Sassafras isn’t a word you hear all the time, but combining this old timey flavor reminiscent of the old west or taking in a picture show with the older-timey flavor of mead with this sassafras honey punch is a fun and memorable way to treat your guests.

I originally titled this post “sassafras mead,” but I know what you guys would say about that, so just try and enjoy this non-alcoholic instant honey drink that may or may not be considered mead-like in some circles.

Sassafras is actually the stuff that gives root beer its distinctive anise-meets-vanilla flavor that makes a pretty awesome holiday warmer. Cool and tangy, this is a quick mead that doesn’t need any fermentation, but isn’t alcoholic either. Spike it with some spiced rum if you’d like to kick it up a notch.

The problem with this 1915 recipe is that there isn’t a whole lot of sassafras lying around anymore, or any that we can easily identify anyway. Luckily, you can pick up some Pappy’s Sassafras Instant Tea Concentrate. Yep, you get tp use an ingredient that has the word ‘pappy’ in it.

Try this version of the recipe as found in the Courier-Journal. To start, get all this stuff together:

  • 3.5 pints Kentucky sorghum (which was called ‘molasses’ in the 1900’s)
  • 1 quart local honey
  • 2 quarts sassafras tea (made according to the directions on the bottle)
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tarter
  • Measuring spoon, can of baking soda for serving (yep)

Brew the sassafras tea by pouring 1 bottle of Pappy’s into two quarts of simmering water. The tea should be strong.

Combine all the other stuff MINUS the baking soda in a bot and bring it to a boil. Set it aside to cool in a punch bowl.

To serve, dollup 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in the bottom of a juice glass, fill with the punch, and stir to create a fun fizz. Plunk in some ice cubes.

What do you think? Will be people be talking about your old-timey root beer honey punch well beyond NYE? Tell us if it sounds yummy in the comments.