Root Beer Extract Recipe (A&W Copycat)

Root Beer Extract Recipe (A&W Copycat)


How To Make Root Beer Extract (A&W Copycat)

Rich in warm and spicy notes, this A&W-style root beer extract offers a healthier, less sugar drink, made of sassafras root and burdock root.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins


  • 6 cups water
  • 3 oz dried sassafras root
  • ½ oz dried burdock root
  • 1 tsp dried whole coriander seeds
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1⁄4 cup dark molasses , not blackstrap
  • 4 wintergreen leaves , or 1⁄8 tsp wintergreen flavoring or extract
  • 6 cups sugar , preferably raw, but granulated white sugar can also be used


  1. Put the sassafras and burdock roots, coriander seeds, star anise, and clove in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Pour the water over the top of the roots and spices and bring to a boil over high heat. Drop the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Add the molasses, stir, replace the lid, and return to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the wintergreen flavoring or extract, replace the lid and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

  4. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth, place over a large measuring cup with a pouring spout or a pitcher, and pour the cooled infusion into it to strain.

  5. Do not press on the contents, but let the roots rest in the strainer for about 30 minutes before proceeding. While that strains, rinse the pot used for infusion.

  6. Measure the sassafras infusion, return it to the rinsed pot and add an equal amount of sugar, by volume, to the pot.

  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, drop the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the syrup into canning jars, fix clean, new, 2-piece lids on top and store in the refrigerator up to a year.

To Make A Drink:

  1. Use 1 tablespoon of syrup over ice to 1 cup of plain seltzer water. Stir gently. Enjoy!


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