This old fashioned, homemade root beer is a delicious drink recipe that has been passed down through our family for generations. It only takes minutes to make with just a few simple ingredients. It makes a big batch for a large crowd.
When I throw an event, I aim to create a special memory with it. I am always looking for ways to make a party unique. My mom did the same thing with holidays, so I guess I am trying to follow in her footsteps.
If I find a recipe or a party idea that works, I want to make a tradition out of it. Traditions are so important to me because I know that it is something to look forward to. For example, looking forward to making Christmas cookies.
I am a huge fan of yummy drinks. One of my favorite things to do is make mocktails. Our Valentines mocktails, 4th of July mocktail, Halloween mocktails, the best Thanksgiving punch and green Christmas drinks are great holiday options. And this non alcoholic champagne is perfect for any celebration!
This cranberry mocktail will keep you refreshed and ready to celebrate the holiday season. Whenever I think about the holidays, I think about festive beverages.
Now you can add this root beer to your must-have summer beverages. Commercial root beer is fine, but there is nothing like making it the old fashioned way. You get the creamy foam only homemade root beer can give.
My husband's grandpa Bob used to make this recipe for his whole family. It has been in their family for over 50 years! I love that we can continue his family tradition of making this fantastic homemade root beer.
Why should I make this recipe?
- This is the easiest homemade root beer recipe you will find.
- This root beer is perfect for root beer floats.
- It is fun to make for special occasions.
- You can brag to your friends about how you make your own root beer.
- Traditional root beer recipes require a bunch of ingredients, whereas this recipe only needs simple ingredients.
- Water - Even though water is the base of this drink, with the sugar and root beer concentrate you will not be able to tell.
- Sugar - Use white sugar for this recipe. If you like sugary drinks, you are going to love this DIY root beer.
- Root beer concentrate - Make sure you get root beer concentrate, not root beer extract. You can find it at your local grocery store.
- Dry ice - You need dry ice to get the carbonation for this root beer recipe. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide; therefore, it creates carbonation.
How to make Grandpa Bob's homemade root beer
First, you need a large drink dispenser to pour the ingredients in. We suggest using a 10-gallon-sized dispenser.
Pour the water, sugar, and root beer concentrate into the dispenser. Then, mix until the sugar dissolves.
Add dry ice
Once the water, sugar, and root beer concentrate are combined, you will add the dry ice. Add small chunks at a time and stir constantly.
By constantly stirring, the dry ice will not stick to the bottom. Now, you have your delicious homemade root beer.
Tips for success
- Make this recipe for Halloween - For the first 5-10 minutes after the dry ice is added to the root beer mixture, there will be a spooky smoke. You will have a fun treat and a spooky decoration by serving this drink at a Halloween party.
- Be careful - Working with dry ice can be dangerous, so make sure you wear protective eyewear, wear gloves, and use tongs to move the ice. If you directly touch dry ice, you could get frostbite.
- Make root beer floats - Add some vanilla ice cream to this foamy root beer for the most incredible root beer float.
Storage and Freezing
Storing - If you want to make this recipe beforehand, you can do so but do not add in the dry ice. When you are ready to serve, then you can add the dry ice so it is nice and fresh.
It is tricky to have root beer leftovers because, just like any soda, it can go flat. We recommend that you drink it within a day or so of making it.
Freezing - If you want to make root beer popsicles, you can freeze them, but freezing root beer to save for later does not really work.
Because root beer is carbonated, it is tricky to freeze. When you freeze root beer, the carbonation is lost, which makes the root beer flat.
What is the difference between root beer concentrate and root beer extract?
This recipe calls for root beer concentration, but can you use root beer extract? You can't, because there is actually a difference.
Root beer extract is not nearly as strong as root beer concentrate. When you are making root beer, you want the strong stuff, so we use root beer concentrate.
How should I handle dry ice?
Make sure you purchase food-grade dry ice when preparing for this recipe because it is the safest to drink when melted. You also should buy the dry ice as last minute as possible because it can melt pretty fast.
The dry ice will come in a plastic bag, and I usually keep it in the plastic bag in a styrofoam cooler until we are ready to make the root beer. Also, ensure you make the root beer in a well-ventilated area for safety reasons
Are there different flavors of root beer?
Plenty of root beer flavors exist, such as vanilla, cherry, molasses, honey, and caramel. There is also ginger beer and cream soda.
Cream soda is similar to root beer but not the same. Cream soda is a soda combination with vanilla, and root beer is more
Who invented root beer?
Back in the pre-colonial days, Native Americans used sassafras root for medical reasons and as a safe drink if they could not find clean water, which is thought to be the beginning of root beer.
They found many health benefits from the roots, like helping the immune system and healing illness. Then, root beer made a comeback in the 1800s.
Charles Hires, a pharmacist, tried an herbal tea blend and loved it so much that he made his own version of it and called it root tea. It comprises many herbs, like sassafras root from the sassafras plant and sarsaparilla root.
In the 60s, the United States Food and Drug Administration banned root beer if it was made with sassafras root, which most brands were. Now, companies have their own recipes for root beer, each different than the other
Ways to enjoy
This root beer recipe would go great with any of these best 4th of July foods. While you are at it, serve these 4th of July appetizers while you are flipping burgers. Also, try out this delicious 4th of July fruit pizza.
If you want more summer drink options, check out these 4th of July drinks & mocktails. For some summer fun, you could throw a pool party. If you want more summer ideas, check out our summer bucket list.
You can make root beer any time of the year, though. Making homemade root beer is a fun activity you could do at a birthday party. I think making this recipe at a Super Bowl party would be so much fun.
Grandpa Bob's Homemade Root Beer
- 10 gallon drink dispenser
- 5 gallons water
- 9 cups sugar
- 5-6 ounces root beer concentrate
- 5 pounds dry ice
- In a large drink dispenser, combine water, sugar and root beer concentrate making sure to stir until sugar dissolves
- Add small dry ice chunks a little at a time stirring constantly so it doesn't stick to the bottom