Did you know that root beer the way your grand-parents made it is actually a delicious fermented beverage that is high in probiotics and friendly gut bacteria? The ingredients aren't necessarily easy to find but if you can pull them together the recipe is easy to make and the results are absolutely delicious.
- 1/4 cup sassafras root bark
- 1/4 cup winter green leaf
- 2 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
- 1 tablespoon liquorice root
- 1 tablespoon ginger root
- 1 tablespoon birch bark
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup lime juice (optional)
- 1 packet kefir starter culture (or ginger bug)
- 10 cups of filtered water
- Bring the water to a boil and stir in the sassafras, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, liquorice, ginger, juniper, and birch bark. Reduce heat and let simmer for twenty minutes.
- Then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher. Stir in the unrefined cane sugar, molasses and lime juice until it dissolves and allow it to cool enough to match body temperature. Then stir in the kefir starter. Pour the blend into individual bottles leaving at least one inch of room in the top. Bottles with a flip-top stopper are recommended.
- Allow the root beer to ferment for three to four days at room temperature, then put it in the fridge for another 2 days. When you're ready to open just remember that it will be pressurized because it has been fermenting (it'll have a delightful fizzy soda-pop taste) so be careful and open it over the sink or outside.
- Serve with ice on a hot day and enjoy the taste of root beer the way it was meant to be enjoyed. And isn't it great to know that its good for you too!