'm sure it's around somewhere. How did your root beer turn out?

  6. My mother in law used to just boil it and make tea. She would let us sweeten it to our taste. I was never REALLY fond of it, but I found it was very good at quenching a thirst. Also, my husband uses the sassafras wood for smoking meat. Don't let those saplings go to waste! Just this past weekend he cooked a brisket for us: quick smoke with sassafras (unwrapped – 1 hr) and then wrapped in tin foil and cooked for 4 hours with oak and sassafras. MMMM!

  7. they also chop it up and use it in gumbo . 
    you are blessed with so many wild edible's on that property 

  8. Does this produce carbonation?

  9. InfiniteMischief

    make a ginger bug and mix a cup of fomenting ginger with a gallon of root flavored drink and cap it for 10 days…makes fizzy root beer.  watch?v=5eJRS7SXqF8

  10. I used to go hunt for sassafras root with my grandpa when I was little!!! 

  11. David Strain "Fire & Brimstone"

    That's awesome my mother used to make root beer back in the 30's

  12. The Aspiring Homesteader

    I have sassafras around me as well. I would love it if you'd do a video on that process as well!

  13. the passion fruit plant is a bit hard to transplant but here is one method to transplant: 1. make a small cut on the living plant and put moss and rooting hormone around it. 2. get small clay pot and plant it halfway into the ground near the plant and add the cut and wrapped section into the pot and cover with soil. Adding some gelling cellulose will maintain the needed moisture level.. i just use the powder from a diaper.  Depending on the climate and the health of the plant 2 out of 10 should take within 6 months to a year. You do the same for propagation of Kiwi berry… which is my fave!

  14. Zachary Bauer (New2Torah)

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