There are some floating around on the internet. I have seen 2 type primarily. One is brewed like a beer with flavorings to replicate root beer. The others are a sugar/water "wash" with soda extract.
I always wondered about just making the soda straight, kegged, then adding everclear. Probably wouldn't taste the greatest.
Thanks...I've heard stories of my father in law digging up roots of Sassafras to sell in the Depression era. I often wondered if it was for tea or for brewing. After seeing it in the store as a "hard" Rootbeer...the memory came back to me of his digging up the roots.
Here is a recipe my mother used to use to make rootbeer. It will have a little alcohol, because of the fermentation, but very little. The ferment is to carbonate the rootbeer, not so much for the alcohol.
¼ cup sassafras root bark
¼ cup winter green leaf
2 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
1 tablespoon licorice root
1 tablespoon ginger root
1 tablespoon dandelion root
1 tablespoon hops flowers
1 tablespoon birch bark
1 tablespoon wild cherry tree bark
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 Packet of yeast any type
Bring two and one-half quarts filtered water to a boil and stir in sassafras, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, licorice, ginger, hops, juniper, birch and wild cherry bark. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and simmer the roots, berries, barks, leaves and flowers for twenty minutes.
After twenty minutes, turn off the heat and strain the infusion through a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher. Stir unrefined cane sugar into the hot infusion until it dissolves and allow it to cool until it reaches blood temperature. Once the sweetened infusion has cooled to blood temperature, stir in the yeast and pour into individual bottles (preferably flip-top bottles which are easy enough to find online, leaving at least one inch head space in each bottle.
Allow the root beer to ferment for three to four days at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for an additional two days to age. When you are ready to serve the root beer, be careful as it, like any other fermented beverage, is under pressure due to the accumulation of carbon-dioxide, a byproduct of fermentation. Open it over a sink and note that homemade sodas, like this one, have been known to explode under pressure. Serve over ice
I have often wondered about a simple extract beer and then add the root beer flavorings to it before bottling.
I made a simple Lipton Tea wine very lite flavor and have added a root beer KoolAid to it....mehhh....but it was mehhh to start with too!
I'm sitting here drinking my first glass of this root beer wine (if you can call it wine) wow it's nice, this batch is a little sweet but the next will better. You can't taste the alcohol until it starts hitting you which can be dangerous.