Jack Keller’s Sassafras Wine


3 gallons


1 gallon sassafras root infusion (see below) 

4-1/2 lb granulated sugar 

2-1/4 tsp acid blend 

3 crushed and finely ground Campden tablets 

1/2 tsp tannin 

1-3/4 gallons water 

1-1/2 tsp yeast nutrient 

1 pkt Champagne wine yeast 



Prepare the infusion by boiling a gallon plus a pint of water into which you have placed the bark from about 20-25 scrubbed five-inch pieces of sassafras root. The bark from a 1/2-inch diameter root is more flavorful than the bark from a 2-inch diameter root. The water will turn reddish-brown and cloudy. Reduce to a simmer and hold for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool. The root bark can be reused, I am told, to make a slightly weaker infusion. Strain the liquid through muslin cloth into a gallon jug for future use (tea or wine) or use it immediately to make 3 gallons of sassafras wine.

Combine all ingredients except yeast in primary. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set aside 10-12 hours. Add yeast, recover, and stir daily until S.G. drops to 1.020 or below. Siphon off sediments into secondary, top up if required, fit airlock, and set in dark, cool (60-65 degrees F.) place. In 3 weeks, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack again in 3 months, adding another 3 crushed and dissolved Campden tablets. Rack again 3 months later and bottle when clear and stable. Store in dark place to preserve color. Age at least three months. [used with permission]