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The Root in Root Beer

Root beer is a soft drink that was originally made with a mixture of different herbs and roots. The main root that gave root beer its distinct flavor is sassafras root. Therefore, sassafras root can be considered the 'root' in root beer. However, as there is a mixture of roots in root beer it is also correct to say that there is no one "root beer root". In the 1960's, the FDA declared the oil in sassafras roots to be carcinogenic, so artificial sassafras flavors are used. There are still many different roots that continue to be used in different root beers such as licorice root, dandelion root, and ginger root to name a few. A list of root beer ingredients can be found below. It will be updated regularly until every possible root beer ingredient is listed. All ingredients can be found in at least one brand of root beer.

Observed Root Beer Ingredients


Other Flavorings




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