Sassafras Mead is the 1915 version of a rootbeer float that was used as a way to ring in the New Year.
Up to 3 1/2 pints Kentucky sorghum, known as “molasses” at the turn of the last century
1 quart local honey
2 quarts sassafras tea (instructions below)
1 tablespoon cream of tarter
Measuring spoon and can of baking soda for serving
Brew sassafras tea to liking with four bunches of sassafras root in 2 quarts water. Or, pour one 12-ounce bottle of “Pappy’s Sassfras Instant Tea Concentrate” into two quarts simmering water. (If I made this again, I would add more sassafras concentrate.) The tea itself should be “quite strong” according to the food pages of the Courier-Journal, December 26, 1915.
Combine sorghum, honey, tea and cream of tarter. Bring to a boil. Set aside to cool in a punch bowl. When ready to serve, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the bottom of a four- to six-ounce glass, fill with tea and stir vigorously to create fizz. Top with ice and serve.