|The roots smell amazing!|
Of course, nothing more needed to be said to make me slightly obsessed with breaking the rules and trying a brew from this "forbidden" root that was so conveniently growing 20 feet from my back door. Why? Why even bother with it when it could be so dangerous? Well, I did some research and nothing I read convinced me that I'd be taking my life into my hands by introducing a small amount of sassafras, just this one time, to my already embattled liver. However, please consider this a warning and imbibe at your own risk.
You can recognize sassafras by the leaves, which have 3 shapes - triple lobed, double lobed or "mitten" shaped, and unlobed.
20 inches of cleaned sassafrass root
20 anise hyssop leaves, washed
1 chai teabag
1/4 cup star anise
2 tsp. vanilla
1.5 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
The syrup can be added to carbonated water in any proportion you like. (If you have a Penguin or SodaStream, add the syrup as you would any of the other flavorings - you can play with the carbonation and proportions to suit your taste.) I used about a cup of syrup to 3 cups of carbonated water.
I always like to see the results of the taste tests done over at Serious Eats. Here's the one they did for root beers. What's your favorite kind of root beer?