Homemade Root Beer

October 16, 2020

Making homemade root beer on Halloween has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember! My mom did it for us as kids and I’ve loved being able to carry on the tradition.

A black witch's cauldron with smoke pouring out of the top and surrounded by halloween candy and pumpkins

DOUBLE-DOUBLE, TOIL, AND TROUBLE

Throwing a Halloween party and looking for a themed beverage to add to your spread? I’m sharing my insanely easy recipe for homemade root beer to impress all your guests. This is one of my favorite food traditions to get in the spirit and I always have friends ask for the details of how I make this! You can even turn it into an interactive activity by designating someone to be the brewmaster by stirring the root beer potion with a wooden spoon.

SOMETHING’S BREWING

The key to making this beverage really ‘pop’ is all in the spooky presentation. I was able to find food-grade dry ice pretty easily at my local grocery store, but I suggest calling in advance to find out if they have it available so you can save yourself some trips. I also serve mine out of a food-safe cauldron which you should be able to find at a party supply shop or specialty Halloween store. If you’re not able to find a themed vessel that is food safe try using the “double bowl” method where you place a bowl with the root beer in the center of the container of your choice and add the dry ice and warm water in between.

Fun fact: dry ice, or carbon dioxide, helps to carbonate beverages but it won’t achieve the same bubbliness as a typical soda which is why I call for carbonated water. When handling dry ice, always be sure to wear protective gloves or use tongs for safety.

ALL TREATS, NO TRICKS

I try to keep super sugary drinks to a minimum because the majority of store-bought products have high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and coloring. It’s a treat for my family, but I feel great about being able to make my own soda as it has simple ingredients and I can control the amount of sugar that goes into my recipe. I used white sugar, but you can also use brown sugar or a combination of the two.

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Homemade Root Beer


  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Yield: 1 gallon 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Gallon carbonated water
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp root beer concentrate
  • 1 lb. broken dry ice

Instructions

Combine the carbonated water, sugar, and root beer concentrate in an extra-large bowl – something that is food-safe. Don’t cover with a lid.

Gently stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the dry ice to the mixture in a well-ventilated area. The mixture will start to bubble. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to fully carbonate.

Notes

This recipe is easily modified per your tastes! Feel free to swap out the Root Beer concentrate for a flavored concentrate of your choice, such as lemon-lime, strawberry, or ginger.