- 2 cups water
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- Three 2-inch pieces of orange peel
- One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 tablespoon sassafras (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon sarsaparilla (see Note)
- 1/2 cinnamon stick (1 1/2 inches)
- 1 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups cold sparkling water
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
How to make this recipe
Make the elixir
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.
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.