Root Beer Bitters

What You'll Need

  • 1 ½ cups good quality bourbon
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp dried sarsaparilla
  • 1 tsp dandelion root
  • 1 or 2 star anise
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ TBS molasses

Root Beer is not just for children. The earthy, spicy tones of sarsaparilla and ginger, the bitter bite of dandelion and the licorice flavor from star anise...oh, it’s a lovely blend, a lovely blend indeed. Sorry kids, this bourbon bitters blend is just for the grown ups. From The Seasonal Cocktail Companion: 100 Recipes and Projects for Four Seasons of Drinking.

NOTE: Your bitters must infuse for 1 week before bottling.


1) Combine ingredients in your vessel to steep

Combine the bourbon, vanilla, grated ginger, sarsaparilla and star anise in a large jar. Let the infusion steep for 1 week, shaking it several times daily.

rootbeer bitters

root beer

2) Strain and cook

Strain the bourbon into a large clean jar and reserve the herbs and spices.

strain spicescheesecloth In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.

Immediately reduce the eat to low and stir in the molasses. Add the reserved herbs and spices. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half; remove from the heat.

molasses simmer

3) Bottle and store

Let the mixture cool. Strain through a coffee filter into the bourbon.

bottle bittersStore in a sterilized, airtight jar, or funnel into a sanitized bitters bottle. The bitters can be stored at room temperature. Shake before using, as the molasses may settle.

root beer bitters

Over to You

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