Homemade Root Beer

Rosemary Gladstar’s Favorite Homemade Root Beer

This is my favorite homemade root beer recipe. It tastes better than anything you can buy in the stores, and is certainly healthier for you.

The many roots and herbs in this formula were used for generations by folks in the Eastern United States, both by Native Americans as well as people of European ancestry.

This tonic makes a delicious beverage and also soothes and nourishes the body. Try this amazing blend, and you’ll be surprised to see how fast it will become a family tradition that you will want to pass down for years to come. It is simple as adding tea to seltzer water.

Here’s a video from my collection that shows you how to make homemade root beer.

Everyone’s Favorite Root Beer Recipe

Serve this as a light summer beverage to family and friends. Also, it’s a good tonic for the liver and digestive tract. It is a soothing and nourishing drink.

In this recipe, 1 part = 1 tablespoon. If you want to make twice as much, just make the part = 2 tablespoons, and so on.

What you’ll need…

  • 3 parts sassafras bark
  • 3 parts sarsaparilla root
  • 2 parts birch bark
  • 1 part dandelion root
  • 1 part licorice root
  • 1 part fennel seed
  • 8 to 10 star anise pods (handful)
  • 1/4 part cut-and-sifted ginger root
  • 2 parts burdock root
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia leaf. Make stevia approximately 5% of the formula if you make more.
  • 4 to 5 cups water
  • Seltzer water (plain or flavored). A third or more of your final root beer amount. In this recipe, approximately 1 ½ to 2 cups.
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced

Here are the instructions from the video:

1. Combine herbs, root, and stevia and mix well.

2. Place in a medium pot, add water, and place on slow simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

3. Strain through a double stainless steel strainer into a half-gallon glass jar. Taste for sweetness, adjust as necessary.

4. Add seltzer according to your preference. Add lemon, put a lid on jar, shake well and serve.

You can also download the recipe card:

Enjoy your homemade root beer!

  1. I love you guys! It makes me so happy to watch you making and sharing beautiful recipes. Thank you, love and warmth.

  2. I have being following Rosemary for a wild , same with you John, you are both an inspiration and easy to follow recipes. Green hug

  3. Well, I’ve got plenty of dandelion root (at least until the weed guy Mom hired comes to spray them) but sassafras, sasparilla, licorice root? That’s a lot of chasing around–and I’m trying not to run up any more on my PayPal Credit.

  4. Thank you Rosemary! You are so inspiring. I LOVE the conversation about one herbalist with the top on the pot and one herbalist says no top on the pot! Yes! Thank you for your wise words about the art of herbalism and life. Thanks LearningHerbs for bringing it to us!

  5. I’m curious what the fresh lemon does for the root beer. Does the lemon provide some benefit to the over all chemistry? I have to stay away from high acid foods, including lemon, orange, etc. Can I leave it out?

    • Hi Julia,
      You can leave out the lemon. You can also try it both ways. The amount of lemon is quite small. Have fun and feel free to share your results!
      Karin Rose

  6. This looks and sounds like a wonderful recipe, Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  7. I’m with moutainroseherbs for more than 12 years. Love them all

  8. Could you leave the seltzer out and store the “tea” in the refrigerator and just make it by the glassful as needed?

    • Hello Sharon,
      The “tea” portion is likely to spoil within a day or two. I’d probably just make a smaller amount and play with the amounts until I got the “perfect” amount for my use. Try a variety of things and feel free to share your results!
      Karin Rose

      • Karen – could the “tea” be frozen in cubes and used as needed? I am a HUGE root beer fan but gave up the commercial versions years ago because of the sugar. I am excited to try this recipe.

    • Hello Corrie Ann,
      I’d try it! I’d make a regular batch (using 1 tablespoon as the part). Drink some as the recipe directs and freeze some of the “tea” portion. Label it well. ;) Try it from frozen and see if you like it. Have fun with it and share your results, if you like.
      Karin Rose

  9. This looks wonderful and I’d love to try it but I don’t grow or keep many of the herbs in this recipe. It would be a great idea if Mountain Rose sold these “root beer” herbs in an already measured kit and include Rosemary’s recipe. I know I’d buy this, especially to try it before buying bulk supplies for my stash.

    • Kathy, do you have any health food stores in your area? We have several and all of them offer herbs in bulk that I can buy as little or as much as I wish. I usually bring my own containers, but they also provide plastic or paper bags. There is a local herb store, too, and they offer herbs in 1 oz packages (prepackaged by them from bulk). Mountain Rose Herbs offers 1 oz packages, as well. If you are an HerbMentor member, use your discount. :)

  10. If I wanted to use sugar(stevia gives me headaches:( ..) Do you have an idea how much would do the trick?

    • Stevia gives me headaches, too. I’d start with double the stevia quantity in sugar and taste it. You could also try honey. That’d be a fun experiment to try half a batch with sugar and half a batch with honey. I know stevia is much more potent than sugar, so you may end up needing 4 times as much sugar (or honey) as the stevia. I’d want to taste it at a few points, though. I’d love to hear how much you end up using, if you try it!

  11. My daughter has a seasonal allergy to birch. Is this something I should avoid? She has found that the birch pollen in some root vegetables makes her throat itch when she eats them raw (like carrots). This reaction isn’t severe. She can eat the vegetables cooked with no reaction so maybe the simmering of the birch would be ok?

    • I would avoid birch for your daughter. There are oodles of homemade root beer recipes out there. I have left out certain ingredients due to allergies and they taste fine.

  12. For the stevia, are you talking “green” stevia powder or white stevia powder (like sweet leaf brand)? Also, could this be canned and then add seltzer water after opening it?

    • Rosemary covers stevia around the 10 minute mark of the video above. The one she uses in the video is from Mountain Rose Herbs.

      I’d make a smaller amount, if I couldn’t drink it all in a day or two. You could try freezing the first part in serving sizes, if you wish.

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