DIY Root Beer Liqueur Recipe

Photograph: Marcia Simmons

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.

Notes: Sassafras root bark, birch bark, and sarsaparilla root bark are available at some homebrew and herb shops. You can also order them online from Lhasa Karnak. If chocolate mint is unavailable to you, substitute another type of mint.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 20 servings
Makes: 2 1/2 cups

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  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon sassafras root bark

  • 1 teaspoon sarsaparilla root bark

  • 1 teaspoon birch bark

  • 1 whole star anise

  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger

  • 1 sprig chocolate mint

  • Peeled zest from 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon molasses

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups vodka


  1. Combine water, sassafras, sarsaparilla, birch, anise, ginger, mint, and lemon zest in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover, then let it steep for 2 hours.

  2. Place a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth over a new pot and strain the liquid into it. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and molasses to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla, then let the mixture cool.

  3. Pour cooled liquid into a sealable glass jar and add vodka. Seal and shake, then let the mixture rest for 1 day. Store at room temperature for up to 6 months. Refrigerate if desired.

Special equipment

2 pots, zester or peeler, cheesecloth, fine-mesh strainer, sealable glass jar

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
57 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 57
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 19mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)