Frost'em up! Place glass mugs in freezer for 1 hour before filling them.
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp mild-flavor molasses
- 2 whole cloves
- 3/4 oz dried sassafras root bark
- 1 6-inch vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 to 2 quarts cool water
- 1/4 cup warm water (70- 76 degrees f)
- 1/8 tsp ale or active dry yeast.
Cooking time 115mins
In a dutch oven, combine the 2 quarts water, brown sugar, molasses, cloves, and sassafras. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, scrape out seeds from just one of the pod halves. Add vanilla seeds and pod halves to sassafras mixture. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Cool, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined colander into a large bowl.
Pour 1 quart of the cool water into a 1 gallon plastic or glass jug with cap. Using a large funnel, ladle the strained warm sassafras mixture into jug. Add enough of the remaining 1/2 to 1 quart cool water to fill jug to within 2 inches of the top. (Temperature of the mixture should be 70 to 76 degrees f. If mixture is too warm, let stand at room temperature or place jug in a bowl of ice water to cool slightly.)
In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup warm water and ale. Let stand 15 minute. Add ale mixture to jug; cover and shake vigorously. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add enough of remaining 1/2 to 1 quart cool water to fill jug. Using a small funnel, fill 11 sterilized* 12-oz bottles with sassafras mixture to within 1 1/2 inches of the top. Using a bottle capper, cap bottles.
Let bottles stand at room temperature (62 to 77 degrees f) for 42 to 72 hours or until mixture reaches desired carbonation. (The standing time depends upon the quality of the ale and the room temperature.) After standing time, store bottles in the refrigerator. For better flavor, wait a few days before drinking. Makes 11 12-oz bottles.
To sterilize bottles, wash empty bottles in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Place in boiling water for 10 minutes; drain well.