A roots party wouldn’t be complete, I feel, without whipping up a batch of root beer! In this recipe, a simple syrup is made and then added (to taste) to sparkling water. Ask guests to bring a 4- to 6-ounce bottle with them for taking some syrup home in. Keep in mind that the syrup needs 2 hours to steep before it’s ready for bottling, so plan its cooking schedule at the gathering accordingly.
Makes 4 cups (enough for eight ½ cup servings)
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You Will Need
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, ginger, sarsaparilla, sassafras, licorice, bur-dock, wintergreen, and star anise. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the brown sugar, stirring until it fully dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover with a lid, and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Strain the liquid from the solids through a fine-mesh sieve into a bottle or jar. Label, cover with a lid, and store in the refrigerator. Use within 6 months. To serve, begin by placing 2 to 3 tablespoons of syrup in a 12- to 16-ounce jar. Top the syrup off with sparkling water and ice. Add more syrup if you prefer a sweeter root beer.