I'm not a huge fan of pops. For the most part I find them too sweet, to the point where they kind of make my teeth hurt. I find exception, however, in ginger beer and root beer. The combination of extreme aromatics and the tingling sensation of bubbles is so satisfying on a hot day.
Root beer in particular holds a special place in my heart. I have memories spanning well into adulthood of getting foam on my nose while drinking floats with my grandpa. It felt right, then, when I moved in with Matthew to find that he had a whole container in the cupboard dedicated to root beer making roots. It's amazing it's taken this long to get around to trying my hand at a homemade syrup, but boy was it worth the wait.
Use a tablespoon of this syrup mixed with a glass of sparkling water. Or go crazy and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the mix. I trust you to make the right decision.
* all of these ingredients are available at Famous Foods in Vancouver or most health food stores
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped sarsparilla
2 teaspoons chopped sassafras
2 teaspoons chopped dandelion root
1 tablespoon chopped cherry bark
1 1/2 teaspoons liquorice root
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon wintergreen leave
2 cups sugar
This syrup may have a lot of ingredients, but it's ridiculously easy to make!
Place the first six ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and hold it there for 15 minutes.
Add the molasses and simmer for five more minutes.
Finally, add the wintergreen and sugar and simmer the mixture for a final ten minutes (you may continue to cook the syrup if you would like the flavours to be stronger). Strain through a fine sieve into a clean jar. The syrup will keep in the fridge for a couple of months.