A couple weeks ago, I got the book Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop. I promptly went out to buy roots. China Town was my first stop, but that wasn't as productive as I'd hoped. I did get some star anise, cinnamon bark, and what I think is cheap American Ginseng. Rainbow Grocery was more helpful. They have hundreds of glass jars filled with every spice, herb, and aromatic plant imaginable. I more than a dozen jars of various things, including sassafras, sarsaparilla, and burdock roots; and birch, cherry, pine barks. I went a little overboard, mostly because it seems like if you're going to have shelf of witchdoctoresque ingredients, you better go all the way.