Root Beer Syrup

Makes 5–6 quarts

  • 5 quarts black birch sap or water
  • 1 pound shagbark hickory bark, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 36 wintergreen leaves, crushed
  • 12 oak leaves
  • 1½ pounds sassafras roots
  • 1 ounce fennel pollen
  • 24 spicebush berries, crushed
  • 3 star anise
  • 5 clove buds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 quarts brown sugar

Combine all ingredients except sugar in a stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 hours. Let the mixture cool, and then sit out, covered, for 2 days. Strain out the aromatics. Pour the liquid back into the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer, and stir in the sugar to dissolve it. Chill in the refrigerator where it will hold indefinitely. When you want a crisp and refreshing glass, simply put some syrup in the bottom of a glass to taste, pour in chilled seltzer, and give it a quick stir.