What Is Root Beer Made Of | Where to Buy Root Beer Extract

Root beer is a popular drink that originated in the United States. So what is root beer made of? Root beer it is made from water, sugar, and spices. The most common spice used in root beer is sassafras. Root beer also contains carbonated water and yeast. There are many different types of root beer, but they all have one common ingredient: sassafras.

Where to Buy Root Beer Extract

What Is Root Beer Made Of?
Where to Buy Root Beer Extract

Root beer is a staple of the summertime in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where a strong Amish community thrives. Two local companies have stepped up to provide the essences that give many of the root beer brewers the taste they want in their homemade beverages. One company is called Shank’s Extracts; the other, Stoltfus Root Beer Extract. Makers can also order root beer extracts online, of which there are dozens.

There are many root beer extract brands available at large retailers such as Amazon and Walmart. These include Silver Cloud Flavors Natural Root Beer Extract, Larissa Veronica Root Beer Flavor Extract, and McCormickRoot Beer Concentrate.

While the ingredients of Silver Cloud Flavors and Larissa Veronica’s extracts are simple – ethyl alcohol, water, and natural flavor – it is important to note that “natural flavor” is a broad term which companies often use to protect their recipe from being replicated.

There are many root beer brewing extract options available for purchase online, and the right one for you may come down to personal preference. McCormick’s ingredient list includes water, artificial coloring, corn syrup, sulfites, and preservatives such as sodium benzoate.

However, a simple Google search will reveal that there are countless other root beer extracts available from various internet retailers. Ultimately, the best way to decide which extract is right for you is simply by trying each one until you find the flavor profile that you like the best.

What’s in Homemade Root Beer?

What's in Homemade Root Beer?
What’s in Homemade Root Beer?

If you’re looking to make root beer at home, the process is rather simple: sugar, yeast water and your flavoring(s) of choice left to ferment for natural fizziness. Although sassafras has been eliminated from commercial use by the FDA, many individuals still turn to this ingredient when they want that authentic traditional taste in their homemade root beer.

Recipe to Try:

Along with the daring dandelion root, one recipe called for sassafras, sarsaparilla, ginger and licorice. The other said to include molasses, allspice berries,, mint cloves and/or cinnamon.

For a more authentic root beer experience, some people like to add sassafras to the pot. Ground wild sassafras root bark is available for purchase from Etsy sellers at a fraction of the price of artificial extracts.

True enthusiasts describe going out into the woods and harvesting the roots of the bushy sassafras tree, which can be found along roadsides or in shady areas across the east coast of America.

With its classic root beer flavor, sassafras is a great way to add some zing to your beverage. However, there are many other ways to flavor homemade root beer as well. In this article, we’ll explore a few different options and help you choose the right ingredients for your perfect batch of deliciousness.

What is root beer made of ?

Making ROOT BEER with REAL ROOTS! • Sauce Stache
What is root beer made of ?

Root beer is made by steeping natural herbs, spices, roots and berries in water until the desired flavor is achieved. Then, sugar or honey is added to sweeten it before placing it into a large tank where carbon dioxide is forced in to create bubbles that give the drink its signature fizziness.

Once the root beer is filtered, it’s bottled or canned and sold commercially. So, if you want a bottle of root beer for yourself, that’s what you’d buy at a store.

What is real root beer made of?

A lot of people wonder what root beer is really made from, and it’s not as complicated as you might think. It can be created with a blend of sassafras bark and roots, vanilla extract, anise oil (taken from star anise), licorice root, nutmeg and wintergreen.

But today, most companies have adapted their recipes so they don’t have to use authentic sassafras bark. Instead of employing natural ingredients like those mentioned before, the great majority of root beers are nowcrafted with fake flavors and colors.

Some variations of root beer aren’t as true to the original recipe, but some people prefer them because they’re cheaper. If you want authentic root beer, then you’ll need to make it yourself.

See also: does kombucha have alcohol

The History of Root Beer

Root beer has indigenous origins, setting it apart from other soft drinks like cola, lemon lime soda, and orange soda.


Root beer is brewed with the bark of the sassafras tree, which is native to North America’s northeast coast and some East Asian areas. In olden times, the tree’s bark and root were used to create a tea or tincture that was then mixed with other healthy herbs and roots like ginger, licorice, and cinnamon. This concoction was given to people suffering from various illnesses.


Sarsaparilla, a similar plant to sassafras in both appearance and therapeutic James natives of Mexico and Central America. Just as indigenous people used sassafras for its medicinal benefits, they did the same with sarsaparilla.

