In a saucepan, combine everything except the vanilla and sparkling water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let cool for 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve and stir in the vanilla, then refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
Step 2 Make the bonbons
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil on high power in 30-second bursts until nearly melted. Stir until melted and smooth. Let cool completely.
Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, scoop 30 ice cream balls onto wax-paper-lined plates and freeze until firm, 20 minutes. Using 2 spoons, dip 1 ice cream ball at a time in the cooled chocolate mixture and return to the plate. Freeze the bonbons until very firm.
For each drink, pour 1/4 cup of the elixir into a chilled glass. Add 3 bonbons, top with 1/4 cup of sparkling water and serve.
The bonbons can be frozen for up to 1 week. The elixir can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Sassafras and sarsaparilla, key ingredients in root beer, come from the bark of a tree and a tropical root respectively. Both are available at kalustyans.com.
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