Sarsaparilla is a soft drink, originally made from the Smilax ornata or other plants, but now more often made with artificial ingredients. Classic U.S. sarsaparilla was not made from the extract of the sarsaparilla plant, a tropical vine distantly related to the lily. It was originally made from a blend of birch oil and sassafras, the dried root bark of the sassafras tree. Sarsaparilla apparently made its debut as a patent medicine but became a popular non-alcoholic drink during the old west. I am not a soda drinker with the only soda I imbibe is an occasional root beer, but I did drink sarsaparilla when it was available growing up and remember quite enjoying it. I found it very difficult to find and had to order some on-line to conduct the taste test. Alex also very much likes root beer so we had high hopes for the test.
The Sioux City Sarsaparilla we purchased had cane sugar and artificial flavor. We both liked the taste of the soda but Alex thought it was just a weak flavored root beer. It did not bring back the memories I had as a kid and I was slightly disappointed. I will continue to look and will sample another brand if I see one but will not go out of my way to reorder.