Learn how to make this homemade 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
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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