After cooking up a flavorful Sassafras simple syrup, I decided a cocktail was the ultimate route. The flavors of the sassafras meld so well with a good whiskey. Adding a sour element, using lemon juice and citrus rind, it heightens the flavors. To top things off, a fragrant cinnamon stick I lit aflame, leaving a smoky aroma surrounding you while sipping away.
Sassafras is a useful tree with a complicated past. The trees are super long-lived and have been used for centuries by Native Americans, but an active ingredient in its oil with questionable legal status has limited its use today. Now the plant finds itself eaten as filé powder in creole cuisine only. Root beer connoisseurs weep for our loss.