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  • Writer's pictureDairy Keen

Homemade Root Beer

It was time for our annual Family Reunion! We had such a great time; there are about 80 of us. We love to make Homemade Root Beer. My husband was making this years ago, and he put all the dry ice into the container at once. It “boiled” up so fast it hit the ceiling of our patio. We laughed so hard and got out the hoses to clean it off.

Homemade Root Beer

Makes 4 gallons

5 pounds sugar

6 cups hot water

4 cups ice

Very cold water to make 4-gallons. (About 3 ½ gallons)

2 (2oz.) bottle Root Beer Extract

(McCormick Root Beer or Hires Root Beer Extract found in the spice section)

6 pounds Dry Ice Broken into pieces

** If buying the dry ice ahead of time plan for it to “burn off” buy more than needed.

Make this outdoors in a place where you can hose off the area. There will be spills.

In a 5-gallon drink cooler, first add the hot water and then the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice and stir with a long spoon until the ice is mostly melted. Add Cold Water to make four gallons, add Root Beer Extract. (The colder the water is the more carbon dioxide from the dry ice will make more fizz.)

The dry ice comes in a paper bag, leave it in the bag, and break into smaller pieces by hitting the ice through the bag with a hammer. Wearing gloves, SLOWLY take pieces out of the bag and add dry ice pieces into the “Root Beer” a few pieces at a time. It will bubble up and “smoke”, like a witch’s caldron for a great party trick! Let “Boil” 20 to 30 minutes. Stir about every 5 minutes but DO NOT put a cover on tightly or the lid will just explode off.

The slush that forms in the bottom of the container is wonderful on a hot July day. Serve it with an ice cream scoop. You can also have homemade ice cream to make Root Beer Floats.

You can also cut this recipe in half.

Have a great 24th of July!


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