I like to think of root beer as the gateway beverage into the big, bad world of booze. Even though it's a big leap from A&W to Fernet Branca, there's definitely a connection between what makes a good root beer and what makes a good alcoholic beverage. This homemade root beer liqueur has more in common with an aperitif than it does with a soda, because the sugar is dialed back and the root-and-bark goodness can shine through.
'sassafras' on Serious Eats
The woodsy, complex flavors of root beer are right at home in a liqueur. Use it in cocktails like you would an amaro or in sweet concoctions for a bold and unusual flavor.
If you live in the eastern United States, especially the southeastern United States, there's a good chance that there is a sassafras tree somewhere near you. Next time you're in the woods, or in your backyard, look out for that distinctive leaf. The dried root makes the best tea, which tastes an awful lot like root beer.