About the author


Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.

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  1. mrs. mcintyre

    i made root beer when we were 7 in the house and accidentally let it go too long and got the family tipsy. thank GOD we were not going anywhere and just had a really good nites sleep. i don’t drink root beer and the troops have not let me live this down. continuing adventures in being a thrifty mother…. blessings, mrs. mcintyre

    1. Kevin

      LOL, thanks for the insight, I’ll make sure to keep the fermentation to a minimum!

  2. Dave

    We’ve made it lots of times but never that way. Used to bottle it. Once we must have put in to much yeast or sugar or something. Stored the bottle on a shelf over the basement steps. One by one, they popped the corks and spilled all over the steps. Didn’t have a caper then. —- We even tried to make gingerbeer. It never worked to well for us.

  3. Dave

    You just can’t find the good Hire’s Root Beer extract in bottles anymore.

  4. Wendy

    Elizabeth makes it sound really easy. I’ve had a root beer “kit” sitting in my basement for ages. Maybe I’ll finally put it to use.

  5. Brenda

    This is just like the one I make… Can’t wait for part 2 Sisterbrenda (Maine)

  6. thelma stafford

    you can find root beer x tract at the amish bulk food stores. we have one in hutchinson ks.

  7. Lynette Sowell

    Our local Wal-Mart (supercenter) sells root beer extract in the baking aisle, right next to the lemon and vanilla flavorings. I can’t wait to try this! 🙂

  8. Susie MacDonald

    I found root beer extract at the Lehman’s hardware store in Kidron, Ohio when my husband and I visited there. I tried to make the root beer, but it didn’t taste so good. I’m going to try Lovina’s recipe and see how it tastes. :-)…..Susie

    1. Kevin

      Susie, let us know how it turns out!

  9. Dawn Kirk

    This sounds great!! We don’t buy pop for the house,though we will drink it at parties & such..All four kids love rootbeer.
    Not to change the subject,but please be sure to see if Lovina will describe how to make her dandelion salad,the one she always talks about looking forward to each year.Dandelions are already out-picked a few leafs today & threw them into the water of the carrots I was cooking..We also put snipped dandelion flowers in pancake batter & cakes for extra nutrition.Does not add a flavor.

  10. Diane Adelstone

    I don’t understand where the root in root beer comes from. What kind of root is it? Is the root cooked first, pulverized? In other words how is root beer made and what source is it made from?

  11. SueAnn

    Leaving it in the sun can be a problem…exploding problem……we just made the root beer and bottled it..we have a bottle capper..need to store it in a cool dry place…it does not have the long shelf life of store bought soda…it will pop the caps if left too long..or gets too warm……Sun tea develops a bacteria in it…..you are better to use hot tap water…and steep the bags…many people have taken ill and sun tea was the reason…it is not a recommended tea to make anymore…even tho people still do.
    Off topic…Miami U in Oxford is doing their Craft Summer..and…the weekend of June 22-24, is Amish cooking and culture….know anything about it? wonder who is teaching the course?

    1. Kevin

      Thanks for the information, I’ll have to heed your warning because I make sun tea frequently. I don’t know about what is going on at MU, but I’ll sure as heck find out and report back. Thanks for the heads-up!

      1. Wendy

        Last summer I started using my coffeemaker to make a tea concentrate. (We’re not coffee drinkers, I just keep one for serving friends.) It works great – I put the teabags in the hopper, run the water through, add some sugar and store it in the fridge once it’s cooled. No fuss – when I want some tea I add water and it’s ready to go.

      2. Jenn

        @Wendy, that’s a great idea! I’m going to try that! Thanks for the tip!!

  12. Grace

    Zatrain’s root beer extract is wonderful – like Hires – I just ordered from Amazon – 12- 4 oz bottles plus 10 pkgs of champagne dried yeast (which works best-no yeasty taste) and it was over $25 so free shipping – total was $26.83 sent to Wa State…..Good price for 12 bottles.
    This will keep us in root beer for several months.
    Remember – 1 tip – Zatrain’s is strong, a little goes a long ways – experiment for your favorite mix. Better less than too much – you can always add but not take away.
    Good drinking – I make it in a glass gal vinegar jar (from the past!!) and make sure it doesn’t explode by checking it – then refrigerate it and it’s absolutely the best.

    1. Suzette Carlin

      Thanks Grace, I’ll be checking that out.


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