Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Sarsaparilla Soda

On hot summer days, I like to drink soda.  I purchase the more expensive brands (A&W move out of the way!) because I don't drink soda all that often, and when I do, I like to really enjoy it.  Jon decided last summer to try making our own soda.  Recently we made Sarsaparilla!
We got this recipe from Homemade Root Beer, Soda, and Pop by: Stephen Cresswell

3 to 4 quarts of water
9 T chopped dried sarsaparilla root
5 T chopped dried sassafras root bark
1/4 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. yeast (we use champagne yeast)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1. Heat 2 quarts of water to a simmer.  As the water heats, add the chopped roots, chopped raisins, and sugar.  Simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover, and let cool for 30 minutes.

2. After the sarsaparilla mixture has cooled 30 minutes, pour it slowly into a jug with 1 quart of cool water, straining as you pour.  (I use a one gallon jar with a metal lid).  Fill the jug to the top with water until there is about a 2 inch headspace.

3.  In a small bowl, proof the yeast----add yeast to 1/4 cup lukewarm water.

4. Shake the water & sarsparilla mixture in the jug vigorously for about a minute. 

5.  Add the yeast mixture to the jug and agitate vigorously again. 

6.  To reduce the sediment that will settle to the bottom, use a coffee filter to catch the debris.  Pour the mixture into your sterilized bottles.  Cap and let sit for 48-72 hours.  After 48 hours, check the carbonation.  When the carbonation is right, refrigerate and use within 6 weeks. 

Makes 7, 12-ounce bottles. 

This was our first attempt at making sarsaparilla.  Next time we will use less sassafras root bark and add a vanilla bean for a little milder flavor.  The carbonation results were pretty impressive---probably the result of the champagne yeast.  In the past, our soda results had a strong yeasty smell and flavor because we were using brewer's yeast.  Champagne yeast doesn't produce that yeasty smell and taste, but it certainly produces the bubbles quite nicely!!


Chris October 3, 2011 at 8:58 AM  

Thanks for posting. I've tried a few sarsaparilla recipes that have gone wrong over the past month. I can never get the colouring dark enough. How much sarsaparilla are you using please? I know it says 9 T. Is that tablespoons?

Thanks again!

Jennifer June 8, 2016 at 4:49 PM  

The capitol T indicates tablespoons. Lower case indicates teaspons. Hope that helps!

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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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