Tonic Root Beer Recipe

Kathryn Kingsbury takes readers on a journey of making homemade sodas with this Tonic Root Beer Recipe.

| March/April 2007

  • Tonic root beer soda recipe.
    Tonic root beer soda recipe.
    Photo: Fotolia/The Roadrunner
  • Rose Petal Pop recipe.
    Rose Petal Pop recipe.
    Photo: www.iStockPhoto.com/Jill Fromer

  • Tonic root beer soda recipe.
  • Rose Petal Pop recipe.

Learn how to make this homemade Tonic Root Beer Recipe.

How to Make Homemade Soda Pop

Make Soda Pop From Plants

Tonic Root Beer Recipe

This recipe combines the roots of several wild plants traditionally used in herbal medicine for overall health. The essential ingredient is sassafras. The other roots are optional, but add complexity and body to the end product.

1/4 ounce dried sassafras root bark
1/4 ounce dried astragalus root
1/8 ounce dried bayberry root bark
1/8 ounce dried sarsaparilla root
1 1/2 ounces fresh, thinly sliced yellow dock root (also known as curly dock)
3/4 ounce fresh burdock root, thinly sliced
1/4 ounce fresh dandelion root
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 quarts water, divided
1/8 teaspoon yeast plus 1/4 cup water



  1. Mix roots and sugar with 1 quart of water. Bring to boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Strain. Discard plant material.
  3. Mix strained liquid with remaining quarts water.
  4. If necessary, let the brew cool until lukewarm.
  5. Meanwhile, stir yeast with 1/4 cup water, let sit 15 minutes, stir again and add to brew. Stir.
  6. Let brew sit 10 minutes.
  7. Bottle.

If yeast carbonation seems too complicated, substitute 3 quarts club soda or carbonated mineral water for the 3 quarts water in step 3. Skip steps 3 through 6. After bottling, refrigerate immediately. Makes eight 16-ounce bottles.


Kathryn Kingsbury is a Madison, Wisconsin-based freelance writer. She enjoys exploring local plant life and turning her kitchen into a culinary chemistry lab.



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