This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
Oil of sassafras, wintergreen, anise, of each three fluid drachms. Cut with pumice and sugar in a mortar and gradually dissolve in nine fluid ounces of alcohol of 95° per cent, then add by degrees nine fluid ounces of water. To this essence various additions are made to suit the taste. Extract of liquorice root or of wild cherry bark, extract of ginger, capsicum, solution of citric acid, etc., are the usual admixtures, and then the essence or "extract" as erroneously called is made to sail as Ottawa, Otaki, etc., root-beer extract.