Health Benefits of Sassafras and Sarsaparilla

Numerous health benefits associated with both plants have been known for centuries, including:

  • Urinary tract support
  • Reduced arthritis symptoms
  • Clear skin and eyes
  • Treatment of sprains
  • Bug bite and sting relief
  • Immunity support
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced gout symptoms’
  • Pain relief during menstrual cycles’ detoxification

For hundreds of years, the natives moderate medicinal use of sassafras root caused no reported problems. After Europeans arrived and learned from the indigenous people, Root Beer became a global phenomenon.

Western World and Root Beer

The early colonists were looking for ways to use root beer, and they decided to include it in their list of things to brew.

This was because water during the 1700s and 1800s was not clean and often carried diseases. People didn’t want to drink dirty water, so they turned it into beer instead. Boiling the water and adding grain made it much safer to consume.

Two new members, Sassafras and Sarsaparilla, were welcomed into the club and became known as “small beers.”

In those days, people didn’t differentiate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They gave their kids “small beer” to drink because it usually had a very low alcohol volume of around 2%. It was also much safer to drink than water.

Corporations and Root Beer

With the natural progression of business came the commercialization of root beer. Making a profit off this beloved drink was inevitable, and Charles Elmer Hires became the first to achieve such a success. His brand tasted of sassafras root and was an instant favorite among Americans.

Not long after Barq’s Root Beer was introduced, its recipe for root beer made with sarsaparilla became a household name. IBC was the next company to get involved, and then many others followed suit until it became part of the modern American diet.


In 1960, the FDA discovered that sassafras caused liver damage in laboratory animals and humans. The compound safrole, found naturally in sassafras, is toxic to the liver. As a result, the US banned sassafras from human food and drink.

Even though sassafras and sarsaparilla no longer contain Safrole or other toxins, respectively, most root beer companies rely on chemical flavoring to create the root beers you see on store shelves. In other words: your typical root beer won’t offer any health benefits.

Criticism has been drawn to the study that was done on rats, with some people pointing out that you would have to drink a huge quantity of sassafras-based root beer for the health detriments of safrole to affect your liver. And furthermore, many everyday food items contain more carcinogens than sassafras-based root beer.

Top  FAQs :

What gives root beer its flavor?

Sassafras, sarsaparilla, ginger root, and birch all give the brew its flavor without any additives. In particular, Sassafras gives root beer its signature slightly mint-like taste. Furthermore, it was used in traditional folk medicine to purify the blood.

What is A&W root beer made out of?

Our most iconic product since the opening of our first Root Beer stand in 1919, it’s still made with real cane sugar and a unique blend of spices on site.

Is root beer still made with sassafras?

Recently, sassafras has been cut out of Root Beer recipes as the plant can cause health problems. In 1960, the American Food and Drug Administration forbid using the vine for commercial food production.

Is root beer healthier?

Researchers found that root beer rarely has any traces of citric or phosphoric acid. Root beer is healthier for teeth when compared to typical colas because the root beer’s acidity is much lower than other sodas on the market.

Is Root Bear actually beer?

Root beer is classified under a secondary type of beer, one not brewed with the typical wheat and barley, but rather with roots from plants. A&W, Dr. Pepper, Barq’s and others have helped root beer become popular in recent years, but many of the best root beers are still crafted at smaller breweries.

Is root beer Coke or Pepsi?

Dog, the bulldog holding a mug of Mug Root Beer has been PepsiCo’s mascot since 1986 when the company acquired Mug Root Beer.

Can root beer make you drunk?

Root beer does not contain alcohol because the ingredients do not allow it to be alcoholic. Since root beer is made with spices and sugar, there is insufficient sugar present to convert into yeast. Without yeast, fermentation cannot occur, although root beer can be transformed into a hard drink. Lastly, root beer can either be carbonated or non-carbonated.

Was root beer the first soda?

Soda didn’t become a popular drink option until 1876, when root beer was created. Cola-flavored soda entered the market in 1881, and Dr Pepper was created in 1885. Coca-Colawas created one year later and is believed to be the first soda as we know it today.

What does sassafras taste like?

The distinct taste of sassafras finds its roots in, quite literally, root beer. Once a common ingredient in the beverage – as well as other sodas – Sassafras was banned for commercial use by the FDA in 1960.

Is root beer OK for teeth?

Dr. Pepper is less acidic than other sodas on the market, but it’s still loaded with sugar which can damage your teeth and cause staining.

Conclusion :

Root beer is a carbonated beverage that is usually made from water, sugar, and spices. The most common flavorings are sassafras and wintergreen. -There are variations of root beer that include other ingredients such as licorice or birch bark. -Root beer was first created in the early 1800s by American settlers who were looking for a drink to replace alcoholic beverages that were not available in the new world. -Today, root beer is enjoyed by people all over the world and there are many different brands and flavors available.

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