I have about 3 oz each of licorice root, sassafras root bark, and birch bark. I made a quick tea of each to see what they'd taste and smell like, and I'm thinking of coming up with a recipe using one or both.
The tea was made with roughly 1/32 oz of the herb and 2 oz of recently-boiling water, for 5 minutes. The birch had a light color, a moderate minty aroma, and a light, slightly sweet, "tingly" flavor. The sassafras was pink-ish with a strong anise-y aroma with a little citrus to it, and a light, bitter, slightly astringent flavor. The licorice was pale yellow with a light, tea-like aroma and a strong sweet, lasting flavor.
I was surprised at the light aroma of the licorice, and also at the sassafras being significantly more like what I think of when I think of licorice flavor. I'm thinking the licorice and sassafras might make a nice combination in a sweet stout.
Anyway, has anyone used any of these in a beer (root beer doesn't count here), or have any other recipe ideas?