Sarsaparilla Cocktail: Must Try Easy Recipe & Interesting Trivia

I have a confession. I am hooked on to Mentalist, an American drama television series. Moreover, I must have watched it's seven seasons in record time. Besides from great content, the show sometimes showcases great trivia! In one such episode I came across the protagonist enjoying a Sarsaparilla cocktail. I was intrigued. Although, having traveled a lot, I had never tried a Sarsaparilla cocktail. Let me correct that! I had not even heard of it. As a result, I decided to know more about it's history. Well, what's the point of watching an investigative show if you are not inspired to investigate?

Sarsaparilla, a tropical plant is native to countries like West Indies, South America, Jamaica & more. As a matter of fact, the root was used for it's medicinal benefits. According to the website, there are many surprising benefits of Sarsaparilla. Later, it was introduced to United States & European region. In addition, around 1800s it was also used to flavour root beer, an original American soft drink. In fact, Charles E. Hires, the first person known to brew root beer, used it as an ingredient to add flavour. Also, if you are looking to answer the question "Is root beer & Sarsaparilla the same?", now you do that the answer is no :-) In fact, we have our own Indian Sarsaparilla also commonly known as Nannari, Anantamul & Anant Bel. Syrups made from the root are used extensively to making cooling beverages.

Around the same time, Sarsaparilla soda gained popularity as a soft drink. However, during late nineteenth century, health concerns were raised about the drink due to tests conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, the beverage ran out of favor soon.

However, ready made or home made Sarsaparilla syrups are still used to flavour cocktails. Here is an easy recipe to make your own Sarsaparilla rum cocktail, courtesy of Monin


1 oz. spiced rum
1⁄2 oz. orange liqueur
3⁄4 oz. Monin Old Fashioned Root Beer Syrup
Fill with club soda


Combine ingredients in shaker in the order listed, except sparkling beverage.
Cap and shake vigorously.
Pour into serving glass and add any needed ice.
Top with sparkling beverage and garnish.

Garnish with lemon

Use a tall glass to serve. Drink up!


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