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This do-it-yourself homemade root beer has the perfect touch of fizz and amazing flavor. It’s party perfect!

If you love root beer like I do, try our Root Beer Float Ice Cream Cake, or make floats with our homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!

Two glasses filled with homemade root beer and two straws.

Who Doesn’t love Root Beer?

Our family are big fans of root beer! We don’t drink soda too often, but when we do our go-to drink is always Root Beer because it’s so good.

We tried a homemade version at a church party and knew we had to try it ourselves. It is so delicious and is perfect for parties and holidays, and we especially love to whip it up around Halloween.

Why we love it:

  • Better at home. It only uses 4 ingredients and the flavor is unmatched! It’s far better than any store-bought version.
  • It’s science. Dry ice offers a unique twist, creating a visually exciting and dramatic effect and providing a carbonated finish.
  • A float! Add Vanilla Ice Cream and turn this into a best-loved classic treat.
  • Spooky punch. You can easily turn this into a Halloween drink with added dry ice. See the simple step-by-step directions below!
A bottle of Zatarains root beer concentrate for making homemade drink.

Root Beer Ingredients

  • cold water
  • granulated sugar – sweetens the root beer. Adjust the amount used to your preference, or try using a sugar substitute such as stevia, monk fruit extract, or erythritol. 
    • Add in sweet fruit juices or use honey or maple syrup but note that these choices will change the flavor profile of the root beer
  • root beer extract (Zatarain Brand) – Traditional root beer uses different combinations of flavors and spices such as sassafras root bark, wintergreen, star anise, sarsaparilla root, ginger root, licorice root, and birch bark. This recipe used a premade root beer blend that uses similar flavors and does not contain alcohol or any artificial colors.
  • dry ice – creates carbonation. Or use a home carbonation system.
Adding dry ice to a root beer mixture.

How to Make Root Beer

  1. LIQUID. Dissolve sugar completely in the water. Add root beer extract and stir to combine. Taste and add any more sugar or extract needed. (Mix the root beer in a well-ventilated area.)
  2. DRY ICE. Carefully break up the dry ice pieces into very small pieces. Add the dry ice pieces using gloves or tongs, stir into the water, sugar, and extract mixture making sure to keep the ice from sticking to the bowl and to melt the dry ice. The mixture will start to bubble and the fog will pour out and over the bowl.
  3. SERVE. Make sure the ice is completely melted before ladling into cups or mugs. To be extra safe, pour the mixture through a mesh strainer before stirring to filter out any small pieces of dry ice.
Smoke coming out of a mixture of root beer in a pitcher.

A Smoky Brew

Create a fun Halloween drink! You’ll need some dry ice and a couple of non-glass bowls.

  1. Break the dry ice into pieces using a hammer or other tool. Wear gloves when handling the dry ice and do not let your skin touch it.
  2. Place a few pieces of dry ice in the bottom of the larger bowl or cauldron. Nestle the smaller bowl on top of the dry ice. 
  3. Add warm water to the larger bowl and the dry ice will start smoking.
  4. When you need more smoke add more small pieces of dry ice to the larger bowl and apply warm water. 
    • Be very careful that no dry ice lands in the punch. It could cause harm if swallowed.
    • Store extra dry ice in a styrofoam cooler nearby or, if you can, under the punch table.
Top view of a glass of root beer filled with ice.

Storing Root Beer

  • STORE. Transfer the homemade root beer recipe into airtight containers (bottles or pitchers with tight-fitting lids) before placing them in the refrigerator.
    • Airtight containers will help maintain the carbonation for as long as possible. Store for 3-5 days.
Close up of a glass filled with homemade root beer filled with ice.

For More Sweets:

5 from 3 votes

Homemade Root Beer

By: Lil’ Luna
This do-it-yourself homemade root beer has the perfect touch of fizz and amazing flavor. It's party perfect!
Servings: 16
Prep: 5 minutes
Dry Ice Melting Time: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 2 – 2½ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons root beer extract, zatarain brand
  • 1½ – 2 pounds dry ice, broken into pieces

Instructions 

  • Add water and sugar to a large punch bowl, stirring to dissolve sugar completely.
  • Add root beer extract and stir to combine. Taste and add any more sugar or extract needed.
  • Make sure you are mixing the root beer in a well-ventilated area.
  • Carefully break up the dry ice pieces into very small pieces. Add the dry ice pieces using gloves or tongs, stir into the water, sugar, and extract mixture making sure to keep the ice from sticking to the bowl and to melt the dry ice. The mixture will start to bubble and the fog will pour out and over the bowl.
  • Make sure ice is completely melted before ladling into cups or mugs. To be extra safe, you can pour the mixture through a mesh strainer before stirring to filter out any small pieces of dry ice.

Notes

STORE. Transfer the root beer into airtight containers, such as bottles or pitchers with tight-fitting lids, before placing them in the refrigerator. Using airtight containers will help maintain the carbonation for as long as possible. Store for 3-5 days.
A float! Add Vanilla Ice Cream and turn this into a best-loved classic treat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 121kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 15mg, Potassium: 1mg, Sugar: 31g, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.02mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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