Authentic Homemade Root Beer Recipe – An Easy DIY vs Buy Guide

Easy Homemade Root Beer Recipe - Authentic DIY Guide Exploring Buying Vs. Making

Discover the magic of crafting your own root beer with this easy-to-follow recipe. Unleash a world of earthy, bold, and sweet flavors right in your kitchen!

Root beer holds a special place in many hearts, often evoking childhood memories and summer afternoons. This fizzy, flavorful drink has come a long way from its medicinal origins in the late 19th century. Today, we’re bringing the soda fountain to your home with a customizable root beer recipe that will make you the talk of the neighborhood!

The Root Beer Renaissance

While store-bought root beers abound, nothing quite compares to the satisfaction of brewing your own. Each sip of homemade root beer is a journey through a carefully crafted blend of roots, barks, and spices. From the earthy notes of sassafras to the sweet whisper of vanilla, every ingredient plays a crucial role in creating that iconic root beer taste.

Crafting Your Perfect Brew

One of the joys of making root beer at home is the ability to tailor it to your taste preferences. Love a stronger, more ‘rooty’ flavor? Amp up the sassafras and sarsaparilla. Prefer a sweeter profile? A touch more vanilla might be just the ticket. The recipe below offers a balanced starting point, but feel free to experiment and make it your own!

Beyond the Glass

Your homemade root beer isn’t just for sipping! Get creative with your brew:

  • Whip up a classic root beer float for a nostalgic dessert
  • Use it as a unique glaze for slow-cooked pork or barbecue ribs
  • Mix with dark rum and a splash of lime for a twist on the Dark & Stormy cocktail

DIY Root Beer Recipe


  • 1 gallon filtered water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sarsaparilla root bark
  • 1 tablespoon sassafras root bark
  • 1 tablespoon birch bark
  • 4 sprigs chocolate mint
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon ale yeast


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 quarts of water with sassafras, sarsaparilla, birch, mint, star anise, ginger, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2 hours to extract maximum flavor.
  2. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into a large pot. Add the remaining 2 quarts of water, brown sugar, and molasses. Stir until fully incorporated, then cover the pot.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool to 75°F (24°C). Once cooled, stir in the ale yeast and let it sit for 15 minutes. Fill plastic bottles with the mixture, leaving 2 inches of space at the top. Securely fasten the caps. Keep the bottles at room temperature for 36 hours. Carefully open a bottle to check carbonation. If it’s sufficiently fizzy, proceed to the next step. If not, reseal and let it rest for another 12 to 24 hours until desired carbonation is achieved.
  4. Refrigerate the bottles for 2 days before enjoying your homemade root beer. The root beer can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Recipe Notes

– Source sassafras root bark, birch bark, and sarsaparilla root bark from homebrew shops, herb stores, or online retailers.
– Ale yeast can be found at homebrew shops or ordered online.
– This homemade root beer has a slight alcoholic content (approximately 1%).
– If chocolate mint is unavailable, substitute with spearmint.
– Always sanitize plastic bottles before use to ensure the best results and safety.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
98 Calories
0g Fat
25g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 98
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 185mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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