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Sarsaparilla is a classic American infusion traditionally made from birch bark and sassafras root. Other countries use different flavor profiles in their sarsaparilla. Some of the ingredients can be hard to find in a local grocery store but they can readily be purchased from reputable sources on the internet.
This recipe makes a thick, sweet syrup you can mix with club soda, use in cocktails, or naturally ferment. Sometimes I will leave out the brown sugar so I can enjoy the infusion without all the additional sugar. It can be served with club soda or as a way to add complexity to cocktails that don't need more sweetness.
Preheat a water bath to 160°F (71.1°C).
Combine all of the ingredients in a sous vide bag or Mason jar then seal. Infuse in the water bath for 2 to 4 hours.
Prepare an ice bath with 1/2 ice and 1/2 water. Remove the bag or Mason jar from the water bath and place in the ice bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the infusion and store in a sealed container. It will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.