Tomorrow, Aug. 6th, is National Root Beer Float Day! Since it is a national holiday, here's two recipes as a special treat from me to you. Root beer is what got me started in this hobby, and I'm glad that I can finally share a recipe with you that I can be proud of. This recipe uses actual roots instead of an extract. If you can't find any roots or you're worried about safrole and prefer to avoid it, then McCormick's extract is probably the route you should take as it's available in almost any grocery store. So kick back and celebrate tomorrow with a completely homemade root beer float.
Recipe #13 - Homemade Root Beer
2 1/8 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp dried wintergreen leaves, crushed
1/8 cup sassafras root twigs, cut in 1/4" pieces
1 oz vanilla extract
1 drop pure anise extract
1 Tbsp Molasses
Carbonated water up to 1 gallon
Combine sugar, 1 cup water, and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil and simmer
20 minutes. Add molasses and allow to cool. Bring the other 1 cup of water to a boil separately. Add sassafras and wintergreen, remove from heat and cover. Allow to steep for 1 hour or until it has turned a deep red/brown color. Strain and add to sugar solution, along with vanilla and anise extracts. Ensure it is well blended. Add to carbonated water and mix gently until dissolved.
This root beer is bold because of the molasses, but not too bitter. Enough vanilla to be similar to A&W, but more boldness from the molasses, so it's not a true clone. Works perfectly for a root beer float!
Homemade Ice Cream:
1 pint heavy cream
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 drops lecithin (optional, available where bread baking ingredients and supplies are sold)
Vanilla to taste
Combine milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to steam. Add lecithin and stir until mixed well. Remove from heat and chill. Once chilled, pour into your ice cream maker as per the instructions. Once the mix is frozen to the consistency of soft serve, place in a freezer container and freeze overnight to harden. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
Now, you have just enough time to gather ingredients and enjoy your root beer float!