I haven’t been entirely clear if this whole bittered Root Beer has been a mistake. I like it, but I’ve been A little nervous about having “normal” people try it.
All the batches have been pretty darn bitter, and not everyone enjoys Gentian as much as I.
Happily, I have a Food and Beverage writer (Hi Lessley!) living next door, so after her husband loaned me a shirt for an event, I gave her a little of Root Beer Syrup 1.3a as a thank you gift when I returned the shirt.
I waited nervously for feedback…
Then yesterday I was standing at the bus stop across the street, when she ran out of her door and over to where I was standing.
“That Root Beer is amazing and I don’t even like soft drinks!”
I was like, yeah, that’s my whole impetus. I’ve been trying not to drink much alcohol this summer, but I can’t stand most commercial soft drinks, either.
“I want to buy it, it’s so good!”
Well, you can’t buy it, but the recipe is on the blog, and you can buy most of the ingredients at the Rainbow Grocery Coop.
Anyway, that interaction, among other things has been the highlight of my week, so I made up another batch.
Flannestad Root Beer v1.3b (Bittersweet)
2 tsp Sarsaparilla Root, Jamaican
2 tsp Sassafras Root Bark*
2 tsp Wintergreen
1 tsp Licorice Root
1 tsp Ginger Root, sliced fresh
1/2 tsp Ginger Root, Dry
1/2 tsp Juniper Berries, crushed
1/2 tsp American Spikenard
1/2 tsp Gentian Root
1/2 tsp Roasted Dandelion Root
1 Star Anise
1/2 tsp Horehound
1 Generous Pinch Cascade Hops
1/2 tsp Yerba Mate
1/4 Cup CA Wildflower Honey
1 Cup Washed Raw Sugar
1 TBSP Blackstrap Molasses
METHOD: Bring 2 Cups of Water to a boil. Add Roots and simmer for 20 mins. Turn off heat and add herbs. Steep for another 20 mins. Strain out solids. Stir in Molasses, Honey, and Washed Raw Sugar. Cool, and keep refrigerated. Makes a 3 cups of Syrup. To serve, mix syrup to taste with soda water (I usually go 1 part syrup to 4 parts soda water).
*Blah, blah, Sassafras is not FDA GRAS, as it causes liver cancer in rats after they’ve been given high doses of pure sassafras oil intravenously for about a year. I’m amazed the rats lived that long, with that high a dose of anything, but use at your own risk. While no one has ever correlated Sassafras, Gumbo File, or Root Beer with Liver cancer in humans, I’d try to avoid shooting up with it anyway. I also wouldn’t give it to kids, but they probably wouldn’t like it, especially in this bitter concoction.