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What Is Root Beer Flavor?

Article Highlights

  • Root beer is traditionally brewed using herbs, spices, and sassafras extract.
  • Common ingredients in root beer are sassafras extract, vanilla extract, molasses, ginger, caraway seed, aniseed oil, burdock root extract and licorice root extract.
  • Root beer has a rich history stretching back centuries.
  • Variations of the flavor can range from subtle sweetness to strong spice notes.
  • Potential health benefits include helping ease digestive problems, reducing inflammation and providing added vitamins and antioxidants.

Root beer flavor has been popular for generations and has been used in various beverages and food products. But what exactly is root beer? And what gives it its unique flavor?

Root beer is a beverage that is typically made of herbs, spices, and sassafras extract. It has a unique sweet and spicy flavor, similar to licorice or anise.

While the term “root beer” can refer to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, most people are familiar with the non-alcoholic variety which has become a popular flavor choice in recent years.

What is Root Beer Flavor?

Root beer flavor is a combination of spices and extracts that give the beverage its characteristic taste.

The exact ingredients vary from brand to brand, but some of the most common ingredients include sassafras extract, vanilla extract, molasses, ginger, caraway seed, aniseed oil, burdock root extract, and licorice root extract.

History of the Flavor

The history of root beer goes back centuries. Traditionally, it was brewed by Native Americans who flavored it with roots and bark from trees like spruce, witch hazel and sassafras. Today’s version is much more refined but still draws on traditional ingredients for its unique taste.

Main Ingredients in Root Beer

The main ingredients used to make root beer are:

  • Sassafras Extract – gives root beer its distinctive flavor and aroma. It also provides natural sweetness without the use of artificial sweeteners.
  • Vanilla Extract – adds complexity to the flavor of root beer without overwhelming it with sweetness.
  • Molasses – adds a dark richness that can be found in many commercial brands of root beer.

How the Flavor is Produced

Root beer flavor is created by combining these different ingredients together in a particular ratio and then allowing them to steep for several hours or days before straining out any solids and bottling them up into ready-to-drink beverages.

This steeping process allows all of these flavors to infuse each other into one harmonious blend that makes up root beer’s unique taste profile.

Variations of the Flavor

Depending on what type or brand you get, there can be many variations of the classic root beer flavor profile ranging from subtle sweetness to strong spice notes like ginger or cinnamon.

Some brands also add more exotic flavors like allspice which helps create a truly unique taste experience for root beer lovers everywhere!

Health Benefits of Root Beer

While there aren’t huge amounts of scientific research proving any potential health benefits from drinking root beer there are some potential benefits that can help provide some added incentive for anyone looking for a delicious treat! These include:

  • helping ease digestive problems like indigestion or gas
  • providing relief from cold symptoms; helping reduce inflammation
  • providing an antiseptic effect that helps protect against infection
  • alleviating headaches; aiding digestion
  • providing vitamins A & B6 which help boost immunity levels
  • providing antioxidants that may help protect against certain cancers and other diseases as well as helping protect against damage caused by free radicals in our bodies


Rootbeer’s unique flavor profile has made it a favorite drink among generations whether enjoyed as part of a meal or simply as an enjoyable treat!

Try adding it to your next milkshake or ice cream sundae for an extra layer of sweetness that will take your dessert over the top!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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