Growing up I drank a lot of soda. My grandmother had an entire refrigerator devoted to the stuff. And I loved it. Giving up soda was a really big step for me. I started drinking more water and realized that sometimes I was eating just because I needed something to munch on while I drank my corn syrup, aspartame, and food dye filled drinks. Giving up soda for a while was eye-opening. But I'm a believer in everything in moderation, so I came up with a natural root beer syrup to satisfy my sweet tooth.
This is definitely a grown up root beer. Make a root beer float with it and drizzle a little extra root beer syrup over the ice cream. Or something tells me this could be magical in a cocktail. Enjoy!
Homemade Root Beer Syrup
3/4 cup sassafras bark
1 star anise
1 vanilla bean, scraped (but put the whole pod in)
1/8 cup dried wintergreen
3 cups water
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp honey
2.5 cups coconut sugar
Combine sassafras, wintergreen, star anise, vanilla, and water in a sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the water using a mesh strainer or cheese cloth and return liquid to heat. Add molasses, honey, and sugar and stir until combined. Bring to a boil again and then simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Allow it to cool and then store in a sealed container.
Combine 2 tbsp of root beer syrup with 12 oz. sparkling water. Stir and serve.