The drink admits of countless variations. Indeed, it can be made as a cordial, as a non-alcoholic fizzy drink, or as a beer or light mead.
Additionally, the root ratios can be varied as can the use of fresh or dried material. This version that I made last year was particularly good.
- 100g fresh dandelion root (and a small handful of leaves, if you fancy)
50g dried and powdered dandelion root
- 200g fresh burdock roots
- 100g dried burdock root powder
- 5l of spring water
- ½ litre birch sap syrup
- 1 heaped tbsp black treacle
- 3 tbsp malt extract
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 25g cream of tartar
- 15g root ginger
- 2 tsp Champagne or beer yeast.
- Collect non-woody burdock roots from 1st year’s growth, and dandelion roots at any time.
- Clean thoroughly and then chop into small pieces.
- Dry and powder required amount, using the rest fresh (for greater medicinal effect).
- Place in a saucepan and boil roots in the water for 20 minutes.
- Add the birch sap syrup, malt extract, black treacle and cream of tartar, stirring to dissolve.
- Strain out roots, and allow to become lukewarm before squeezing in the lemon juice and sprinkling in the yeast.
- Transfer to a sterilized fermenting bucket and leave in a warm room or airing cupboard for 5-7 days, covered with a loose-fitting lid or cloth.
- Prime screw top or old Grolsch-type bottles by adding a teaspoon of sugar to each.
- Strain beer off sediment into bottles and leave for a week before opening.
- Serve chilled.