A Licorice-Root Beer Recipe

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Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

Licorice-Root Beer Recipe

Making this soda from scratch is no more difficult than brewing with extract. It just involves a few extra ingredients. This recipe lacks the familiar flavor of sassafras, usually associated with root beer, but the burdock, licorice and ginger create their own enjoyable taste. Makes 1 gallon.

Ingredients:

1 gallon water
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
1 cup loosely packed hops flowers
1 piece of ginger, thumb-sized
1 tablespoon ground licorice-root
2 tablespoons ground
burdock root
3 or 4 pieces star anise
1/2 teaspoon ale yeast

Instructions:

Combine water, sugar and molasses in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Grate the ginger and add it to the pot along with the hops, licorice root, burdock root and star anise. Keep at a low boil for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then add the yeast. Let the soda stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then use a funnel and strainer to pour the soda into bottles. Leave 1 to 2 inches of empty space at the top of each bottle and attach the bottle caps. Write the date on the bottles and store them in a warm, draft-free place, ideally at room temperature, for an additional 24 hours. Then refrigerate. For best results, leave the bottles in the refrigerator an additional day or two before drinking.